Soylent Update 1/21


#1

2000 seems inadequate for maintenance levels by the Harris Benedict equation even for a small guy at a low activity level. Please clarify.


#2

I’m not sure, but my guess is that at least for 1.0, if some people get hungrier because they spend more energy, they can simply get more Soylent and they do not believe that the overall increased nutrients will be detrimental, even if not ideal (even this I don’t know), and vice versa… I’m supposing that they calculated that a little extra or a little less Soylent daily to adjust to energy need differences would be fine in all nutrients.

For instance, they may have determined that even if one took the equivalent of 3000 calories a day of Soylent (very active tall man), there would be no harmful excess, and that even at 1400 calories (short, small, sedentary female), there would be no deficiency. After all, even if not by the same order of magnitude, if calorie needs increase with size and level of activity, I’m pretty sure other nutrients’ needs increase too, no?


#3

perhaps they will offer calorie packets/sets for those of us that need more than 2000 calories? I don’t know how much breathing room there is for going over, though they said you’d need about 1/2 to 2/3 to get minimum nutrition.


#4

If you want more, eat more.

I am also finding that it is much more difficult to cut real food out of your life entirely. A little cheese and beer, or cake/cookies now and then, or a big fatty bacon injected burger with friends from time to time will make up the difference in calories over time.

If not, just drink more soylent.


#5

I notice they mention supplying a measuring cup. That means that I can tailor the calories by consuming more or fewer containers. No biggie. I plan to work in conjunction with my Fitbit (I have the pedometer and the scale) to determine how many calories that should be for gradual weight loss. So the size of the packets will be a “suggestion” rather than a “prescription” for me.

About the extra foods, my body is pretty good about letting me know about specific shortages. When I was a vegetarian, occasionally I would be told by my system that I needed meat. I’ve never been so stuck on labels that I felt bad about that steak every four months or so. Probably be the same here.

Eve


#6

Folks, it is very unlikely anybody will live on Soylent alone. People need to lower their expectations. Rob even said virtually none of the beta testers got through more than 2000 calories a day. They were almost certainly eating solid food too.


#7

If 2000 a day is not enough to feed you, it is always possible to add a scoop or two of protein powder or some extra canola. Or a scoop of another bag.


#8

I think it was that the beta testers weren’t tending to eat more than 2000 whether or not they ate solid food. I think it’s because a portion of calories go towards digestion, and soylent is easier to digest, but I’m just hypothesizing here


#9

I have both a Flex and Aria(scale). I’m going to be watching my weight pretty closely. On days that I run before work and climb after, my suggested calorie intake is >3500 despite only weighing 125 lb, which comes close to doubling the cost of soylent. I have no interest in DIY Soylent because I don’t have the resources to verify nutritional content, and having to mess around with formulas defeats the purpose. If I’m going to take the time to prepare food, I’m going to make something that I enjoy eating.


#10

Actually, that’s what I fully intend on doing and in fact was going to consume 1500 calories of Soylent in 15x1hr/100 calorie intervals.


#11

What is the purpose of this? Are you trying to optimize absorption or maintain constant blood sugar levels


#13

Different topic, same 1/21 update:
What in the world do they mean by “meets or exceeds kosher standards?” as an orthodox Jew and someone who has worked in the kosher food industry, there is more to “being Kosher” than meeting a standard. Are they going to be certified by an agency? Which one?

Even if a product has everything going for it, I guarantee that it won’t be accepted within Jewish religious community without the approbation and certification of an established and recognized kosher agency. While many simple foods have it easy, something as processed as Soylent definitely needs supervision before orthodox Jews will be comfortable biting this nutritious bullet.


#14

The only kashrut rule that would apply here is for the fish oil. As long as the fish used was a scaled fish, it’d be fine.

There’s nothing involving “processed foods”. In fact most kashrut law implies a requirement of processing (all for various kinds of meat).

It sounds kind of ridiculous to expect anybody to pay a rabbi to confirm what has already been confirmed: There are no relevant ingredients.


#15

@Sintax, while I appreciate your perspective on the issue, you are confusing different points.

The first is that I was specifically talking about marketability. Even if a product conforms to the de facto requirements of kashrut law, religiously observant individuals, by and large, will not purchase food without the approbation of a recognized kashrut agency. If they aren’t hiring a reliable third party to verify that they are following the laws of kashrut, it will certainly be avoided by the kosher eating Jewish community. That’s why I’ve made my own soylent - I know that everything that goes in it has been confirmed kosher by a third party.

Secondly, you are actually flat out wrong. While you are correct in noting that fish oil does require a kosher source, you are incorrect that processed food does not require supervision and your analogy/dichotomy is false.

Certain foods (such as fresh fruits and almost all vegetables) do not require processing, and are kosher by default unless there is a concern regarding infestation (broccoli, lettuce, and raspberries common have problems with bugs).

Other foods, most notably meat, require significant preparation and processing, and cannot be considered kosher without it. Such foods require preparation by thoroughly trained, competent, recognized authorities. These people are usually associated with the relevant kashrut certifying agencies, or are supervised directly by them.

Processed goods are both simpler and harder. Simpler in that there is no required preparation, but there are a significantly larger body of subtler problems that require looking after. For instance, the powders being used have to come from a kosher source.

There may be issues surrounding machinery that is in contact with the food. Industrial machines are often oiled with animal derived fats, which poses a significant kashrut concern.

With the flour used in the product, there may be other concerns based on when and where it was purchased. Produce grown in Israel has a whole set of laws associated with its harvesting that could prohibit consumption by the end user.

If the flour was owned by a Jew over Passover, this poses another insurmountable hurdle. There are certain liquors that are now irredeemably non-kosher (at least for the next umpteen years) due to the Torah laws surrounding the ownership of leavened grain products on Passover. Massively inconvenient, but that’s the law.

These are just a few significant issues that would have to be investigated by a reliable Kashrut agency before Soylent (or any product) can be officially recognized as kosher.

So no. Despite what you claim, this isn’t about “paying a rabbi to confirm what has already been confirmed.” As an orthodox Jew (and I gather you aren’t from your comments), there are a lot of questions that need to be resolved before a manufactured product like Soylent can be confirmed as kosher.


#16

My reading of this:

This week we received confirmation from RFI that all of our ingredients and manufacturing processes meet or exceed Kosher standards, and that Soylent 1.0 will be certified Kosher.

indicates that they have done the preliminary investigation via someone who knows about these things and don’t anticipate problems with applying for the Kosher imprint and that they plan to apply for that process. It’s not a guarantee that they will be successful but a statement of probability (which they believe to be quite high).

I really doubt that they will adopt the official Kosher stamp without the authorization.

Eve


#17

I really doubt that they will adopt the official Kosher stamp without the authorization.

I hope not - that would be in violation of trademark law! It’s how they piggyback on US laws to ensure no one can make a phony kosher product.

But yeah, that’s basically what I was thinking. It would be really neat to be able to be an ambassador for Soylent within the orthodox Jewish community. Obesity is a major problem, and a product like this that is healthy, cheap, and easy would go a long way toward solving it, but only if the community feels comfortable with whatever certification they receive.
Not everyone is a trailblazer interested in formulating their homemade soylent blend. :smile:

I hope that @rob, @JulioMiles, and the rest are open to talking about this, since there are dozens (hundreds?) of agencies, and while some of them are reliable, many are not accepted among the larger community. Specific examples of this are the triangle-k and tablet-k, which most kosher-observant Jews will not touch except for certain, limited products (like 100% orange juice or canned fruit).


#18

We’ve been talking to RFI and Star-K in the last few days, and where we stand now, the RFI facility is Star-K certified, but there is additional work that needs to be done for the Soylent product to be certified Kosher. We were mistaken in asserting that Soylent is certified Kosher at this point in time, but we are working on getting it certified.


#19

Thanks for the extensive overview, Isaac. None of us are orthodox Jews, and our understanding of the Kosher certification process was lacking.


#20

Thanks a lot, @JulioMiles! It’s nice to hear that you guys are really taking this seriously. The Star-K is a great choice. I’m glad y’all are being so transparent on this!


#21

Another point to mention - a product that is certified Kosher is also generally considered to be reliable for Halal purposes, opening up your market to both religious Jews and Muslims simultaneously!
My Muslim coworkers and I pitch in for kosher muggle food during office parties, and we have a great time discussing religious practices and linguistic concepts.