"Our Story" page of new website


“Our founders named the product Soylent, in homage to the novel Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison. It’s a dystopian sci-fi novel that explores population growth and world resources.” (https://soylent.com/pages/about-the-company)

I thought the name “Soylent” was just a blend of “soy” and “lentils”, some of the main ingredients in the first iterations, and that Soylent Green references were just the most commonly found joke found in Facebook comment threads. Is that not the case?


It is my understanding that the portmanteau “soylent” was from the novel and refers to food made from soy and lentils (steaks, for example). The film Soylent Green (1973) was based on the novel, but deviated from it to introduce the infamous “Soylent Green is people!” phrase that has become so ubiquitous, it has obscured its origins. Or something.


The name references the book, which introduced that portmanteau of “soy” and “lentils”. In fact, the first iterations of the product contained neither of those ingredients (no iteration has ever included lentils).

– John