I’m personally too paranoid to try any of the DIY soylent recipes. The official formula has already been field tested extensively, which is why I’d trust it… but I’m worried that the DIY recipes floating around don’t hit all the nutritional requirements. Thoughts?
I’m curious what other peoples’ thoughts are. Hence the title of the post. Am I right to be paranoid? Is there something I’m missing here? Has anyone put together a DIY recipe that’s identical to the official formula? The point of a forum is discussion, is it not?
Most DIY recipes try to mimic Rob’s original as closely as possible. Some are different on purpose to cater to specific needs. Quite a few recipes have been copied and changed by their new owners. Most changes are about getting the same nutrients (like protein powder, for example) from different brands, due to availability in different countries.
Your paranoia isn’t needed. A healthy skepticism is good, but there’s nothing wrong with most DIY recipes that doesn’t get taken apart pretty quickly in their respective threads.
Also I don’t think any of the DIY’ers have died as of yet.
I’m going on 3 months now, and I feel mostly fine. I grew an extra toe, and I have a bit of a nervous twitch now, but it’s all good.
So I should start buying new shoes then?
No, as far as I know, no one has put together a DIY recipe that’s identical to the official formula…mostly because it hasn’t been officially released (please do correct me if I’m wrong, here). Rob has released some of his “older” formulas, and then blogged about the changes and tweaks he’s made since then, and THAT, as @ruipacheco states, is what most DIY recipes are trying to closely mimic.
Anybody who’s died while trying a DIY Soylent, speak up.
I’m not paranoid about it, but don’t have the patience or resources to fool with a recipe that isn’t working for me correctly, so I’m waiting for the official version mainly out of laziness. Don’t want to spend a buttload of money on buying bits then find out that some of the bits don’t work with the other bits, and so on…
I’ll say this, in my opinion there is likely little difference in the preparation and nutritional backing of DIY soylent in comparison to Rob’s mix. The only advantages I can imagine are that Rob is using exclusively synthetic compounds (to eliminate the variability in food based products) and the time he has been working out the kinks in it. Just like Rob, most if not all the people on here are self-taught and self-experimented soylent makers.
If you’re feeling nervous it should be in the uncertainty about giving up the traditional diet to take the plunge at all not in the DIY part of it. There may even be more reasons to have faith in many of these recipes simply due to the explicit nature of their constituents which makes it more likely that the flaws will be quickly sifted out. Additionally, since most of the DIY versions are using whole food based approaches, it is also more probable that they may hit the ‘unaccounted for’ nutrients that nutritional science has yet to uncover.
Throughout all of it, you should remember, the human body can survive on really not much. People live on crap food with zero nutritional value everyday, and honestly if your diet is anything like the average American, you have almost nothing to lose.
What Brandon said. You wouldn’t shiver and shake with fear when going into a McDonald’s or a KFC (and remember, nobody knows what The Colonel uses to flavour his chicken!), or when drinking a Coke (nobody knows the formula for that, either – and it started out with coca leaves in it, the stuff from which cocaine is made). I think your degree of paranoia is eccentric and unjustified in the circumstances. Funny how people will unquestionably accept students or poor people living on Ramen noodles and go all funny over something like Soylent which is so painstakingly thought out in an effort to make it nutritionally complete. Sure, there are things we don’t know yet about human nutrition; but is that any reason to avoid learning more.?
My standard recommendation, if you are worried about what we don’t know, is this: try soylent, but use a real-foods based formula. That’s what I do. And doing that, I know that my nutrition is way ahead of the North American average.
And I’d agree with Brandon, that the DIY community here at least has the advantage of relative transparency. Nobody dreamed that Rob & Co. were going to play things so obsessively close to the chest. It was “open source” this and that, but somehow the source code never got published for the rest of us to critique and work on and with, did it! They keep on making promises, and maybe one day they’ll keep them; meanwhile they’ve dropped a lot of street cred with some of us. At least when a DIY formula gets posted here, everyone gets a shot at it and the person finds out quickly if there’s anything major amiss with it. You could say these formulae are peer-reviewed, big time. So I’d suggest you hang up the paranoia on a hook in the cloakroom, sit down and start reading; you’ll soon get a feel for what’s what here.
Actually, it’s pretty well known what goes into KFC. Food analysis shows that the chicken has been brined, and is coated with flour which has been seasoned with salt, finely ground black pepper, a very small amount of MSG, and that’s … pretty much it. The “extra crispy” wasn’t analyzed, but may consist of rice flour instead of wheat flour.
The Colonel’s actual original recipe is pretty well known if you look for it, and like all Southern pan-fried chicken (before he invented the broaster) it involved brining in salt water with a shot of tabasco sauce (very slight effect on flavor), dipping once in either egg or buttermilk, dredging in seasoned flour (“cake” flour with salt, ground black pepper, and dried/powdered garlic, onion, parsley, hot paprika, mild paprika, sage, thyme, and maybe oregano or rosemary.)
It was allowed to “rest” and dredged again in milk, then flour again (which might be fortified with corn flour (not corn starch) then fried.
The Colonel did not use very MUCH of these in any of his recipes, because they could overwhelm the flavor of the chicken, which preferably was a young bird less than a year old, and was raised using what is now called “free-range” methods, resulting in a better flavored chicken than the more commonly available old dried up laying hens that had been kept in boxes unable to get around, fed lots of corn, etc.
Unless you are getting blood tests now and adjusting your ‘regular food diet’ to keep the values in line, you are more likely to be intaking better nutrition by trying any of these soylents than you are eating a balanced diet. Do you follow the ‘food pyramid’ ? If not, then you are going off the path, and you should be scared! /sarcasm
You’re a veritable mine of food and nutrition information, Foomf! Fascinating. I haven’t indulged in KFC for many years, decades I guess. Your description tempts me to fall off the wagon, but luckily (a) I’m broke and (b) there’s no KFC anywhere close to where I live – I’ll bet the nearest one’s in Brandon 200 km distant. There’s a generic chicken takeout in Russell which I tried a couple of years ago and their chicken was so SALTY I literally could not choke it down. Experiences like that do tend to keep a person safe from the fast-food plague. Brandon’s a temptation, though, with all sorts of ethnic FF places, Mexican, Thai, you name it. If I go to Brandon now I take a couple soylents along in thermos mugs.
If you want to break your pattern to try the tempting food, just do the southern-fried yourself. It’ll taste much better.
Well, odd as it might sound, I’m no longer emotionally or mentally capable of dredging something in flour and frying it in fat, oil or grease. Just couldn’t do it. A year ago I was a nutritional illiterate, just never had gone into the topic. Now I have, and you can’t unlearn stuff that has made a deep impression on your mind. I’m not saying I don’t have food cravings – I do, but at least now they are for much healthier stuff than southern-fried chicken. You’d likely laugh to see me greedily covering the top of my open-faced peanut butter and jam sangie with dandelion and/or sow thistle blossoms, but these days that’s about my only serious food craving and I’m not worried about it.
I endured several months of very low caloric intake, including several 8 to 14-day spells of 700-800 kcal and a lot more of 1000-1200 kcal, to get from BMI 30 to BMI 20.5. It wasn’t that bad actually, but I would prefer not to rebound to 215 pounds and have to do it all over again. So my days of free intake of fried foods and late-night ice cream feasts are behind me permanently, I hope. I like my lighter body weight very much, too – it feels so good not to carry a beer-gut around. So I’ll leave the southern-fried stuff to my childhood school-friends in the deep South. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that when you try to go back in time and recreate a closed chapter of your life, it’s doomed to failure, an exercise in suffering and disappointment. Thomas Wolfe was right – you can’t go back home again. The arrow of time points only one way – forward!
Well, I’m not trying any of the DIY recipes not because I’m afraid of them but because the DIY route defeats my whole purpose of going with Soylent - convenience. I want my system of food to let go of control of my life. I don’t want it to be complicated. So I’m one of the original backers, and I’ll wait for my first order to arrive next month. I understand why people want to do this stuff themselves… You’re all as much into hacking (the body) as Rob Rhinehart is. But I just don’t have the time or patience. I’ll leave it to Soylent to take care of the details while I wait ever patiently. In the meantime, I’m using Carnation Instant Breakfast as a (very poor) substitute.
I am in this field too but I am very tempted to start a DIY keto version.
Once you get into the swing of things it’s really not a huge time commitment. I consume my DIY (keto) soylent as three meals a day, so that’s 21 little plastic baggies each full of a third of this per week. I make it every Sunday when I get up in the morning, and this week I timed myself: 53 minutes total. Or, 2 minutes, 31 seconds per meal.
To put it in perspective, that’s:
- 20% less time than it takes to microwave 2 burritos three times a
- 60% less time than it takes to microwave a pack of ramen three
times a day.
- 73% less time than it takes to make two boxes of mac and
cheese to eat all day.
Not a bad ROI for nutritionally complete food! Especially considering it would be vastly faster to produce if I just made a day’s worth at once. But I like having vanilla in the morning and chocolate at lunch.
Also you have to consider that I’m using the Nature’s Way Alive! liquid multi-vitamin because I like the green plant bits in it, and need to supplement my iron. So a large chunk of my “cooking” time is consumed measuring out ridiculously small quantities of ferrous gluconate. If you used the Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women multivitamin you’d save even more time.
You’re not the only one.
I use it as a base for my pseudo-Soylent. I mix it with Almond milk, whey protein isolate, and a whole bunch of other goodies.
TO THE CREATORS,
Would it be possible to make a Soylent Ramen Hybrid? Complete nutrition, with low cost, and convenience. Still being able to “eat” provides a psychological benefit from chewing and swallowing a hot meal. Ramen does not provide complete nutrition, so make one that is! I would buy it for an emergency food supply, or when i was too lazy to cook.