(sorry this is kinda long - it touched a nerve )
Wow Greg, quite the experience!
So I was confused throughout the show as to why all three experts argued that “Soylent cannot completely replace food” when no one in the recording ever suggested that Soylent should completely replace food. Was there some pre-show setup that viewers were not privy to? Perhaps to make the show more confrontational? (Hosts do like to do this to boost ratings - Greg, I think you were setup! And yet you did well! Grats!)
Too bad they couldn’t have found some real experts, aside from Mr. Fraser pointing out that Soylent can’t really address 3rd world famine issues and disaster aid situations (it doesn’t - its way too expensive to make and yeah water to mix with the Soylent is a big issue) there was barely an honest argument against Soylent among the lot. But it is Greg’s experience that we need to learn from as proponents of meal-replacement technology. Tougher experts we will meet!
We proponents need to have our ducks in a row when grandiose claims are tossed out as “fact”. Greg did well, better than I could have on the spot like that, so after a few hours of thought here are a few more responses that might be useful:
“It’s not healthy” and “It doesn’t address anything except convenience” should be met with facts that directly counter these arguments. Ms. Knezevic’s eventual argument that simply putting all the nurtients in a mixer doesen’t get them into our bodies intact is valid (for example zinc and calcium tend to bond prior to absorption and then don’t get separated - http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/65/6/1803.abstract - so they need to be ingested separately with some time in between in order to get the right amount of zinc) but instead of nailing her argument down she drifted off to other nonsensical arguments (women are responsible for population control?? reallly?!). Regardless, a direct counter is that Soylent in its current form seems (and yeah we need studies - Greg, could you have brought in your blood work results prepared to discuss them?) more healthy than the majority of what most people eat at a dinner table (carb, sugar, cholesterol, etc., balance?), or in “social rituals”, and certainly via fast food. We should have problems with “home cooking” and typical diets ready as counter arguments. Ms. Knezevic’s categoric dismissal of Soylent at this point is completely disingenuous (she clearly spent maybe 5 minutes glancing at Soylent’s constitution and origins) as Soylent can already dramatically improve the nutritional intake of most of the people on the planet.
“Why not just eat oatmeal?” (Seriously?) Well, does oatmeal contain FDA recommended quantities of any of the other nutrients in Soylent??
“Soylent is not concerned with environmental or ethical sourcing…”!! You couldn’t be more wrong - here’s why (research ahead and quote).
“Mindless meals stand behind many of societies health problems…”!! Does that mean mindless meals cannot be nutritious, or just that they currently are not?
“Even the World Health Organization will agree that what determines our health includes the social environment …” (sigh) Yes, Soylent doesn’t even replace Facebook let alone time spent with people …
“Children who don’t eat with their families tend to have drug and socialization problems …” (-.-) If meals are the only time you can spend face to face with your kids, then yes, clearly, don’t feed them Soylent.
But interestingly both women were personally afronted by the idea of meal-replacement and attempted to trash Soylent in an effort to indirectly protect the values they hold dear. Both eventually let slip the real reason for their repulsion: Ms. Rosen suggested “I’ll be lonely” and later “we will all forget how to cook!” - cooking and eating with friends undoubtedly both things that bring her a lot of joy. (Incredulously she worded it as “everyone will get lonely” and “we all will forget”, as if her world is the only way everyone experiences their own unique life) Ms. Knezevic expressed the fear that we aren’t taking enough time to live our lives already and meals seem to be her “last straw”. These “emotional” arguments are best handled softly from the side and not head on: “I suspect your cookbooks will have even greater appeal in a few years, your skills will be cherished!” etc.
Keeping critics on point is certainly tricky, not looking foolish even more so. Again, hats off to a great job Greg! Thanks for taking a first shot at this to give us all an idea what we might face!