Soylent Subterfuge: When a Bad Joke Turns into a Business (Here we go again)


My position on either dogfood OR soylent would be as follows: if people are obviously making an effort to contend that “x” particular ingredient is “not known to be harmful” to the species that’s ingesting it, well, what’s that all about? Ingredients of rations designed to provide complete balanced nutrition are not in there because they are not known to be harmful! So certain questions should be asked (and answered) concerning something like beet pulp when it turns up in a formulated ration. (1) Is this ingredient known to be a foodstuff which the species in question would naturally and normally eat, i.e. part of the diet under which the species evolved? (2) If not, then why is it included in the ration? (3) If the answer to (2) is “because it’s cheap, easy and available,” then has that ingredient been subjected to close and scrupulous examination and testing? and (4) Has it been proven to be nutritious and healthful for this species? Now, if the answer to (4) is not strongly affirmative, then whoever formulated the ration stands at risk of being presumed to be acting primarily for profit-motive, to the disregard and probably the detriment of good nutrition.

The fact that there are massive numbers of products out there that come off looking pretty shady by the above standards, does not excuse anyone. Just recently we’ve had an epidemic of nasty rail disasters, killing distressing numbers of people with each event. I don’t know whether the owners and operators of those rail companies will ever be formally charged with reckless endangerment of the public. Probably not, because making a goddamned buck is such a sacred goal in western society that it easily excuses even murder. But I’ll unhesitatingly say that the food companies that formulate and sell products that are likely to do harm to the consumer seem to be to be, even more than the rail operators, guilty of reckless endangerment.

Tl;dr - I don’t care a hang who thinks saponins have not been proven harmful to dogs. Can you show me a scientific study that says Drano is harmful to dogs? If you cannot – and let’s have it right now, we’re in a hurry – then am I justified in selling dogfood with a large dose of sodium hydroxide in it? Where is the evidence that dogs have any nutritional need of sodium hydroxide? And where is the evidence that they need saponins, or beet pulp? And if there is no such evidence, then why in blazes do so many kibble formulations include it?


Actually there has been studies that state beet pulp is in fact beneficial to dogs. Everything from helping with their digestion, to promoting healthy probiotics. Drano?


Citations, please? Also: who financed the studies?


Here is one I found real quick. With a citation of their own at the bottom of the page.


This reminds me of the GMO argument. Demonizing something with no facts to back it up.


Oh Jeffrey. Of course you lived in the Yukon. You’re such a rugged manly mountain dude. :smiley:


In the Swiss, French and Spanish rail disasters, the operators were either government agencies or state-owned companies, so I would hesitate to ascribe those disasters to the profit motive. Even so, the driver in the Spanish crash has already been charged with 79 counts of homicide. The train in the Canadian derailment was operated by a private company, and they are already on their way to being sued out of existence.


I do not agree; nothing is being “demonised.” What I have said – with a certain amount of justice, I think – is that the criteria for including specific ingredients in complete balanced-nutrition ration formulae should be primarily – far above and beyond any other considerations – whether those ingredients are logical and, for preference, natural components of diet for the species in question. That is the ideal; granted that it is sometimes difficult to attain for various reasons on a mass-market consumer goods scale. Nevertheless, “cheap, easy and available” is not a bulletproof justification for including an ingredient into a purportedly nutritious formulation. Surely you’re bright enough to get that, jahhluv. That is not demonisation, it’s simple reasoning.

One major problem with today’s mass market food industries is the widespread disregard for the simple, reasonable principles discussed in the paragraph above. All sorts of questionable ingredients are included in foodstuffs, things of no nutritional value that are added to suit the convenience of the manufacturer or the retailer, or to make the product superficially more attractive to the consumer. Some of these additives have been shot down in flames, proven harmful by controlled experimental studies. Many others remain in the grey areas, questionable in nature but not yet proven harmful – and allowed to remain in consumer products on the very logic cited by you above: well, it hasn’t been proven harmful.

All you’ve shown me so far is an internet article, which isn’t a very good citation. A lot of research in the dogfood sector is tainted, anyway, because it’s financed – indeed, sometimes actually carried out – by the dogfood manufacturers themselves.

This entire discussion is flagrantly off-topic on this thread anyway. I suggest we drop it and agree to disagree. You go ahead and consume all the saponins you like – you can start by not washing your quinoa, if you eat quinoa, lol.


??? Yes, I lived there for fourteen years. As to whether I’m any more rugged or manly than others who never lived there… sorry, GodRaine, I just don’t get what you’re driving at. Ridicule, or… what? I only mentioned it in the context of a reindeer farm there a few miles from where I lived; I thought the location was somewhat relevant.


[quote=“J_Jeffrey_Bragg, post:29, topic:4288, full:true”]
??? Yes, I lived there for fourteen years. As to whether I’m any more rugged or manly than others who never lived there… sorry, GodRaine, I just don’t get what you’re driving at. Ridicule, or… what?[/quote]
Don’t worry, GodRaine was engaging in friendly banter :smiley:


Oh, I of course meant no offense my friend. :slight_smile: I was actually commenting on my larger appreciation for your presence on these forums - and specifically your extensive contributions forthwith. For a group of largely 20-something males in various parts of the USA, an older, wilderness-hardy gent from the Yukon (and of whom now lives in Manitoba, one of the coldest places in the world) is a very welcome addition to the group. :slight_smile:


Sorry, @GodRaine, my apologies for getting a little thin-skinned on the heels of a silly and unwanted OT exchange. I should know better.


Welcome to the Soylent discussion site. Fortunately, in the last five years since the comments in the thread were made, many of us have found that there is no problem consuming Soylent while our friends consume something else.

For one thing, look around the supermarket and see what people actually consume. Notice that one or more aisles are taken up by items that are designed for small numbers of people. Those people are not eating the same items as their friends, and won’t be disturbed if their friends are eating Soylent.

For another thing, we Soylent users are no longer (if we ever were) a fanatical band of Soylent-only consumers. So on the comparatively rare occasions (on Thanksgiving, say) that all your friends and relatives are eating One Big Meal, by all means, feel free to skip a Soylent meal and have another helping of turkey stuffing! You can return to rational eating later, when convenient.

Soylent is dedicated to fitting your lifestyle, not forcing you to fit into its preferences. So have the flavor you want in the quantity that suits you, in powder or liquid.

A lot has happened in the last five years.