"I tried the Soylent competitor that YouTube's cofounder just invested in -- here's what it tasted like"


#1

via Business Insider: “I tried the Soylent competitor that YouTube’s cofounder just invested in – here’s what it tasted like

It is about Ambronite and makes a number of unfounded (possibly inflammatory) claims about Soylent.

For instance:

Ambronite cofounder Mikko Ikola tells Business Insider that his team started the company based on one theory: the healthier you eat, the better you feel.

This stands in stark contrast to Soylent founder Rob Rhinehart’s expansive vision of a world without food, and of hacking nutrition to solve things like world hunger.

How does eating healthier stand in stark contrast to Soylent? That is one of the things that Soylent is built on.


#2

My favorite part:

There is an emphasis on making a “better” meal, from a nutritional standpoint, not a cheaper one. When I tasted Ambronite, that mission seemed to come through. Ambronite tastes like a product that isn’t artificially sweetened, or made to be inoffensive. You feel like you are drinking nutrition — which is to say, it tastes a bit like hay. The best way I can describe it is a raw protein shake.

You know you’re eating something nutritious when people are proud to promote how terrible it tastes. Anything that tastes good must be bad for you, and even Soylent tastes way too good to actually be nutritious.


#3

Woah that stuff is expensive. $84.15 for 5,000 kcals is 4.63 times as expensive per kcal compared to Soylent’s $54 for 14,000 kcals.


#4

Yeah, but it tastes terrible. That’s worth something!


#5

Don’t forget the $10 shipping.
But of course you can avoid the shipping charge when you subscribe to 40 meals per month - no big deal, only $400.

Ambronite also seems to be “filled with heavy metals” as Bourdain would put it, but I guess it won’t matter because at least they’re certified organic heavy metals.


#6

Pure organic heavy metals. Turns your bones into Adamantium!


#7

The difference between Soylent and Ambronite is whether or not you have confidence that we can now (not someday in principle, but actually now) successfully reduce food to its most simple, fundamental components. Ambronite is premised on the view that consuming whole foods offers a better guarantee of nutritional completeness than the reductive approach that Soylent takes.

I can understand the logic of this argument, although I don’t understand nutritional science well enough to judge whether that level of epistemological conservativism is silly or just cautious.

One thing that completely ruins the credibility of the people behind Ambronite in my eyes is the fact that their ingredients are all organic and non-GMO. That is like a drug company that advertises that they produce absolutely no vaccines. Either they’re wrong about the relevant science or they’ll willing to pander to people who are, neither of which inspires confidence.

P.S. The comment about how Ambronite tastes healthy makes me realize there is such a thing as health theatre, analogous to security theatre. Health theatre means projecting a sense of health and wellness, which is nice and feels comforting, while actually doing nothing or very little for your physical health (your mental health is another thing!). Spas, for instance, tout the health benefits of all kinds of things — like rubbing orange peels on your face or whatever — but their real purpose is just to feel soothing and relaxing. So, health theatre might be completely benign in some cases like spas, where the unfounded health claims piggyback on real benefits for happiness and mental health.


#8

There’s a lot of nonsense about lifestyle and target audience, Soylent and Ambronite are both just food products. In terms of cooking prep and transport they’re both flexible enough to be used in most situations.


#9

Guys they might be onto something here. I mean what’s more nutritious than hay?


#10

But you see, Ambronite is aimed at the same types of people who are into adventuring, hiking, or fitness, (good people), unlike Soylent, which is for people who are so absorbed in their computer screens that they don’t have time to eat (losers).

Another bonus - this company is building a lifestyle which is better than the one envisioned by Rob and his followers. The difference seems to be the amount of money you will blow on Ambronite, by that factor it will be 4.63 times better.


#11

Did you guys see the Ambronite conference? They came out with a new one. They fixed the heavy metals thing and they added a half gram of wheat grass. And the $10 shipping is included in the price! You can’t beat that! I think I have a picture…

oh yea, here it is.


#12

Rob should go on BI and talk about all the faults of ambronite.


#13

Ambronite tastes like too many greens and is too expensive.

The fact that they’re dissing Soylent makes me not want to support them.

There’s that product, “vega one” that claims to include 50% of all daily nutrients in a serving and is all organic and stuff; the only problem is it tastes like grass (they have flavored versions but it doesn’t mask the grass taste very well).


#14

I’ve tried a few versions of Ambronite. They sent me a sample just before they launched and then I have bought the first version and v3 (I managed to miss the second version). The first version had some bitter aftertaste from walnuts that they fixed with v3. It is not too bad. It feels like drinking a salad with nuts. I became interested in them because they were quite early in the Soylent space and shipped to Sweden. They also did not have the oil bottle because the nuts had enough fat, which was an advantage. Now, Soylent has evolved much faster and not only has skipped the oil bottle, but comes in pure powder or directly mixed in a bottle. I agree that their focus on organic and non-GMO might backfire.


#15

Hi there,

It’s Mikko from Ambronite here.

I just wanted correct few things here. First of all, we at Ambronite respect Soylent’s success. Soylent and many other products out there in the new category of “complete drinkable meal” are doing great job. I would never want to diss Soylent, even though we have a different take on the recipe.

When it comes to media, and for e.g. this article, journalists always bring their own flavor and opinions, whether you want it or not. We’re not pitching Soylent to them, they just many times bring it up themselves, and want to twist the story as a Ambronite vs. Soylent. The interview was conducted about Ambronite. I told about our philosophy, our product, what we stand for. I guess there was only one question how we differ from Soylent, and I gave a brief overview how we differ on a recipe level. The sentence “This stands in stark contrast…” & other mentions about Soylent are purely opinions & research of the journalist himself, not from my mouth. I’m not commenting Soylent’s vision or philosophy to journalists of course.

Hope that opened up how media works sometimes : )

Best,

Mikko, Ambronite co-founder


#16

The difference between Soylent and Ambronite is whether or not you have confidence that we can now (not someday in principle, but actually now) successfully reduce food to its most simple, fundamental components. Ambronite is premised on the view that consuming whole foods offers a better guarantee of nutritional completeness than the reductive approach that Soylent takes.

This would actually make a good experiment.

Have a bunch of people live on soylent, and a bunch on ambronite for a year.
Then you can find if soylent is missing anything that “real food” has.

Then add it to soylent.


#17

Thanks for the response, Mikko. We definitely have seen how “reporters” can take editorializing into their own hands in articles.


#18

In least they don’t claim it is chemical free! What would it be made from? Liquidified spacetime? lol


#19

What, it has CHEMICALS in it?!?


#20

Yep that was what I was referring to with my post. I love SMBC! :smiley: