Nausea and vomiting several times after eating food bars

Alright, so there’s been 21 reports of vomiting since I created this thread about a month ago (7th of September). Of those, 32% are accounts that can be shown to be established users. See the spreadsheet I put together here.

I’m not seeing evidence that these non-established accounts are sockpuppets. The narrative voice and character differs between the posts but the general symptoms match those described by the established users. I suspect that many of these users are registering because they were researching their symptoms online. I do want to point out that a google search for vomit food bar has this thread at the top, so it wouldn’t be hard for non-forum users to find (and then register).

Whatever the status of the accounts, 60% of people reporting issues say that they consumed a certain number of bars successfully (at least 2) without any kind of reaction, and then later had strong vomiting. That fact on its own is one of the more significant findings, and should be considered before writing off reactions as allergies to specific ingredients in the bars.

So far, I think @rlpowell has summarized the problem most succinctly:

[I]t’s not the bars by themselves, it’s not an allergy (because I had a bunch and I was fine); it’s some combination of the bars and particular people under particular circumstances.

He also suggests a vitamin overdose possibility:

I think what people are experiencing is a situational overdose of some vitamin that’s causing the effects in people who are sensitive to it.


Wonderful work!

I did post my batch numbers up there, I didn’t see them in the spreadsheet:

"For the record here my bars are:

ON BOX ITSELF: B1-00CAR Best By 1976 14JUL17 0716

ON BAR WRAPPERS: 10:02 B.B. 14JUL17 F3 1976"

I had 5 bars I think with the last (fifth) one only partially eaten before my tummy said nope.

Awesome work there! Kudos, and thanks for the continuing effort! :slight_smile:

I’m actually starting to think that it is an allergy, it’s just that it’s a new allergy being induced by eating the bars.


Yeah, because you can easily detail a complaint about being sick multiple times and having to visit the ER in as much detail as needed above in 140 characters or less. What are you expecting, “Sick after a food bar LOL #sad #sick #ER #foodbarnausea”? Clearly the issue isn’t that rare baring in mind 10+ people on discourse alone - not the most frequently posted in of sites - have reported the problem. And even if it is rare, clearly something still needs to be done because the issues being reported are worthy of an extensive and in-depth FDA investigation. It may not even be Soylent, it’s likely the copackers, but an investigation is still needed because if people are getting this sick there’s clearly something very wrong somewhere.


Someone reported similar symptoms as reported here on the subreddit the other day. I linked to this thread so they could check batch numbers. It isn’t particularly surprising there are new accounts being made to report the problem as a result of that - it could just be more people who experienced the same finding out about discourse.

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More than anything else, this fact suggests it is an issue with Soylent’s transport methods, not that the problem is made up. Amazon ones will always be sent in Amazon vans during transit, which may have different conditions. If this is indeed a temperature problem causing the melting of adhesive, it could be certain of the couriers Rosa Labs use has inadequate heat protection. Even if it’s not temperature related, no issues on Amazon suggest it is a courier problem, not a made up problem.

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I posted in response to someone else, but in case you don’t see it, a few days ago someone on the subreddit reported nausea and sickness after eating a bar. I linked to this discourse thread in the comments. That would explain any new accounts reporting the problem in the last 2 days, as many on the subreddit may be unaware of discourse. For reference:

Wow, thanks for the thread and the work. Yes, I’m a new user, but that does not mean that I or others did not have an issue from eating the bars as some (not you) on this thread are insinuating. Thanks for recognizing that.

I’ve been subscribing to 2.0 since March and am very satisfied with the product.

@SoySister, @mcsquared88, @jhum, @gilahacker, @Martha_Starr

How many food bars had you (or your husband, in Martha’s case) eaten before having an issue?

I couldn’t help but lol. Here is a picture of “Amazon vans”:

And here is a picture of RL vans:


I think it was my fifth one that made me sick, around two and a half weeks after initially receiving the bars.

Ah, different system to the UK it seems. Regardless, there are enough people reporting issues that it is exceptionally unlikely they are fake. If they were all coming from one user making different accounts to create panic, their IP would get banned. I highly doubt anyone cares enough to use VPNs just to make some people question whether or not to get soylent bars.

How about just one tweet reading “I had one of those Soylent Food Bars yesterday. Threw up for hours!” Do you think a few reports like that would impress consumers? I think they would. Yet zero reports like that have been posted (breaking news-- one posted about Food Bars details below). Yet here is a bad one that was posted:

@NoahWarder: tried a #coffiest today… tasted like the worst chocolate milk ever. #soylent #HappyCoffeeDay unimpressed @soylent

But I finally saw a bad report on Food Bars today. It said that they are poison. No details.

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Wow… What a strange (and unsettling) mystery… I just finished sifting through this entire thread. So far I’ve only eaten one and it was fine. I just ordered a box with my next 2.0 sub so fingers crossed…

@Conor, could you explain what these various markings represent?

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11 for me. First shipment, no issue. The 2nd box I couldn’t tolerate at all.

The number of people here who’ve said they didn’t attribute the bars to the sickness due to positive (or at least neutral) experiences with them prior to the illness is probably a large contributing factor.

The fact someone said they are poison but gave no details, assuming it is referencing this problem, is exactly why twitter is not an ideal place for these reports, and why such people would probably be going to google to find if any information exists (and finding this thread at the top of the results).

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I ate my way through an entire box with no issues. My second shipment was two boxes and the very first bar I ate from that shipment made me terribly sick. I’m not taking a chance on any of the others from that shipment and not buying more until/unless Rosa Labs determines the exact cause of the issue and fixes it.


There may also be a behavioral phenomenon at play making this problem even harder to diagnose.

When I was in my late teens, I remember finding a new brand of flat breads at a local market. I loved pitas and flat breads, so I got some. When I opened the bag, I discovered the breads were oily; I could smell and feel the oil. (Most flat breads and pitas are dry.) I thought, “this is perfect for heating them up in a skillet.”

Which I did.

They were delicious; I loved them.

A few hours later, I felt nausea… and then was violently ill. I was sick for the next week.

It turns out that I caught the flu that was going 'round. I have no doubt that I caught the flu, like several of my friends. I have no suspicion that it had anything to do with those flat breads. But…

I couldn’t eat any more of that bread. I couldn’t even smell it without feeling a little sick. A couple years later, an oily bread would still make me a little queasy.

Turns out, there’s something called “sauce bearnaise syndrome,” “the Garcia effect,” or “conditioned taste aversion.”

Our bodies have a protective mechanism: if we eat something new, and then get really sick (even hours later), the body remembers that feeling… and when we’re exposed to that thing again, the body makes you feel sick. This serves to keep us from eating things that may have made us sick - even when we’re hungry, we’re unlikely to eat those things. It doesn’t usually happen with something we eat all the time - but with something we haven’t had before, it can happen with just one bout of sickness. Great survival mechanism; kept us from eating the bad mushrooms, I’m sure.

But, like my friend who got really hammered on Japanese sake the first time he had it, it can also mean developing a lifetime aversion to sake. This isn’t something that’s rational or that you think about… it’s a sub-conscious reaction to the thing you had before you got sick.

Now, what does this say about the Soylent Bar situation? Well, the Soylent Bar is, in fact, a novel food for most people. If they’ve only had it a few times, and then they got really ill for some other reason, it’s possible to develop a strong reaction to the bars and feel ill again.

But it’s also possible that there’s something going on with the bars that’s causing people to get ill.

Either way, the existence of the Garcia effect is going to make it harder to sort out the truth.