Soylent and the water crisis


What can Rosa Labs tell us about the demands Soylent puts on our fresh water resources? A recent New York Times article entitled “Our Water Guzzling Food Factory” highlights the staggering amount of water removed from circulation through the production of one pound of beef. I suspect Soylent compares favorably, but does it? How favorably? Or does it in fact use even more water to produce something as highly processed as Soylent? What are the other ecologic costs of Soylent’s constituent parts?

Long-time Soylent user with serious concerns.


No idea but I’m wondering the same. You could try tagging one of the mods and asking them to inquire with the company.

I’m also curious how they acquire certain minerals, and how those minerals get into the supply chain.


It looks like the upper range was about 2030 L per day of Soylent back in October of last year.

Not accounting for this we still ended up at 2030L per day of Soylent, which is about 50% of the virtual water footprint of the standard american diet (SAD), 4000L. Not bad. I bet we could lower it though.


I remember reading this and wondering why he didn’t have shoes on lol. Looks like there’s an Excel document on that page covering the water usage.

EDIT: That comments section is brutal. Reader beware.


Just eat the powder on its own.



I read all the threads. I’m constantly lurking. We have been working on a water break down. What we have thus far is loosely based I’ll try and get some more specific numbers with regards to 1.5.


Also, if it’s not too much trouble, I am pretty interested in where all the minerals come from. Not urgent. Thanks!


Oh my god I was explaining this stuff to a friend just the other day and he asked me that. “So… could I just straight eat it?”

I was like “um… w… you could try…”


Just straight up eating it isn’t that bad. It mixes with the saliva and becomes Soylent in your mouth. It sticks to the teeth a little, but definitely less than caramel.

Still, I wouldn’t recommend it, since you need to drink water anyway to live. :wink:


Time for a new video contest. The Soylent Challenge (like the cinnamon challenge).


This is actually a fantastic idea.


Soylent, or any vegan diet, is going to compare very favorably to beef, and beef products like milk and cheese. It’s more of a question to me how Soylent compares to other vegan diets (and, when it contains rice, if the rice is grown in a water-efficient location or manner).


I can’t tell if this was sarcastic

Anyways, completely unrelated:

  1. I don’t think he was being sarcastic.

  2. A Soylent challenge would be much less dangerous than a cinnamon challenge.


Sounds unsafe to me. I would be careful about endorsing such activities.


Have yet to even look into it. But appreciate the heads up. We have a running list of reasonable to wacky community challenge ideas.


When I’m just a little hungry before bed sometimes I just take a heaping spoonful. You have to take it slow and careful so it doesn’t go back up your sinuses, but it’s fine. I chase it with a whole lot of water, obviously.


Please don’t. The public already thinks we’re all crazy idiots.


I’m assuming that this is asking about how much water it takes to put all the ingredients together i.e. the water used in the production of Soylent, not the growing of individual ingredients. (I could be wrong). It takes a lot of water to grow rice, but the rice is grown on the other side of the world, and not in drought zone/desert region where Soylent is combined to make the final product.

Are these two different issues?


Yes and no. I’m really looking for a water-centric comparison between Soylent and other was of achieving equivalent nutrition.

Of course, I’m also interested into the fuel costs you alluded to. What is the carbon-centric cost of Soylent?