Outsider Opinions


#1

Hey there!

So obviously we are all very excited about this product and have a mini community here full of like-minded folks. But then you leave the forum to go do daily activities and talk to your family, friends, co-workers. Because I am so excited about Soylent, I want to share my excitement with my friends and family, just like anyone else would when they are happy about something, right? Then, their reactions surface and I’m left hitting a brick wall of doubt, skepticism, and just closed mindedness. Most of them immediately think this is another fad, quick weight loss scheme product that is unhealthy. I throw back several valid arguments that have been discussed on the forums as well as by Rob and the crew, yet they all hold their stubborn thoughts. I suppose I’m the same way since I’m standing my ground about Soylent, though :wink:

I’m sure many if not the majority of you have received similar responses. I just felt like sharing my frustration and seeing if others would like to join in and vent.


#2

Indeed… but trust me, once people see us living on Soylent and notice the change in our health… they will begin to understand


#3

Get used to it, it will be a long time before it’s considered mainstream to go on a Soylent diet. There is hope though in the age of internet blogging that the stories will get out there about the benefits and will lend credibility to the idea. I have no illusions of people accepting it as normal, I just need to do what works for me without concern of what they think. like @Tordenskjold says, once they see the benefits, then they are more likely to listen.


#4

Other than my wife, I’m just not telling anyone about it. Why bother? I mean, if a co-worker asks what I’m doing with a thermos at lunch, I’ll happily explain it to them, but I have no desire to be an evangelist for Soylent or a soldier for the future food revolution. O, that way madness lies.

I don’t plan to hide it from friends/family, but I don’t need to cheerlead or educate, either. If I just treat it as normal, it’s normal.

I would say “problem solved,” but from where I’m sitting, there’s no problem.


#5

This has not been a problem for me. Every time someone starts in about “diet”, “unhealthy”,ect., I just say to them "no, you aren’t understanding the words that I am telling you."
Then I tell them the reasons Soylent was made, why it’s sold so much, and also answer some part of their feedback with stuff I’ve learned on the forums.

Almost everyone I’ve talked to about Soylent wind up asking if they can try some when I get it to see what it tastes like.


#6

I’ve just said “I’m going on one of those shake diets” and all my friends go “cool, good luck”.

Maybe you are over explaining.


#7

I’ve had the same experience as the OP, and have basically said “well, we’ll see once I get it how I feel, and go from there.” It’s hard to argue with experiment. Since no one in the discussion has any hard, first-hand evidence, I think it’s best to wait until I have something to back up what I’m saying.


#8

I haven’t told anyone that I’m buying Soylet, but I have mentioned the idea of it and received generally negative comments.

There is a mult-million dollar industry devoted to pedaling food/diet information and it’s become part of the culture for everyone to have an opinion on what to eat, what’s safe, what’s smart… I prefer to stay out of it so I probably wont even mention it unless someone asks.


#9

I did lunch w/co-workers yesterday. I like to talk & ended up barely eating 1/2 my meal before it was time to get back to work. Soylent would actually fix that problem for me!! As far as feedback on the product, I haven’t gotten 1 positive response & I’ve told 25 people about it. Not necessarily negative, but nobody sees the purpose or value in it.


#10

Yeah, I made myself a “soylent evangelist” which has thus far only resulted in shame every time there’s a delay, especially these past couple weeks with the endless “you haven’t received it yet?” I have about a month and a half promised to others that want to try it but not commit to a week, but I’m nervous about potential resupply issues. I mean, I’ve ordered 4 months worth and haven’t heard a thing about it except for the cryptic blog posts of “we’re working on shipping, really guys, we are. We promise. For reals though.”

So I’ve kinda dropped talking about it altogether until I get mine.


#11

I’ve told 5 people about “my Soylent” and how antsy/eager/impatient/hopeful I am to try it out.

Four of those people are excited for me - happy that I’ve found something that might improve my nutrition and hopefully my health/weight/energy, etc. (btw, one of these four people is a foodie/food blogger, passionate about using natural/organic/local food. She’s the one I expected a negative reaction from)

Two of those four people have expressed a desire to try some when I start using it. (I don’t know if I’ll want to share, though!)

The fifth person wasn’t the least bit interested - had no opinion at all.

BTW - only one of these people reacted to the name “Soylent.” She giggled, which is what I did when I first discovered it. :smile:


#12

Thanks for creating this thread, @Corrine! I was thinking of making a similar one, but kept putting it off. :smile:

I work with a number of really opinionated people. They give one another unsolicited health advice all the time and talk behind each other’s backs, on top of that. (This one keeps trying to get me to go to her acupuncturist/herbalist/Reiki-thing. So I guess at least they aren’t all old-fashioned?) I worry that they are going to be super unpleasant to deal with, when they realize I’m drinking Soylent. I dread the conversations. Although I bought myself adorable insulated owl tumblers to use in my office, I worry that I’m going to need an opaque Thermos to take to all-day meetings, so I can put off the conversation for as long as possible.

But I’ve told some other people.

I was able to sell my husband on it; he’s trying it with me. I told Twitter I was trying it, and I got a couple of strong positives (including a friend who decided to buy some and another who wanted to try some of mine — um, maybe after my first reorder comes in :wink:) and a couple of mild, polite negatives—but I’ve cultivated my Twitter network pretty carefully, so perhaps it’s unsurprising that folks were nice about it.

My mom’s interested, which I did not expect. I expect my in-laws will be grossed out by the idea, but if my mom surprised me, maybe they will, too.

I’m working on my “don’t care what people think” attitude, but that doesn’t come naturally for me. Soylent might end up helping with that. :smile:


#13

I’ve been telling friends, family, and co-workers about it since @Rob first talked about it on his blog. Unfortunately, due to the significant, repeated delays, I’ve ended up looking like a bit of a fool for doing so.

Even so, my parents are both eager to try it (my dad would love to have a quick, easy, nutritious breakfast option), my roommates will at least taste it, and reactions from coworkers have ranged from chomping at the bit to get some to “why would you want to stop eating food?” After explaining that it doesn’t have to completely replace food, my boss (who made that comment) said he’d be willing to try some. I initially ordered a month worth and added on another month once I realized how many people I could potentially share it with. I’ve even got friends of friends wanting to try it just because they’ve seen my Facebook posts.

My brother owns a small motorcycle shop and is usually too busy to even stop for lunch. He hasn’t really said anything one way or the other about Soylent, but I think I can get him hooked on it too if it passes the taste test.

I’m a database admin for a large tech company, so my friends and coworkers are pretty much the target market for this stuff, but even people not in a tech field (like my parents and brother) can definitely benefit from it. :slight_smile:

As far as negative reactions go, I haven’t had all that many, but my default response has been something to the effect of “it’s better than a hot pocket, or a fast-food burger, and includes the things I’m otherwise missing in my diet”. A lot of the “fear” seems to subside once I explain that I’m not planning on living off it, just replacing the “crap” meals with it.

As others have said a few times on this forum, “nobody cared when I was eating pizzas and burgers and deep-fried chicken”*.

*For the record, in my case, some people have cared. They’re the ones most happy that I’m going to be replacing most of those meals with Soylent.


#14

@Corrine @frickshun @web_kunoichi Why are you over complicating it?

Ask them if they have heard of Slim-Fast, or Ensure. Then tell them its a healthier & cheaper version of that.

Thats it…

Or just say its a …
Meal replacement shake (drink)
or a
Total nutrition shake (drink)

Am I missing something? Unless you want to explain, who/ where/ what/ when/ why/ how.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
-Confucius


#15

My elderly mother-in-law (who could REALLY use the convenient nutrition) had never heard of it at all, and tried some recently. She absolutely loved it (official Soylent, not DIY) and asked if it was chocolate.

Personally I wouldn’t dare go down that route at all, since the notion of substantially living on those would be extremely unhealthy, and living on Soylent is the exact opposite.

In my observations, objections to Soylent fall under one of a few basic umbrellas:

  1. It’s a liquid diet, those are bad, human beings require solid food, we have to chew, etc.
  2. It’s not natural, it’s synthetic chemicals, you don’t know what’s in that stuff, etc.
  3. It’s going to destroy society & culture, it’s the end of food, etc.
  4. We don’t know enough about nutrition to possibly create something that is safe, therefore it’s not, etc.
  5. Humans have been eating “real food” for thousands of years, don’t mess with what works, etc.
  6. It has the look & consistency of semen, is absolutely disgusting tasteless slurry, nobody sane would touch that stuff, etc.

Given some wiggle room for slight variations, that seems to cover everything that I’ve seen. Of course they’re all utterly illogical ridiculous arguments IMO, but… they are what they are. I try not to ever say anything that feeds into any of these points of view. It’s like not feeding the trolls.

Outside of this forum, Twitter, YouTube, etc. I’m telling anyone that I actually care about, and unintentionally some people I don’t. The worst reaction I’ve personally gotten (discounting idiotic internet negativity) was a very overweight friend who likes food WAYYYYY too much who basically said “WTF?? Seriously?? Wow good luck with that”. My fairly-hard-core-foodie, anti-gluten, pro-meat friend is actually super into it and really excited that I found it and itching to try some, but he’s also an engineer and has a stress-filled Silicon Valley life, so doesn’t have the biases against an engineering “solution” to a perfectly real “problem”.

Frankly I suggest getting some, and living on it mostly/exclusively for a couple weeks and THEN telling people about it. Harder to argue how awful/gross/dangerous/etc. it is when you’re feeling better than ever, and have been on it for weeks.


#16

I usually start with “it’s a nutritionally complete drink that I consume for 90% of my meals” and see where it goes. Once I switched to this wording I found two things happened. First, people understood that I wasn’t replacing food completely and stopped asking how I could do that. Second, anyone that was actually interested immediately asked what I meant by nutritionally complete or a similar type question like how I knew.

I actually really enjoy the conversations now as they are much more positive and result in people actually thinking about the nutrition and overall health.


#17

That’s a pretty good way to handle it too. I like it!


#18

I don’t want to get used to it. I want people to see the benefits of something like Soylent. I know why people are responding negatively, but one of my biggest pet peeves is closed mindedness. I don’t mind if they disagree with me, but I hate when people just automatically dismiss an idea because of some preconceived notion they have. And for them to judge ignorantly is just crazy to me. And why bother? To actually educate people on something they could benefit from. I think educating others is very important and standing behind something I believe in is also very important. Not saying everyone needs to be this way, it’s just how I think of it.

Lol I barely even get to explain to a few of the people before they just shut me down. And if I said I was going on a shake diet, they would react even worse because they think those are bad. It’s pretty much the same dilemma.

Haha I always want to say “I’ll show you!” I agree though, it will be easier once I actually have first-hand experience with it. Though, a lot of the feedback includes being worried about long-term affects.

Yes, this also gets a lot of jabs! Most of the people have heard of Soylent green and joke about it and then go on to say how bad of an idea it is for me to try it. My boyfriend just keeps saying “soylent green” and “it’s people” any time I mention it. He might actually try it, though, so that’s cool. But he’s supposed to be supportive, right? :wink:

You’re welcome and thank you! Everyone is talking about all the sciency aspects and about shipping and delays and diy, but no one is talking about the social aspect of it currently, so I thought it was important to voice that part of the Soylent experience.

Ha—my mom IMMEDIATELY shut me down. That’s pretty normal for her though. She also claims she buys non-GMO products and food as well as spend only $300/month on groceries for her and my dad. I called bull pretty quickly.

I don’t care enough about what people think to let it stop me from trying it, but it just makes me sad that I don’t have support from them and that I can’t just have a nice conversation or debate about it.

I also tried saying it’s not to replace all food if you don’t want, but rather replace the poor meals. Yup… still didn’t work.

No, I won’t be using that argument because that’s precisely what they think it is already. I have also mentioned “meal replacement” and again, automatically terrified of Soylent. I’m not trying to make it complicated, I’m actually trying to simplify it for people at first, but they want to make it complicated haha

Yep, I have gotten all of those responses…… except the semen one lol! And I understand the hesitation about it. People are silly.

My paleo/gluten-free friend completely disagrees with me and finds the idea of Soylent as well as Rob’s opinions on food frightening, but I get the best conversations from her about it. At least there’s an actual conversation there!

Wow, that was a lot of replies! :open_mouth:


#19

And the award for most quoted replies in a single thread goes to…

=D

Also just to show that that last objection isn’t just me making it up…


http://metro.co.uk/2014/05/13/semen-like-juice-that-can-replace-need-for-solid-food-flying-off-virtual-shelves-at-70-a-pack-on-ebay-4726460/ (obviously referencing the previous article)

And that post isn’t alone, it gets referenced that way a lot. sigh


#20

“Actual semen remains free as a DIY meal.” :smiley: that’s hilarious. What a silly thing to compare it to and also quite thought-provoking as if comparing the very basis of life to this nutrient full drink which will also “give life” to those suffering from a poor diet. :stuck_out_tongue: But I will stick to avoiding such comparisons so I don’t further cause my argument for Soylent to fail.