Soylent from the 1940's... why is there no commercial product?


I was talking to my dad a couple weeks ago when I first read about Soylent. I was confused about why it hasn’t been made into a business already. It’s something I’ve thought about and wanted for a long time, and there are clearly lots of others too.

He then told me that it’s probably just too high of a material cost to really be marketable. He mentioned a rule of thumb: “the product cost must be 7x the material cost”. Does this rule apply here? I assume the price floor for Soylent material cost will be $1.00 per day, and $7/day is definitely getting spendy for the most boring way to eat.

And here’s an article he linked me proving that this concept has been done for a very long time without businesses growing out of it.


Technology. 1944 was a long long time ago, my friend.


Yes. But that technology didn’t just come out this year.

Why was this not attempted in 1990 or 2000?

I think the answer is that it was and is being attempted but that the materials are expensive and the market is not especially favorable. That’s not to say that the right group of people couldn’t pull it off.

I’m trying to talk about the barriers to pulling this off, though. I think they are:

-high material cost
-initial “repulsion” response
-lack of understanding and paranoia stemming from this

However, I think these can be overcome. And if we could just get LeBron James to start drinking this, I think the whole nation would soon follow.


Have thought a lot about this as well and here are my uncertain conclusions.

Well I would think the initial chance being sued from people overdosing on micro- nutrients, and how individual the dosing probably is for optimal use. (without a optimal mix people will get deficiencies or overdoses, rather then be hungry or become fat.)

What bothers me more is that NASA isn’t doing this, with the extreme price of sending people and food into orbit and the highly technical tasks that would need peek mental ability this should be perfect.

Also there might be the commercial aspect, If Mc Donalds made this they would make all their other food obsolete.

And a last thing, I have heard about this as a diet (in a way), there was or is a fad among brides to get their food through a feeding tube for a few weeks to fit into a smaller dress. The mixture would probably be something similar to this just deficient in fat and or carbs.


Was thinking about this too. If Soylent takes off, will companies provide blenders along with mocrowaves? What about open spaces?


Soylent isn’t about being social. It’s about being efficient for times when efficiency is important.

The pleasure from eating is very important for astronauts and NASA is very concerned with the psychological state of the astronauts. Also the monetary cost of feeding astronauts is probably insignificant compared to other costs.

The micronutrients overdosing is a worry but you could err on the side of safety and not worry about potential deficiencies. After all, the competition is fast food, right? I think the initial product only has to be better than other expedient diets.


*most probably won’t be 4x day on it. It will be for a couple meals for speed/convenience sake. This is STILL a huge benefit. And enough if thats all it does. Breakfast in the morning? lunch at the desk? after work? just think about the time and $ savings!