"Soylent Isn't About to 'Disrupt' World Hunger"



Sorry, the fact that Soylent uses less water, less energy and generates less waste means it is working to ‘disrupt’ world hunger (lose the buzzwords, lady). Every little bit helps.

Antihunger organizations use these products regularly in the case of micronutrient deficiency, disaster, or acute malnourishment—but they don’t believe replacing food with powder and shakes is a good idea.

Well then antihunger organizations are wrong.

Switching to a diet of Soylent in lieu of food (when that food is available) will only drop prices for these farmers and provide less incentive for necessary infrastructure development.

No it wouldn’t.

To lower the incidence of malnutrition, countries need higher incomes, better infrastructure, and higher food production—not Soylent for all.

One of these is much easier to manage in a matter of years. One takes decades. This isn’t a one-or-the-other situation. That’s a very childish way to look at global dev.


I think the same. The only way soylents can be used to treat hunger is if the organizations producing and distributing them are buying local ingredients, because farming is still a very significant portion of the economy especially for poorer places.

soylents might reduce food loss, but ultimately something like The Hunger Project is better suited to solving starvation and food insecurity as they’re focused on improving farming. There may be a role for soylent beyond the use of Plumpynut for malnutrition, it could be a much healthier alternative to the current staple in a given area, but it’s not going to revolutionize the approach to ending world hunger.


This article is correct. As it says, Plumpy’Nut is only used in emergencies: to treat cases of severe acute malnutrition where a child is at risk of dying or falling seriously ill. It is not designed to eat every day all year long. Conversely, Soylent is not designed to treat severe acute malnutrition in children.

What about non-emergency cases? Right now, Soylent is mostly made from crops like rice, oats, and soy. So, it offers no economic or environmental advantage over simply growing and eating crops directly.


Soylent can’t solve world hunger for political reasons: no sane country would leave the matters of feeding itself to the hands of some Foreign Corporation. Do you have any idea how much power said corporation could wield against countries if that did happen?

The idea behind Soylent though, probably can. Entrepreneurs in every country would setup food-replacement-producing facilities and partner with other local entrepreneurs to provide needed materials (sources of proteins, fats, carbs, etc).


I would just note that, fifteen years ago, flat panels were not going to ‘disrupt’ the TV market, because they were so much more expensive than tube TVs and projectors.

That is all.


Just another blogger failing to come up with any valid criticisms.

He argues that we need absolutely need a varied diet in order to be healthy, without giving any reason why we need a varied diet beyond the typical non-answer of “better nutrition”.

He compares Soylent to Plumpynut, saying that people shouldn’t eat Plumpynut as their entire diet, without realizing that these two products are a world apart in nutritional value by design.

Then he goes on to claim that we should fix hunger by just giving everyone enough of an income so that they can buy food themselves; gee, why didn’t Rob just think of employing every starving person on the planet?


Unless you think Soylent is about to disrupt world hunger, you have to admit that the author is correct. I don’t see how Soylent has any meaningful role to play in solving world hunger today or in 10 years. Hunger in poor countries is caused by a variety of factors including low agricultural yields, bad governments, and lack of infrastructure. Those very same things would prevent Soylent from being produced and distributed. It is not a fundamental technological problem, it is a complex coordination problem.


Soylent can be a useful supplement wherever there is a food deficit. There are many, many refugee camps and other “gatherings” of displaced people that are each the size of large towns to middling cities, and that collectively warehouse many millions of human beings. Using Soylent to help feed just these people would be much easier than most alternatives, very effective bioth for those being fed as well as the aid organizations that currently struggle to feed them, and would make a difference in the countries where these camps are located. It’s not hard to imagine Soylent catching on from there, and where people can’t access enough food–which is the case in more places than we want to think–there is no reason why Soylent can’t help.

Agricultural and other economic reforms, and above all political changes to enable the building of stable and well-functioning societies take a long, long time to take root. Efforts have been ongoing in some places for several decades, with people starving or suffering from malnutrition all through those decades. Soylent can help until things come together, whenever that may be.


I agree with your opinion, that Soylent cannot totally help to overcome the world hunger. There are many parts of the world wherein natural disasters happen more often, where lots of properties and lives are destroyed, where most of the people have to struggle to get the food. Thus, one can see it here and help the people suffering badly due to hunger.