Soylent should advertise itself to the military/welfare program


#1

I am in the U.S Airforce, and am of course, a Soylent user. I think Soylent has great potential for military use, possibly even complete adoption of the product into its infrastructure.

Soylent is essentially the perfect MRE, ontop of that, it is far cheaper and far far healthier than an MRE.

At the moment the military spends around 400$ a month per person on food. You could obtain the same amount of food and even better…no optimum nutrition for around 200$ using Soylent. Soylent objectively has a clear advantage over just about anything the military has today in this category.

Another interesting side effect of having the military completely adopt Soylent into its infrastructure. Would be the fact that Soylent as a result would become even cheaper due to the vast amounts of funding it would be getting from the military.

This leads me to another idea, making Soylent apart of the government welfare system. Essentially replacing food stamps with Soylent. As a kid, i have lived on welfare and food stamps, and even with the plenty amount money provided. My parents, and im sure many others seem to still use the money ineffectively. Shown in the obesity of children, vast majority of which are children born in impoverished communities.

Not only would Soylent be a far cheaper and healthier replacement, but the additional funding would again decrease the price of Soylent. Adding additional push towards Rob Rhineharts goal of ending world hunger.


#2

I think Soylent will prevent malnourishment for billions of people if it doesn’t experience any serious hiccups while it expands. Plus now that the idea is out there and there’s hundreds of copycats, we know this isn’t all hedging on this companies success (though I hope they are the victor).

But another thing to consider is that there are countries out there that don’t actually want their people to be well-fed. The government is perfectly able to build infrastructure and buy reasonably cheap food, they just choose not too. I think this problem will prove to go beyond engineering.


#3

Meal, Ready to Drink


#4

If I recall, military requires 5 years shelf life, with abuses (they have long list of abuses).

Soylent is currently rated at 2 years. They need to find a way to expand it to 5 years before they can sell to military. It might be good for “to be used” (not stored for possible use).


#5

IIR Rob mentioned somewhere that the military had shown interest, but I don’t know where that went.


#6

[quote=“Rolf, post:4, topic:24032, full:true”]
If I recall, military requires 5 years shelf life, with abuses (they have long list of abuses).

Soylent is currently rated at 2 years. They need to find a way to expand it to 5 years before they can sell to military. It might be good for “to be used” (not stored for possible use).
[/quote]Military also requires more then 2k calories and weight is a larger factor. That said, i wouldn’t be surprised if they developed their own version.

And soylent isn’t cheap enough for welfare. Though given the nutrition problems people on welfare have it probably would save. But politicians aren’t good at spending money to save money.


#7

I know at least the space program has an average ROI of 1000%. DARPA also has some impressive returns.

But the budget is sinking so fair point…


#8

I can confirm that there are no current dealings with the DoD to purchase or test Soylent. Also, I have never read that there is more than 2000cal required for daily nutrition. Specific to the original post, the $400 per person you speak of is allocated for individuals to purchase their own food each month as well it is not provided to those who are afforded meals daily by the government. These costs are taken into account in the deployment setting as all personnel are provided meals.

I would like to point out that I am interested in seeing something better provided opposed to MREs. However, if you were to replace them with Soylent, how many people would by into it? I have personally tried to get fellow Soldiers to try it and most turn up their nose at the thought of it. Those who do try are not entertained by the idea of it replacing an MRE. I think it’s a great thought, but we are many years away from such a venture.


#9

From the goarmy website.

Each MRE provides an average of 1,250 calories (13 percent protein, 36 percent fat, and 51 percent carbohydrates) and one-third of the Military Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamins and minerals. A full day’s worth of meals would consist of three MREs.

= 3750 calories.


#10

The standard may be different for the other branches, but Soldiers are not expected to consume more than two MREs a day. As per Army Regulation 40-25, which happens to also cover Navy and AF, service members should not consume MREs as their sole source of food for more than 21 days. Caloric consumption is based on a 2000 cal/day diet.


#11

[quote=“Mary, post:10, topic:24032”]The standard may be different for the other branches[/quote]Well that’s probably true. Not all jobs have the same demand.

There’s probably also downtime and combat calories. 3750 MRE’s are probably intended for more intense situations where you need more energy, and then eat 2000 calories of cafeteria food under normal situations.


#12

You’re right, the regulation goes into different intakes for various conditions, including high physical activity.


#13

What’s your rank


#14

If Soylent could be manufactured significantly cheaper than the alternatives, you might be able to PAY people to try it.
Granted there is plenty of momentum towards the status quo… but throw in a few bucks…?

edit: Looks like the SNAP (food stamp) allotment for a singe person is presently $194/mo. So $216 is still higher but getting close. Perhaps if the government paid for the shipping/distribution…


#15

Rank is immaterial, but if you really want to know it’s in my profile pic. I asked @Connor directly who was able to confirm easily. I aslo asked some who were involed in various research projects at my current location (Fort Sam Houston) who were interested in the subject but hadn’t heard of it specifically. You are free to ask whoever you want about it as I have. I was personally interested in the possibilities and asked for myself.


#16

[quote=“sylass94, post:7, topic:24032, full:true”]
I know at least the space program has an average ROI of 1000%. DARPA also has some impressive returns.[/quote]The budget has been cut repeatedly because the ROI is longer then an election cycle. No politician can run on raising taxes for research that won’t be seen in 10 years and someone else will take credit for. Most of the funding of NASA came from the cold war. Politicians are good at selling fear. Sometimes that fear is even a real threat, but rarely will they invest in something that doesn’t show results in 1-2 years.

Computers, for instance, came from WW2. No possible way to get that much money and talent would be invested in some obscure math machine without the threat of nazi codes. The idea of computers was around for 100 years before we actually felt enough fear to build one.


#17

MRD - Meals Ready to Drink says @nutrisludge I like it. Probably no sale, though, because of weight.

Bars or crackers? Absolutely worth testing.

Also: Gotta boost shelf life though as @Rolf says. Fortunately, food preservation is pretty close to settled science.


#18

I can see food fatigue being an issue with the current soylent - especially when the best part of your day might be eating those cheese crackers or apple pie or whatever part of the MRE is your favorite.


#19

Further testing and enhancement can help here.
Single serve pouches for a single meal in powder form - just add water.
The enhancement that is needed is that the powder will need to be mix completely pretty much instantly without clumping or being grainy.
You can’t carry a box of 2.0 bottles in your sack, as that is way too much weight and bulk to carry. That is what your canteen is for, just like for MRE’s you pour water to activate the warmer. So you already have the water with you. But in powder form, it is possible. 1.5 right now cannot mix well enough and the taste is unacceptable - but truly better than cabbage and links in tube form.
Someone want to think up a name for Soylent for the Military? MPM (Mobile Powder Meal) ???


#20

Who says the taste of 1.5 is unacceptible? Sounds like an opinion. It is very acceptible to me.