Where do the ingredients come from and who makes them?


#1

There is still slavery in the world and I think Soylent should do its best to make sure there isn’t any in their process. For example, salt comes from the ground so make sure there aren’t any slaves in the mines Soylent gets its salt from, China is known to have sweatshops so make sure Soylent isn’t packaged in one, if I remember correctly one ingredient comes from some african tree so make sure there aren’t slaves taking care of Soylent’s trees, etc etc. And make sure that the people who aren’t slaves are treated right, fair pay, safe environment, reasonable hours, etc.

Protect the people who make Soylent possible!


#2

Wow :smiley: that came out of nowhere… I can promise you there are no “slaves” mining/farming ingredients for Soylent.

The African tree you are thinking about is cinnamon… Ceylon cinnamon to be specific, and this isn’t in Soylent.
Packaging, it is packaged in USA… pretty sure the people working at the co-packer aren’t slaves. (to anything other than the fact that everyone has to earn a living).


#3

Those were just random examples, and yeah its possible that there isn’t any but I still think it’s worth looking into. I didn’t know there were slaves caring for cocoa and coffee trees, but there are some, so I don’t eat chocolate or drink coffee anymore cause there’s no way for me to know if it was made by a slave or not. (yes i know there isn’t any chocolate or coffee in soylent, that was just another example of modern slavery that we might not be aware of)

I looked it up and no it wasn’t cinnamon I was thinking of, its gum acacia. That’s actually made from two trees, one in Africa and one in Asia.


#4

In regards to coffee and chocolate… look for “fair trade” stamps. It seems like you have a very specific issue to not knowing 100% if a specific ingredient might have been handled by a “slave”… how do you define slave since you said


#5

I just meant that slavery still exists in modern society. ‘Modern slaves’ rather than ‘slaves from a long time ago’.

edit: just looked up fair trade, there are complaints of them putting a stamp on something that’s not actually fair trade, failure to monitor standards, etc so i think i’m gonna keep avoiding all coffee and chocolate : (


#6

Modern slavery is actually a thing, so “slave” probably doesn’t deserve to be in quotes even though I’m somewhat inclined to dismiss this topic in regards to Soylent since I’m sure Rosa Labs is conscientious of their sourcing.

As far as the fair trade stamps are concerned, there’s a potential for fraud in pretty much everything. I don’t think that’s a good reason to write off fair trade entirely as long as efforts are made to ensure the stamp means something, but to each his own.


#7

If you’re not going to eat something because there is the possibility of slave labor in the production of one or more of it’s ingredients your left with either growing your own (which is not a bad idea) or starving to death. Especially with the rather lose definition of what constitutes a “modern slave”. Is it work for no pay, forced work, or both? Would paying someone just enough to survive but not afford to look for better work count as slavery? If so there are lots of people who willingly enslave themselves everyday.


#8

Ditto for this. If you look into the working conditions of the migrant workers that produce most fruits and vegetables, you would be hard pressed to find any real difference between that and slavery.

Grains, as produced on most large scale farms, is at least mechanized.

I’m not even going to go into the ethics of large scale meat production.

So the alternative? Perhaps some stalls at some farmers’ markets?

Eve


#9

While many of the replies to OP are valid, especially in regards to migrant labor, let’s hope they are not minimizing the actual practice of slavery in the modern world, which is both widespread and far more horrific than some of the “parallel” examples provided in the replies. Fair trade labels and like practices are the best we can hope for in doing what’s possible to guard against supporting those who profit off slavery; ensuring 100% guarantees of anything is impossible in our irreducibly imperfect world. Slavery exists in the deep-sourcing of products, as OP indicated, and it is not unreasonable to hope that Soylent makes some effort to avoid getting any ingredients from slave labor. I personally find it unlikely that slavery is implicated in any way, but you never know.


#10

Its one thing to boycott a specific brand of food if there is actual proof that an ingredient is collected via slave labor its another to boycott a food product because of the possibility of slave labor. If there is in fact proof of slavery it is the manufacturer’s moral obligation to find a new supplier. Their customers can force this by then boycotting and bringing media attention to the problem. Boycotting without proof is IMO just silly.


#11

Agreed. Boycotting only works and should be tried with obvious malfeasance that can be clearly shown. No way Rosa Labs is in that category. I’m guessing they are attentive to this issue anyway, but the worst-case scenario would be that it never crossed their radar when seeking sources. They’ve had a lot on their plate. Just because slavery exists and is an important problem to address doesn’t mean that we should assume it is happening by default down a company’s supply chain. Especially in this case.