Soylent Paste: Thoughts?


#1

In a podcast linked in another thread, Rob mentioned creating a Soylent paste. I wondered what others’ thoughts on this possibility might be. My view is that it would be fantastic for backpacking as a nutritious, calorie-dense food source that lacks the shortcomings of 2.0 (weight and bulk) and 1.x (taste when warm, at least in my view). The only drawback that I can foresee is that I rely on adding flavoring to all varieties of Soylent, and I just don’t see how this could work with a paste.

What are others’ thoughts?


#2

I can’t imagine the texture/consistency of paste as being palatable. They should stick to a solid form factor next.


#3

I’d like the convenience of 2.0 with the price of 1.5.
I also tend to eat my 1.5 thick.

Though paste isn’t always the easiest thing to eat. If i need a bottle of water or something to wash it down with, then it loses a lot of it’s convenience.


#4

I’m not sure Rob was saying that you would eat the paste directly. My feeling was that it was just a way to ship something without 100% of the water. Maybe the 2.0 bottles with the paste inside. You would add the water, shake and drink. That might get away from the clumping issues you would have with doing the same thing with the powder.


#5

I’ve got to agree with @Telos, a paste doesn’t seem like it could be appetizing. Regarding improving shipping I’m curious about volumes sold per population center and fulfillment options other than shipping from two or three warehouses around the country. Once volumes are sufficient for an area could we get bimodal distribution in the area with the option to have it shipped on to our location or run by a local distribution site and pick it up? It seems that could be a substantial cost savings once volumes are high enough in a given area, but I don’t know how close we are to that level of consumption.


#6

Paste…? Makes me think of the candy paste I had as a child. It came in a toothpaste-style tube. I actually loved it and kind of miss it but can’t find it anywhere these days. But Soylent in paste form? Why? What advantage would it have over either powder or pre-mixed liquid? I don’t think it would solve the clumping issue some people have, honestly. And if you want to use it in cooking or something, why not just add water to the presumably cheaper powdered form?


#7

I am also unsure of whether he meant that it should be eaten directly. On the assumption that this was part of the vision, I associated the paste with those little tube things for toddlers. I’ve seen a lot more of those kind of products, and I assumed that he was referring to a Soylent-based version of something like that. If so, it would be perfect for backpacking as long as it came pre-flavored.

Nothing that they have made has yet come pre-flavored in the ordinary sense of the term, and I’ve liked the freedom it gives us to tailor the product to our own tastes. But with either a paste or a solid bar, that wouldn’t be an option, so having a range of flavor options would be critical.

On the other hand, if @JeffLeBert is right and it was floated as an idea to lower the costs of shipping then we’re having a new conversation. That would allow for the flavoring to be added afterwards again, and it would lower shipping costs, hence, over time, price. For these reasons, it would also be excellent for backpacking although it would still have a major bulk issue.

Please note that my thinking here is strictly centered around the advantages a paste would provide for backpacking. Soylent is potentially the perfect product for backpacking. In other situations, I don’t see much reason for the paste.


#8

I just want to point out that Soylent’s potential as a backpacking staple, coupled with the huge numbers that industry has ben putting up lately, coupled with the fact that neither the powder nor the liquid allows Soylent to really work as serious solution to this point, means that the opportunity for RL here is huge. Pre-made backpacking food is expensive and often unhealthy. Soylent, properly integrated into the backpacking world i.e., light weight, calorie dense, and nutritiou) could be a massive game changer in the outdoor community.


#9

I’m pretty sure he mentioned the paste form as a Ready to Use Therapeutic Food which costs $1 a day, which is a food made specifically for people going hungry. It sounded like an idea for an RL charity arm, not a product for most people. I think (and hope) the solid version won’t be a paste.


#10

Amen to that. I would love to see Soylent in a paste-form option. I’ve used 1.5 for backpacking once already. It was OK, but fell short of my hopes. Next time around, I’ll be bringing, say, 50/50 Soylent & “regular fare”. I found it was kind of a pain to mix out in the field and some powder was inevitably lost to the wind or lack of a funnel, etc. (I could carry more stuff to aid, but that’s not what UL backpacking is about) And clumping was an issue, as well as it being warm and also not being able to clean my vessel well enough without packing a scrub brush and/or soap. And then there’s soak time. (I vastly prefer it to soak overnight)

Paste solves all that. Absolutely ideal.


#11

Something like Plumpy’nut then? That makes waaaay more sense to me. It would need a calorie boost, though; can’t be normal Soylent.

As for backpacking…wouldn’t a bar be preferable to a paste? Less weight, less mess, less waste(because a paste would inevitably leave stuff behind in the tube/container), and presumably more compact(bars would stack more tightly together than jars or tubes)


#13

There are lots of good backpacking bars out there already. I’m not sure what a Soylent bar could bring to the table in that crowded field. If RL made one, I’d naturally give it a shot, but Soylent would have a hard time standing out in that market. No one else is doing the paste, though, as far as I know. I wish the powder tasted better warm and, as @smeggot pointed out, was easier to manage (i.e., cleaning and so forth). For now, I bring 3 bottles of 2.0 out with me for a two-night trip, supplemented with bars and other things. Three bottles is all the extra weight and bulk (and pack-out) I will deal with. The powder was too much like taking medicine in terms of having to force it down whenever I tried using it backpacking. I liked the nutritional benefits it provided in the backcountry, though; that part was noticeable.


#14

The only nutrition bar that I know of which is meant as full-nutrition meal replacements are MealSquares, and they are expensive and (reportedly) bad-tasting. I think Soylent could definitely do it better than MealSquares.

(Note: if you are talking about all bars in general, then there are a lot of different protein and meal-replacement shakes already out there, but we can see how different Soylent is to those.)


#15

I hope Soylent does come out with a great nutrition bar. I’m fine with sugary ones when I’m backpacking, as long as they have a good nutritional profile, as in 25% of RDAs of lots of different vitamins and minerals. Many brands do. The thing with bars in general is that they don’t satisfy like a meal. And when carrying 30+ pound packs up steep rocky trails, you burn calories like crazy and develop serious hunger. I think paste would do better with hunger, but if Soylent bars do the trick better than what’s out there, I’ll be fine with that, too. Ultimately, it would be nice to have both.


#16

I assume that most users of current Soylent and any future solid-Soylent bars would not be using the products for backpacking. They most likely are not tailoring the product for that purpose.


#17

How about RL prodcues something the texture/form factor of ketchup instead of paste. Just add water.


#18

Plus, it would be great for dipping french fries into.


#19

dipping fries into non savoury soylent? i doubt it would be great :smile: Ketchup like will be cheaper to ship or carry backpacking than the regular one,plus more palatable than paste like.


#20

As long as it comes in both glass and squeezable formats.


#21

I intend to use Soylent powder for backpacking at some time. I have experimented with mixing random amounts of Soylent into a glass partly filled with room temp water and it tasted fine. Maybe I could use one of those collapsible glasses. I wouldn’t be worried about not having enough calories with me, as many people run a calory deficit while backpacking, and make up for it later.