Rob’s original need for soylent, was that he was living off Ramen and not getting good nutrition. So he tried to come up with a better way. He also noticed the large amount of effort associated with food. You have to go collect it. Then store it, sometimes in a refrigerator or freezer. Next it has to be prepared to be cooked. Then cooked. And finally you get to eat it. Preparing, cooking, and eating can also produce large amounts of dishes that then have to be cleaned. If all you needed was a big tub of powder, some water, and a shaker bottle, there is big savings of effort in obtaining food. In places where food is scarce, so is electricity, and other conveyances of the industrialized world.
I have known many friends that have lived off Ramen for a time as Rob did. Many because it is very cheap and just needs water. I have had to live off Food Stamps here in the US, which only paid $200 a month, but has little control over what people buy. You can not buy a hot prepared roasted chicken with food stamps, but you can buy all the HoHo’s you want. There is also a lot of time and money spent determining who is entitled to food stamps, how much they are allotted, and the distribution and collection of the food stamps themselves. I wounder if a slightly less robust formula, then most posted here, that was given out free upon request, would not be a cheaper system.
The current formula I am trying to create will cost $212 a month. If I take out the Alpha GPC, for choline, that drops the price $16 a mounth. There still is 30mg of choline in it, just not the 550mg. If I then dropped the CLA (Linoleic Acid – Omega 6) $7, Noopept $1, Creatine $3, and reduced the Potassium by $3 a month, that is a $30 saving. The MCT oil could be replaced with olive oil for more savings. There is also supplements for Lutien and Ginkgo Biloba that could be dropped for a $10 savings. I believe there are ways to reduce the costs of soylent, and keep the base nutrition. Many of the formulas here are after the best, for a reasonable price, not the most cost effective and just what you need to survive.
I am trying to feed a household of 3 for under $600 a month, without food stamps, and it just can not be done and keep everyone satisfied. Monthly we have to have a minimum of 4 trips to collect food, Wal-mart (groceries), Sam’s Club (Warehouse/bulk), the farmer’s market, and another grocery store for what we can not get at the other three. We have a full size upright freezer and refrigerator for storage, and a powerful microwave and gas stove for cooking. There is also the food saver, vacuum sealer, for breaking up bulk items into meal sizes and freezing. Further, all this effort dose not meet our needs, frequently each of us is at school or work, without access to our storage, making buying a meal practical, but at high expense. A non-refrigerated bottle of soylent, would reduce this cost. I do not intend to stop cooking, but if I can replace one or two meals a day with most of what we need, leaving the third meal being mainly protein and carbohydrates, I believe we will start wanting less in that third meal and our overall food cost will go down. On the nutrition side, the multivitamin we all need, as wells as other supplements that are in soylent, are an additional expense above the food cost, and often get cut because we just can not afford them.