I've been wondering about this argument

I’ve been thinking about the argument of “We don’t know what we need in food, so you can’t just put together the bare essentials” or some such along those lines. I’ve seen people argue this, but then I’ve seen people argue “It doesn’t even follow the RDA guidelines completely!” I feel like this is completely oxy-moronical (for lack of choosing a better word). If we don’t know what’s in food, then why would we follow the RDA guidelines?

I mean, I guess people have to use both arguments for it to really be an oxymoron, but the fact that both are mentioned is enough for me.

Anyway, I just wanted to get this off my chest. Feel free to comment or point out that it’s really not that bad or something something.

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it’s really not that bad or something something, because the two aren’t in necessary contradiction. The argument that we don’t know everything about food doesn’t necessitate that we know nothing about food.

I would posit we know things about food in descending order of their clear impact on human health. First we found out about calories, then protein, and so on all the way down to like 400 micrograms of this or that being optimal. If there are things we don’t know we will discover them, label them a nutrient, and figure out what amount is optimal. At this moment Soylent is the healthiest diet available because it consistently provides the right amount of a huge list of known important nutrients, which no other diet does.


I asked a question about PQQ a while back, a possible nutrient measured in the nanograms. Well I was starting to feel like a smart cookie… but then WSF uploaded a discussion from one of their recent conferences concerning something called “quantum biology”. Maybe its just that its so new, but half of it just sounds like pseudoscience to me. I mean really, quantum biology? I can’t even fathom how you would study something like that.

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The concept that Soylent is just a subset of the complete spectrum of micronutrients that a human needs just baffles me… Do any of these Whole Foods pundits realize how little variety there is in the diets of many people?


"If you start eating soylent you’ll miss out on so many precious things!"
This was my literal menu before soylent:

  1. Natures Own Whole Wheat
  2. Jif PB
  3. Equate chocolate shake (breakfast)
    Now at least for two meals a day I know I’m getting some easy nutrition.
    In fact before I had horrible shoulder pain from an car crash and my whole body just hurt from the slightest touch.
    (Leading to my eating of only soft foods)
    After eating 1.4 for months and now 2.0 the pain has almost left my shoulder, and my muscles have almost untensed.
    I also went from eating 500-900 calories a day to a proper 1200-1500.
    So unlike Whole food, Soylent is at least something repetitive that is healthy.

I have three separate response to the argument that “you may be missing out on something you don’t know we need.”

  1. I’ve looked at lots of diets, including mine, and when I’m not doing soylent, I’m missing out on things we know we need. That’s also bad for us, right?
  2. When I’m not doing soylent, I’m also getting too much of things I don’t need (like excess calories.) That’s also bad for us, right?
  3. Other foods also contain a lot of things that are toxic to us, and soylent makes it easy to avoid them. Why run the risk of eating a whole lot of toxic and carcinogenic things?

The last one can make people think.

Everything has a mix of good and bad. What bad stuff is in your food that hasn’t yet been discovered? Or even that has been discovered?

A cheeseburger, for example, contains multiple carcinogens.

Or even think about potato - the tuber of a nightshade plant. And a tomato - the fruit of another nightshade plant. You may also have heard of “the deadly nightshade,” because nightshades are toxic. The leaves of potato or tomato are toxic and can make you sick. In fact, if potatoes are exposed to light and develop green shoulders, don’t eat them - they can make you sick.

Plants do not have a goal of being nutritious for us! They do best when not eaten, and have evolved chemical defenses against being eaten. We’ve learned to pick and choose the parts that don’t kill us, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of unhealthy things out there “in the mix.”

And which is more likely to give me food poisoning? Fresh chicken or fish? Spinach? Or a dried, powdered, processed food? I’ve had food poisoning (leftover restaurant chicken ramen), it’s no fun!

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away…” as long as you don’t eat the seeds, which contain a cyanide compound. Natural is not harmless.


That’s not a contradiction at all. We don’t know everything but at least we know for a fact that this much is important. There could be other important things we lack knowledge of.

Nonsense. Cheeseburgers contain nothing but greasy melty godliness.


:+1: Trailer Park Boys is hilarious.