How Much Soylent Will Feed The World?


#1

I have the day off work so after sitting here for a while, bored out of my mind, I started to wonder how much Soylent I would need in a year. Prices are great, but I do that mental math too often for it to be interesting anymore. Let’s go with weight - I feel it adds more perspective!

So. For me individually, I need ~432 grams a day.
This was, of course, the v1.3 weight. Assuming the weight has increased due to the assorted fat powders and starches, let’s round up to 500 grams. Great! Now 500 grams by 7 days a week is 3500 grams. For a mid-weight backpacker, 7 pounds of added weight isn’t too bad. But let’s bump it up again…

52.1775 (weeks) by 3500 grams brings us to ~400 pounds of powder. If we can trust the shelf life guarantee, we’ve got ourselves some pristine apocalypse food. If your vehicle is big enough (say a boat or bus), you could feasibly pack up several years worth of food or about a year per person, depending on your party’s size.

But hey, I like big numbers so let’s keep it going. And let’s keep those numbers nice and round! Following UN projections, by 2100 we should have roughly 10 billion people on-board.

Let’s assume for simplicity that these are all healthy adults. To feed everyone for the next 100 years, we would need about:

400 lbs (1 year of Soylent) x 10,000,000,000 (people) x 100 (years) =

400,000,000,000,000 pounds of Soylent

If we’re smart about it, we might reach a quintillion BTU’s of global energy production by 2100. In other words, the raw weight of (a global lifetime supply of) Soylent would end up being two orders of magnitude smaller than one year of energy production. If any of you are brave enough to calculate the total water savings, go for it.

I’ve been up for 30 hours so I’m gonna go pass out.

EDIT: Miscalculation. I don’t math. I can count to potato.


#2

I didn’t check your math to figure out if the Quadrillion scale is right but isn’t a year of Soylent actually 400 pounds?

EDIT: Also, now we need to figure out how long it will take to make that amount of Soylent based on the current production schedule adjusted for the imminent 50x increase :wink:


#4

The miscalculation, as I see it, is the assumption that v1.4 is 500 grams. It is 459 grams. Whereas it is only a difference of 41 grams, when you multiply that by 7 days, times 52.1775 weeks, you get 370 pounds. That reduction of 30 pounds/person is a big difference when you take into account 10 billion people.

A smaller miscalculation is the baseline of feeding 10 billion for the next 100 years, when the 10 billion number is for 2100. Would make sense to start off with current world population, instead of 85 years from now. Rosa Labs is behind in production, but not 85 years behind. :smile:


#5

Shucks it was worth a try. Hope you enjoyed it anyway :smile:


#6

Also what’s the actual shelf life of Soylent now? You really can’t do 100 years of food security if the stuff is only good for a year or two. We’d have to hit the production rate to provide a year’s worth of food for the current population and scale it year after year to meet projected population levels.


#7

Fair question. I suspect, in vacuum seal, the powder should remain chemically stable for quite some time. Obviously it will take at least 5 years to verify shelf life first hand (as I’m sure is already a project at RL). I believe inside a vacuum, Soylent could potentially remain stable for decades - easily. If that is the case, anticipatory overproduction is not unwarranted. It may even be in the interest of, say, Japan or Taiwan, nations who are at the mercy of the surrounding weather. Having an entire nation’s food supply on backup could prove very useful in emergency situations. I suspect many nations wIll follow NASA’s example and begin discussing private partnerships with Soylent corp. for relief services and large scale food stockpiling projects. I imagine the company is looking really attractive right around now to the UN forces in Congo and other dangerous war-torn areas. No doubt they’ll be contacting Soylent corp. with project goals, if they havent already.

I think it’s a good idea and perfectly reasonable to sell someone 10 years of dry packaged soylent upfront if they are willing to pay. Once shelf life has been verified, the sell would be simple and honest. I’d buy that much upfront, if perhaps a bulk discount could be applied. What can I say, I don’t always trust the weather and if I’m snowed in for a week, I’m coming prepared!


#8

Shelf-life testing can be accelerated.