Here’s what countries around the world spend on food:
Interesting article. It would appear that Soylent would have to significantly cheaper to even come close to solving the world hunger issue. I wonder if they consider having a campaign similar to shethinx.com which does a buy one fund one.
The average American spends $2,273 per year on food consumed at home, the USDA notes. The average German spends $2,481 per year. The average French person spends $3,037 per year. The average Norwegian spends a whopping $4,485 per year on food.
According to the above Americans spend $6.2 / day ($186 / month) - that’s different from Soylent calculations. But the study do not count food outside of home and says nothing of it’s quality.
$6 - is very close to DIY-soylent ingredients cost ($3-5).
If we had a machine that combines ingredients like coffee machine does - it will the next step in soylent revolution.
I’ve been on people chow for just shy of two months now. My original formulation was running me about 3.85 a day. I’ve since reduced the corn product and upped the protein which has brought my cost up to $4.30 or so. Soylent may never be able to hit those price points in a country like the USA (daily cost, not per meal) but Soylent as an idea is just as important as Soylent the product. It can be the tip of the spear that establishes new ideology around shelf stable nutrition alternatives. The sad part for someone like me was before Soylent I was probably spending $10 on the food that went into my mouth and another $2-$4 on the food that went into the trash cash (averaged out). If Soylent (and like products) can allow us to put more of our food production into the mouths of those who need it instead of the trash cans who don’t, thats a win and what I really think will be the true potential of this “idea”
That was very well said!
The problem is the notion of "the average american’. We are SUCH a massive country that averages are basically meaningless for any of the major metropolitan population centers. I can’t fathom spending only slightly over $2k on food per year (not counting going out). Staying under $500/month (pre-Soylent) is even challenging and requires serious bargain hunting, coupon clipping, discount-club buying, etc. And of course it doesn’t count all the cost involved in the transportation (gas, vehicle maintenance, etc.).
I have zero knowledge first hand of food costs in any other country… but at least here in Silicon Valley from my experience you can’t eat that cheaply unless you grow everything yourself or exist solely on fresh produce you buy at little asian/hispanic grocery stores/farmer’s markets.
Thanks for new angle of view on efficiency, @Endtropy
When I thought of the “ideal food” I picked several factors that should be considered if we want to get a cost reduction:
The food is comprised of ballast and lacks the nutrients we really need. Think of the excess vitamins we’re supposedly getting in salads and the lack of fat (healthy fat) that our bodies need from these same salads. Think of the extra protein in nutrition bars and the lack of minerals in these bars. Add these overlapping effects and count how much you overpay for nutrients. If we will eat only the nutrients we need, then we can save on the ingredients.
This “special food” is prepared for “special customers”. Quite often, this special food waits for a customer like a bridegroom waits at the altar for a bride who doesn’t turn up! So if the food is not sold within a particular time it has to be thrown out as trash (because special/healthy foods have no preservatives). Costs for trash are taken into consideration when determining the price of the food. If we want to reduce costs, we should pre-order special meals.
Many food suppliers tend to use mass production because of high labor costs. This involves different stages (between production and when the food gets to the consumer) and various “middlemen”. These “middlemen” (distributors, truckers, retailers etc.) include a “small fee” which is then added to the final cost the consumer pays for the food. If we want to cut these fees out, we need direct delivery.
I think if we develop this theme we can write a Ideal Food Manifest