I think having a thread for some of the possible uses for Soylent to solve issues might be, at very least, a fun exercise, and might even help Soylent expand beyond its little black and white world of either basic consumers like us, or the ambiguous and, as I’ve seen, somehow moderately controversial, world hunger issue.
Schools are always complaining and rearranging their menus. They want something ‘healthy’ but they have cost concerns, unfortunately solved by fast food companies paying for their food, and storage issues which make fresh meals almost impossible for anything more than a cookie or an apple. Soylent stores well, is a baseline for healthy, and will hopefully be cheap enough for schools to afford when it is produced in larger quantities. The poor kids would have the same chance at good nutrition, and therefor a good education, as the kids who can afford balanced meals from home. Extra bonus, for those schools that are geared towards ‘troubled’ students, they won’t have to worry about potentially deadly plastic sporks. I am not kidding there. There are some places with issues like that.
Scientific trails try to aim to reduce variables as much as possible. If you are doing a study on a new inhaler, you weed out the smokers and such. Food and nutrition studies have always been so hard though, because it is hard to precisely log, different types of food change things, and people just on the whole differently. Slap them all with a bottle of Soylent to sip throughout the day and thousands of variables are gone, allowing you to see exactly how whatever you are testing affects the appetites, weight, or whatever of whoever you are testing.
Once again, you need uniformity, nutrition, cost, and a lack of utensils. Soylent would likely be leaps and bounds of most of the stuff they serve now. Since it would be non-allergenic, you wouldn’t have unfortunate incidents where inmates can get food that they react to without knowing and possibly dying like Michael Saffioti. It does raise an ethical issue similar to the current nutriloaf debate though.
This shouldn’t be surprising, as Soylent has been compared to medical liquid diets many times, but Soylent could serve some medical uses. It could make for a cheaper and healthier way for people with mouths sealed for some reason another to have their ‘food in a straw,’ rather than either buying medical food of making food purees. It likely has more uses, but I have to admit that my circle of medical knowledge is more or less from just watching House MD and I don’t want to come up with any crazy tv show scenarios.
Courtesy of @andymcclure’s cousin. Military is often in need of compact and stable food for transport to other countries. While more likely in non-desert environments and with dictatorial militaries, it would be a uniform food that can be transported easily and consumed with a minimum of fuel used for cooking. As stated by a few posters below, this is really unethical considering the rigors of war and only a real jerk would do it, although he could if he wanted (and could buy it).
Natural Disaster or Other Emergencies
Can’t believe this didn’t make the first list, but might be the very first way Soylent is used on this list. In the event of natural disasters, communities are often left with little to no way to get food and need to call in outside resources. They often have no gas or electricity to cook, and they also cannot store produce, especially meats, for any length of time. As long as there is a safe (or workable) source of water available, then the concentrated form of Soylent can send the most nutrition possible per truckload until more resources are available. Admittedly, this is kinda cruel, since you don’t want to be sipping nutrient paste after losing everything you’ve known, but it is as an alternative to mass starvation.
Any other ideas for possible Soylent uses? Obviously many of these will need a future where Soylent is at least begrudgingly accepted, but they make good goals and ideas.