First of all I would like to say that this “Soylent” movement definitely stems from a noble cause. And I do hope it works out for everyone involved and trying it out for themselves, but I would also like to point out some concerns I have that are probably keeping me from using Soylent on a long-term basis.
One of the biggest things that I would like to point out is that a liquid-based food is not going to be processed the same as real food. Real food has a thermic effect, meaning that your body raises it’s metabolism to be able to break down the food, thus your body burns more calories in the long run. A food that has already been liquefied eliminates a lot of the digestion process, which who knows what kind of effect that can have on your metabolism for the long-term.
Another aspect of soylent that isn’t very attractive to me is the level of “chemistry” involved, so to speak, and the amount of processing that required to extract the nutrients from their original sources to create the powder form of it. When extracting these nutrients, they usually require extremely high heat, which unfortunately denatures the product. To help paint a picture of why I think denaturing is bad, let’s look at where one would “naturally” get protein from. Most likely from an animal source, in this case let’s say steak. So the steak is of course going to have the protein, and in addition it will also include a healthy amount of fat, saturated fat, and fat soluble vitamins that enables the body to properly use the macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients that you are ingesting. And who knows, maybe there are some other nutrients that we haven’t even discovered yet! By not eating the whole steak, you are missing out on a lot of naturally occurring properties of the steak that help you utilize the nutrition better.
I think the bottom line is that if you place too much faith in the science of Soylent, it is possible that you may in fact be doing your body a disservice. Humans have thrived from being able to consume a variety of food. Our bodies were created from the naturally occurring profiles of these foods, and the foods are going to have properties that compliment each other in regards to our body’s ability to process them. These are the very processes that evolved us to what we are today.