Pictures of Factory


#1

Are there any pictures of the plant (inside) where Soylent is manufactured and packaged?

Maybe a video tour of how it is made?

It is open source, so I doubt any trade secrets will get out.


#2

A little bit here: Soylent 2.0: Now Shipping.


#3

Thanks! I was thinking 1.5, but that is cool!


#4

I don’t recall seeing any video or even pictures of where 1.5 is made (maybe @Conor could arrange some behind the scenes stuff for us?), but there is a Shipwire video that shows Soylent 1.2 at the fulfillment center:


#6

I am assuming because it is?

They refer to themselves as open source and disclose their complete ingredient list with quantities for each product release.

Or, are you asking how food in general could be open source?


#7

Except for Soylent 2.0.


#8

http://imgur.com/V35tUoq


#9

I believe it has been promised to be released soon, correct?


#10

Yes. However, I doubt that it will. I hope that I’m wrong.


#11

Why are you doubtful? Have they ever not released the ingredient list for a version in the past?


#12

[quote=“RanAlotInCollege, post:11, topic:24526”]
Why are you doubtful? Have they ever not released the ingredient list for a version in the past?[/quote]

In the past, I’ve called them out for mislabelling the nutritional information on Soylent.


I just have a feeling that they’re going to play it a little closer to the vest in the future.


#13

Because he’s here to spread doubt.


#14

My Soylent - right or wrong.


#15

To be fair, what product doesn’t display an ingredient list? Seeing the precise quantities is interesting, but you already get way more information from the nutrition facts anyway.


#16

If one were attempting to recreate Soylent or attempt to derive from it, the ingredient amounts would be most imperative. Also, most food products from other companies hide behind things like “natural and artificial flavorings” or similar things on their ingredient lists so you don’t even get a complete list of items.

A complete list of items and their quantities (v1.5, second tab) vs. a standard nutrition label is like reading a comic book normally vs having all of the captions and dialog removed. Sure, you can figure out what is going on by looking at just the pictures (or just the ingredients with some obfuscated), but you really don’t get the deeper meaning unless you can see the dialog and captions (or exact ingredients and quantities).

The original question was about what makes a product open source. There may be others, but Soylent is the first that I have ever run across that is completely open source, in that you could completely recreate it on your own if you truly wanted to. Obviously we are still waiting on 2.0, but I am speaking about 1.5 and all previous versions.


#17

I see open/closed source as more of a sliding scale. They tell you enough to know if you want to substitute basic components of the recipe, but they don’t comprehensively walk you through the supply chain or product assembly, nor do they give you chemical reports in the same level of detail as software code would. We’re seeing maybe 25% of the total information about the product, it’s just that most of the nit-picky details aren’t even noticed as missing because most people aren’t very interested in modern manufacturing. Most “build it yourself” videos online provide more detail than Soylent 1.5 or 2.0. They tell you where their materials (ingredients) are from, how much they cost, why they chemically (mechanically, strategically etc) make sense. At least a lot of the DIY channels I follow do.

Not to dis the company or anything. Calling it “full blown” open source would not be accurate. I think it would be nice to provide more detail by specific request, especially for a product that you’re ingesting anywhere from half to 80% of the time.


#18

And I think we should always welcome reasonable doubt on the forum. The company has a history of slow responses, or “I’ll tell you when the company knows” type responses, which are minimally helpful.

I would enjoy a much more robust FAQ with lots of graphs and resources. We’ve seen a few of Rosa Labs’ “health” and “commercial” stances, but not many and not in very much detail. The product site is not very interactive… just a little constructive criticism.


#19

True, the information given is still at a fairly high level. It would be better if it were more granular. However, people could theoretically figure out the sourcing, supply chain, etc. info for themselves. For instance, telling someone that there are 16.54 mg of zinc sulfate in each serving could lead someone to find a company that would supply them with zinc sulfate. They would have to vet the company and make sure the product was of high enough quality, then purchase in sufficient quantities to mix in whatever sized batches they were wanting to construct.

Repeating this process for every ingredient would become laborious for most people, so when doing DIY Soylent, most do things like throw in a multivitamin and call it good, thereby pushing the sourcing/supply chain/etc. work to the multivitamin company and focus most of their effort on macronutrients instead.

Anyway, I am grateful that Soylent has been so open and provided much more information than other food companies. Your point is well taken, though @sylass94 that even more information and transparency would be even better. However, sometimes the great (perfect) can be the enemy of the good. In other words, I certainly wouldn’t want them devoting too much time/effort/resources in lieu of product improvements at this early stage of the company.


#20

There is of course a big DIY site exploding with information. I don’t know why anyone would want to duplicate Soylent anyway. Isn’t Rosa Labs already doing that? More interesting is to blaze new trails.


#22

I’ll check on the status, last I check there were issues disclosing parts of the factory due to ‘Trade Secrets’. Ultimately if our creative team feel they can’t make a complete video without those sections they won’t make one.