Muggle Food?


please don’t call it muggle food anymore

Monthly Food Cost

I tried to reply to this as a new thread, because I don’t want to derail this one, but my browser hung. (And hung. And hung.) So, here it is. Maybe a mod will move @halo3’s comment and my reply to its own thread later?

I’m definitely interested in suggestions about what else to call food that isn’t Soylent. “Normal food” seems to demean Soylent as abnormal, which we should avoid. “Solid food” is imprecise, since some people are making Soylent pancakes, and non-Soylent smoothies are still a thing. I guess there’s “non-Soylent food,” which is a little awkward. Anyone got anything better?

I do think this is worth discussing. Other communities also refer to people “not in the know” as “muggles”—geocaching and maybe some fandoms? Right or wrong (I lean slightly toward “wrong”), it seems to make the community in question feel smart, and it builds cohesiveness and identity. I think it’s a pretty powerful rhetorical trick, to keep using “muggle food” as a term on these forums.

So it’s worth discussing, whether or not to keep doing that.


We could use “common food” or “typical food” or “the stuff commonly referred to as food” or simply “NSF” (Not Soylent Food).


@sharkerty yes to Common and regular, no to NSF, we don’t need another Ackronym to explain to new comers. I doubt that anyone will be confused if you call it anything like common, regular but muggle, and NSF many would wonder what it means.


I vote common food.



I like “typical” better than “common,” just because I hear the latter in Joffrey Baratheon’s voice. :wink: (On a more serious note, it’s easy to misread as judgmental.)

I just remembered that the Paleo folks use “SAD” for “Standard American Diet”—which I’m not suggesting we do. But I feel like we could use “standard food,” to contrast with “Soylent food.”

Or typical. Typical’s OK, too.


I like “regular food” slightly more than “typical food”, but the issue with any of these of course is that it implies Soylent is the opposite. If we ever want Soylent to become accepted as no different from anything else (personally I don’t care about being different, I just want my desire to not have to deal with “food” to be made a reality) then it seems like terms that don’t have a readily-applicable opposite might be preferable. After all, will Soylent always be “irregular” or “atypical” food?


As a Harry Potter fan, I favor the term “Muggle”. Plus, it strikes me as having a slight jovial tone to it, which is preferable.


The only problem I really have with that is that it’s an “us vs. them” kind of thing, which I feel is probably a bad attitude to start off with, when Soylent is so vehemently opposed by some people (regardless of their reasonings being sound or not).


I have been wondering where “muggle” came from - I guess Harry Potter.

Anyway, I suggest calling it classic or classical food. This serves multiple purposes.
1 - It suggests that soylent-type food is they path toward the future.
2 - I doesn’t denigrate classic food, but it does clearly differentiate it. For instance, classical music is considered important for where music is today, but most people have moved on from it. However, it is still perfectly acceptable to listen to classic music, and classical music purists aren’t scoffed at. There should be no shame in someone prefering classic food over soylent.
3 - Over time, it will make classic food feel slightly tired, but enjoyable for nostalgic reasons - similar to the feeling of classic rock. Maybe a group of people would get together and someone would suggest - “How about some classic food tonight?”


I’m just wondering why it matters what I call non-Soylent food?

I personally like Muggle Food, in Harry Potter not everyone thought muggles were bad. most of the population was comprised of muggles. It’s not a negative term.
I’m just a little confused why we should stop using it.


I would say that in the Harry Potter universe, Muggle is not a positive thing. Nobody wants to be a Muggle. Muggle is a “lower class” in that world, and the Wizarding families certainly do look down upon the non-wizards.

I don’t care for the muggle term at all, and not just because I’m not a follower of the Harry Potter universe (I read the first 2 books but that was it). I just think it creates a divide and implies that those that don’t consume Soylent are inferior. I think it’s a bad foot to start out on.

I kinda like the “classic food” notion. I’m not crazy about it, but I see where you’re going with it. If we really want to be geeks about it we could call “non soylent food” Food 1.0, and Soylent is Food 2.0. F1 and F2 perhaps? Maybe that’s getting way too geeky, I dunno.

I think it does matter what we call it, because we do in fact need a way to differentiate. There are lots of discussions on these forums about “regular food” vs. Soylent in terms of experiences, comparisons, etc. It’s very natural to want to have a simple label to assign to each so as to conveniently speak about them. But I think it’s important that whatever the label be, that it is about the food and not the consumer.

This is at the core of why I don’t like “muggle food”. It’s talking about the person who consumes it, not about what is being consumed. If there is “muggle food” then there has to be “non muggle food” right? Which means we’re talking about “muggles” vs. “non muggles”, and now we have a classist divide forming. I really think Soylent doesn’t need that and it’s a bad precedent to set.


What about this: since the production version of Soylent is 1.0, what if we called normal food “beta” food? As in, there are many variations of it in an effort to provide us humans with what we need to function, but for the most part is inefficient, but with the release of “1.0” Soylent we have finally perfected it.


Hah… the developer in me rather likes the sound of that, but my concern is that for the “non Soylent crowd” they’ll see that as an insult, because they think that “real food” is far superior, healthier, more politically correct, etc. etc. That’s why I liked the 1.0 vs. 2.0 route. It suggests that this is merely the next big release version of food. 1.0 was excellent and got us to where we are today, which is releasing food 2.0.

Clearly just my $0.02 worth! :wink:


THANK YOU! I swear I was going to start this exact same thread today. Here’s why:

We’re not wizards.

Not only does the metaphor not hold up, but using that phrase is elitist and unbearably obnoxious. Of course, another reason I hate it is that we’re not all superfans of that children’s fantasy series, and hearing a pop culture term from it is grating on the ears, but I did see (and mildly enjoyed) the movies, and know enough about “muggle” to know that it’s intended as a slur.

It was created as an allegory for the kinds of hateful terms that are commonly excused by their users as “jovial” (to quote another participant in this thread). It’s supposed to sound cute but actually be horrific. That’s the point of it, and it doesn’t apply here. Surely the Harry Potter superfans would be the first to dismiss its use in this context.

I mean, can’t we just call it was it is: food?


what if we called normal food “beta” food? […] with the release of “1.0” Soylent we have finally perfected it.

Oh Jesus, that’s even worse.

they’ll see that as an insult, […] That’s why I liked the 1.0 vs. 2.0 route. It suggests that this is merely the next big release version of food.

And that’s not an insult?


The tricky thing with that is that we basically need to differentiate it for two primary reasons as I see it:

  1. For purposes of our own discussions. Since it’s so new, there is tons to be discussed about comparing/contrasting our individual experiences of “regular food” vs. Soylent foods.
  2. For discussions with the rest of the world that isn’t yet aware of/involved with Soylent, we need a way to differentiate Soylent from basically everything else.

Labels like this are helpful in conversation, and that’s mostly where they are needed. Technically yes, it’s all just food… so call it that. I agree… but the fact is that we need conversational aides like labels, so I think it’s valuable to decide for ourselves what those labels are going to be, rather than let those who perhaps don’t share our passions or sensibilities decide them for us.

But in case it’s not clear, I definitely don’t like “muggle” one bit, for the same reasons you cited.


Fair enough, sometimes you need to differentiate. Call it “normal,” “regular,” or whatever when the context requires it.

I will take issue with one of your points:

we need a way to differentiate Soylent from basically everything else.

We already have a term for that: Soylent. Yes, it’s also food, but Soylent is the special kind of food that needs a label, not the other way around.

My point is we all know what food is, we don’t need a special term for it. I mean, we’re not Scientologists, either.


But that’s just the problem. If we use “normal” than that means Soylent by definition is “not normal”. “regular” vs. “not regular”. But what if I eat 90% Soylent? Then for me that is “regular”. I think those labels are problematic as well.

I would love for us to not need any such labels, but the fact is that we do, at least for now. Especially as Soylent gets more into the public consciousness.

And you’re right, we do have a term for Soylent food, and it is just that - Soylent. The label I suppose is more to identify when we are referring to something that is not Soylent, without having to get into the specifics of what the particular food was. I for one, don’t want to have to say “When I went out and had pancakes and waffles with a side order of toast” when none of that is germane to the discussion. I want to just say “When I had some non-Soylent food” except that such phrasing is a bit clumsy. I think we’re just hoping for something a bit more elegant I think, is all.


Ok here are a few alternatives

Womble food
Fat fodder
Status Quolent
Pseudo Nutrients
Ye olde meals
Gluttony Blubber
Stick in the mudcakes
Luddite Food
Smurf burgers

I think Muggle Food is the best, as it puts @rob in his rightful place as master potion maker.