Soylent Vice Motherboard article/documentary & our response


I think the motherboard documentary about Soylent was amazing, what do you think?

“any publicity is good publicity” but letting sensationalizing linkbait factories like vice, gawker etc in and expecting real journalism…


Good video. I’m kind of surprised they decided to feature this on the Soylent blog as well as here on the forum as there were many negative opinions about Soylent in there. I’m still excited to receive my Soylent as I’m kind of obsessed with this stuff. But to somebody who isn’t already a fan, I’m guessing this video would turn them off. I definitely appreciate the transparency of Rob & Co though.


The mold thing though… not too concerned, but it does bring up the question of expiration dates. Are there any? How long would a packet of official Soylent last? And if there’s no moisture in packing, does that rule out dry molds? Since mold can feed on sugars, maltodextrin and oat powder could be susceptible. I guess you could take the expiration of each individual ingredient, and come up with something for the whole mix.


@anonynamja Vice is not bad. They’re the ones who turned me into Soylent in the first place.

But to be honest sometimes they do lose their objectivity.


Vice is in the business of sensationalism and titillation. It might as well have an Upworthy title like

“You won’t believe what’s in Rob Rhinehart’s CRAZY diet! I was so SHOCKED at 4:09!”


Sometimes. Sometimes they publish things that nobody talks about and that have a real impact on lives. In other words, they’re just like any other news outfit.


I plan to keep the powder in the freezer.


I just got around to reading the write up and it seemed more favorable than the video imo.


@ruipacheco’s right though @anonynamja, I think they were the first people to post about soylent. I would say a great deal of us first heard about soylent and rob’s website from them.


That may be true, but we will never observe the counterfactual: people who may have been interested but were turned off by their reporting and might have been more receptive to hearing it first on say, slashdot


So, I finally read the article. It’s an odd article. Very odd.


the article seemed to be more about the company and creators than the product


With a healthy dose of FUD.


Reasons that doctor is an idiot-

They did a scene looking at a total meal replacement noting those have been around for decades and “the only difference with soylent might be marketing” yet the next scene they act all worried that something could happen because its untested and she says “i don’t know” when he asks if anything could go wrong. Wat?

Says soylent = bad cause its developed by a “lay person”. Yeah pretty much all of us are “lay persons” and we are already in charge of our diets.

Also tells him not to exercise. Solid advice for any doctor to give.


Sealed? Probably a ridiculously long time, if the quality standards at RFI are as described (mold doesn’t just spontaneously generate from space, after all).

Opened, and sitting on the shelf waiting to be used? …that’s a good question, really. For people eating more Soylent than not, it’s not too much of an issue because pouches won’t take long to be used, but some people will probably only use it every few days, or less. I’m sure with proper care, it can last a while after being opened, but it’s probably something to provide “storage instructions” on.


Remove it from the original packaging into a sealed container and you should be ok.

In a plastic bag exposed to the elements? A couple of days at most.


Haha, totally agree halo3.


We’re going to starting with a 1 year shelf life, when stored in cool/dark place. In reality it’ll probably be much longer.

The mold was caused by our early practice of combining the dry ingredients & oil in the same package (which then got damaged in shipment), to make the mixing process simpler for the end users. This dramatically shortened the shelf life and we quickly switched to the separate packaging of the oil blend.


Just to check, is that one year from when a sealed pouch is first opened (and subsequently kept in a closed container), or a year for the sealed pouch itself?

Speaking of, does the oil on its own have a separate expected shelf life?

Really, a year is pretty long, and I doubt I’ll ever personally get close to that, so these questions are mostly out of curiosity – but there are probably at least a few people hoping to keep some Soylent as an emergency/natural disaster stockpile, so a super-long “unopened” shelf life could be an important factor to some.