The DIY marketplace seems to be taking off


Thanks @shadowhawkxx, @kennufs, @vanclute for announcements and review.

As @axcho told above - the current version of marketplace is a prototype and we collect all your suggestions to make it better in the v.2.0. So pls. say directly what you like, what don’t - it will help us.

@kennufs, am I right that the block of links to the Official Soylent (see down left corner) is not enough?
If so - I like the idea of more deep integration with DIY, etc. and open for collaboration and official blessing from @rob and the Soylent team.


“Old school” law says that every food producer must have a Health Permit and
Business License to sell  products. Unfortunately, this does not work
for most crowd-based projects… and DIY-soylenters as well.

To solve this problem we are using donations instead of sales. If you’re
interested in a DIY product you can donate the specified amount to
support the producer’s activity, at which point the producer may choose
to send the specified amount of DIY soylent to you. "

There is no way that’s legal. Why is nobody talking about the fact that this is sketchy as hell and a blatant violation of cottage food laws? Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for a hub that lists competing products, but it really should be limited to those selling legally.


Woah, I didn’t even think of that. Reading on Etsy, since they allow edibles: I wonder if DIY has to follow the same rules? I bet a huge chunk of Etsy sellers don’t follow precise health protocol, so I wonder if it’s a matter of “if you’re not that big, no one will notice” ? Curious!


According to the information I am reading from Harvard Law all states that have “cottage food laws” allow “non‐
potentially hazardous foods” no matter how strict their laws. And these have no laws pertaining to “cottage foods” at all.
District of Columbia 
New Jersey 
North Dakota 
West Virginia 
this information is correct as of 2013.


Really? Because I found that exact list of states on page 5 of this Harvard Law paper under the section labeled “States That Do Not Allow Cottage Food Operations”:


My bad. Those states I posted dont allow cottage foods. You are correct.


This is my biggest concern as well. Initially it seemed like we could legally sell these food products under @Spaceman’s certification, but that turned out not to be feasible, I guess? I’ll admit I am skeptical about this supposed “donations” loophole.

Any suggestions on what to do instead?


I would just voice that the “donations” loophole will probably work as long as legal authorities don’t view it poorly. Uber used the “loophole” and, to my knowledge, has not faced any legal repercussions from it.

So long as nobody gets sick from it, I imagine most legal authorities are unlikely to care.

I might suggest requiring some basic safety checks from your sellers. Or, if you just want to protect yourself, strictly keeping yourself a marketplace (like ebay and co.) should prevent any fallout from falling on the marketplace itself.


Yeah, I guess that was @Spaceman’s rationale: other companies like Uber used it and haven’t gotten in trouble…

I guess I just get nervous about breaking rules. :expressionless:


Find out how much it is to rent a kitchen for a few hours a month. There are places here in KC that are kitchens that are health inspected. And people who run food trucks often rent them out to make their food.


@Alrecenk - you raise up a good question.

As @axcho mentioned - our rationale is based on the current status quo in the peer-to-peer economy (Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, etc.) where donations turned from loophole into “way of making business”.

But, I do not deny any certification. I assume that DIY-soylenter as soon as he earned first money and decide to continue to do that regularly - will go and get Health Permit. We wanted to use my permit as an umbrella, but faced that every member should make almost the same papers to use it, as it was his own. So we decided just to help them do that. (we have a member area for that purposes at our forum). For instance - many Commercial Kitchens are ready to share their Health permits, if you rent their facility for $25 / hour (minimum hours restrictions apply).

@livingparadox - raise ever more valuable question regarding some basic safety checks from your sellers.

We plan to require to post bio in the profile for each member, but we consider it’s not enough.
What existing models can you suggest?

and Lets Beat Whole Foods!


My cousin has a small home baking business in North Carolina. She had to submitt water sample results among other things to the health department to sell her cakes. When Soylent was In beta there was a reason it was limited to only a few testers. When it was time to produce a commercial product they did the right thing and went with a certified co-packer.


Washington taxi company is suing Uber

Not sure if it’s over the “loophole” issue, but this isn’t their only legal battle either.


All things considered, I definitelysupport the new marketplace for Soylent-like products. Yay for multiple choices!

Here is some feedback on the site’s front page:

  • The first thing I see is the goofy guy with the wide eyes looking at me. Yuck. How about a professional photo of one of the products? Maybe with a large caption like “Complete nutrition. (break) Easy digestion.”
  • Next I read at the top about Soylent and bland taste… but since Soylent isn’t widely shipping, that’s not even going to be your main customer base. It’s going to be people who want faster shipping, custom nutrition profiles, custom flavors and just custom recipes in general. Plus people coming direct from regular food or crazy diets that didn’t pan out.
  • At the bottom it says “All of them fit the US recommended daily intake for a 2000-calorie diet.” but that may throw people off are looking for less calories (dieting) or more calories (athletics, laborer) or want to match a different profile. Maybe this would be better: All of them provide scientifically complete nutrition by design.

Good luck everybody.


Thanks @Cobra for comments.
PF works and collects all suggestions for v.2.0.

@leecauble1 - you’re right, most of DIY-soylenters will become certified as soon as they get the confirmation that they have regular customers.


Pls. welcome new members (+1) and check for new arrivals at marketplace (+3)


I’m not sure of any existing models. But it what might help weed out the unfit would be to require them to get a food handler’s card, which requires them to learn basic food safety. It doesn’t look too expensive from a quick google search. That’s about all I can think of.


Today we received a very good suggestion to make a Sample set of different DIY-Formulas.

Since, it should be representative, but not too expensive,
Pls. advises us, what must be in that set / what is optional?
(Links to DIY-formulas are appreciated).


Make a keto formula that doesn’t taste horrible. It doesn’t have to taste good, just don’t make it taste horrible.


Thanks @ruipacheco,
Ketogenic added to the list.
@QuidNYC - do you allow us to use your one as the base?