I’m looking at making a muggle-food variation on Soylent - hot soup that can be swapped out in equal portions to Soylent. So far, Vegetable Beef seems to be the easiest candidate for a recipe.
I haven’t adjusted the ratios yet to any significant degree, and I’m looking for ideas for ingredients and possibly different recipe ideas altogether. I’m aiming for no additives (for simplicity) and swappable ingredients.
Once the ingredients are in place, I can start looking around for different variations, and variations on variations - hopefully leading to a complete recipe book.
I have an inkling that if we put our brains together, we should be able to find complete nutrition recipes that are compatible with Soylent, and are very cheap. Not sure if we can get under the $1/day threshold, but that’s certainly the target.
Mushrooms look like a good source of Vitamin D and protein, I’ll need to find something with molybdenum, biotin, iodine, and chloride. Beef is in there mostly for the B12. I may cave and find some supplement - but it will be ideal to have regular ingredients and no extras. 100g of lean beef has enough B12 to cover the RDA.
The broth should reduce the amount of beef by a bit, supply the sodium and chloride and additional micros. Oh, and of course one of the goals is for it taste amazing.
edit: Looks like there can be varying amounts of B12 in mushrooms as well. I’m a card carrying member of People Eating Tasty Animals , but I’m really interested in vegetable sources of food from an economics standpoint. I plan on building an aquaponics system, with a closed loop ecosystem - fish or krill of some sort fertilizing the plants, etc - adding in mushrooms would be easy, and setting up an ultraviolet system to promote b12 would be technically simple. By coming up with these recipes, if I can make them vegan, then the sustainability becomes much greater. If I have to depend on cattle, I can’t practically raise them myself, so it introduces interdependencies that I want to avoid. I’m also looking at which species of fish might be best, and thinking that Rainbow Trout might be awesome.
The ultimate goal being a mini-farm that produces everything I need to eat within the least possible space. With a solid recipe, I have a definitive target for optimizing the harvest, fertilization, size, and other technical aspects of the farm.
Mushrooms are a relatively complete protein, but not a good protein source.
The amount of mushrooms you’d need to consume to reach you daily requirements would be enormous. To hit even 50 grams of protein you would need to consume several pounds a day, which is completely unsustainable for a small aquaculture project.
Other than that, I find the whole idea rather fascinating and exciting. Is there a consumer-convenient way to setup such a system? Any “plug and play” setups where you just supply the fish and the plants and the rest “will just like as itself?”
I made a braked soylent today with curry and ginger and it’s pretty good. That plus this got me thinking about soylent Indian food. I’d love a good Soylent Chicken Korma! I think it would be pretty easy to hide all the rest of the nutrition in a korma sauce.
(ObJoke: “Soylent Shahi Korma – it’s made from Royals!”).
This might be a slight tangent to head off on, but when I first heard about soylent, my first question I asked myself was “why?”. Food works doesn’t it? As I read @rob’s blog and thought about it, the main reason I decided to go DIY (and hopefully one day the real McCoy, once it’s international) is to do with the whole efficiency and scalability of food production, and the amount of waste that takes place in sustaining our decadent western lifestyle. Even before I heard about soylent this issue was on my mind after seeing a documentary called “dive!”, which attempted to show an odd subculture of urban professionals who live exclusively from food thrown into dumpsters by supermarkets. There were scenes where people would pull up to a caged lot in their SUV, jump the fence, and haul off slabs of steak and vegetables that had been thrown out. Anyway I digress. The point is we live in a world where food is wasted, and yet people starve. As our population grows, unless we do something radical about reducing the cost, and increasing the scalability of healthy food for all humanity, we do face a dystopian future not unlike that depicted in the movie Soylent Green. Ironically in a sheer stroke of genius, rob’s choice of a name for the product is poetic. His soylent may well help us avoid the bleak outlook of a starving population in our future.
This made me start to think about what it takes, in terms of sheer land mass to sustain one person using tried and true agricultural methods, vs modern farming methods for the same typical “meat and 3 veg” feeding, vs efficient farming for a soylent like product.
I came across this site:
It is surprising how much land is needed, if you plan to go off grid, and not need to buy in food.
I never did find out how much farm land would be needed. It’s complicated because there are fish and other products.
Again another tangent, but by definition, if a “diet philosophy” can’t be adopted by the vast majority of the population, it is elitist. That’s one of the reasons I object to veganism on principle - and unless soylent is more efficient than conventional food, it too is elitist. I am not saying I think it is - rather I suspect once the population rises above a certain point, it will be conventional food eaters snobbery and or wealth that sets them apart, and not their relative health.
My logic in taking up DIY & ultimately the real product is I will be one more data point in 20 years, giving evidence it is not only possible, but beneficial to do so.
So getting back to your hydroponics proposal, what I would like to see is some serious research into making a soylent farm, as efficiently as possible to feed for example 10 people sustainably, and put that up against the same thing for conventional muggle feeding. It might be hydroponic, it might not. It might include an algal protein tank, or a fish tank. It might require solar panels for processing / grinding grain. And ideally it needs to be scaleable.
Way down the track it might be that scientists figure out how to genetically engineer a “soylent tree”. Or group of plants that you simply dry out, grind up and mix with water.
I’m focusing on just one individuals worth of food to start with, and then I’ll look at bulk efficiencies and how things scale up. The mushrooms would be for vitamin b12, after post-processing with UV light to stimulate b12 production.
The interesting thing to me is that it boils down to an engineering problem: given a certain amount of sunlight, water, chemicals in the soil, different organisms, plants, fish, etc, how do you optimize it to output just the things people need. Pescatarian is ok as long as it’s a closed loop. The input would be fertilizer and sunlight.
The recipe is coming along - I’m going to download one of those automatic linear solvers and get that running, then add some more ingredients. I’ll try different fish species to see if sufficient b12 can be had from that source.
So there are some considerations with raw nutrition data and vegetable / meat food sources. Bioavailability can vary against the raw amounts of nutrients, so while the recipe will show overages for things like Vitamin A, the sources (carotene for example) won’t metabolize beyond what your body needs. This means many things will show red in the recipe, but the recipe will aim for all nutrients at a bioavailable level between the RDA and UL. This might be an improvement - an Advanced Recipe Mode - over the current entry method.
I’m currently hand-entering the nutrition data for the chosen ingredients rather than using the usda defaults because of lack of specificity. I’m also checking out the viability of growing some of these things in an aquaponics situation. Rice is a pain in the butt. Soybeans are great - this will definitely be a long process.
For those who are curious (me), here’s a sample aquaponics system that’s commercially available for home use. In terms of removing yourself from the food-grid, it’s a decent price for eliminating all external requirements (minus water, electricity, and fish food).
I’m pretty sure that with the right balance of plants and some vitamins, you can maintain your soylent indefinitely in a relatively small aquaponics system.
Alright, jrowe, I’ll bite. Time for me to get cracking on this problem…
B12 is the hardest nutrient to get out of an aquaponics system. You need red meat of some sort unless you supplement separately, which kinda defeats the purpose. I’m trying to find specifics on UV treating mushrooms to maximize b12, which would be ideal. While not directly integrated into the aquaponic cycle, it should be easy to utilize waste from the fish and plants to create a very fertile bed for the mushrooms.