I’ve seen a lot of speculation and deep cogitating about the effects of switching to a non-food diet. The fact is, we don’t know what effects eating “real” food has compared to eating just Soylent, so any speculation about what we’re evolved to cope with is baseless. Any speculation that there are heretofore unknown nutrients in so-called natural foods that are critical to longevity and health is also baseless. You can’t apply scientific reasoning to unknowns like this.
I’ve read of many so called nutritionists and (witch) Doctors claim that switching to a non-food diet is dangerous. They’re demonstrating a very human fear of the unknown, and a very unscientific and ignorant response to an awesome experiment. I think many others are also being disingenuous and deliberately inducing FUD over Soylent.
One of the biggest benefits of Soylent, in my mind, is the baseline for nutrition. Once you have that baseline, you’re going to be able to scientifically determine the effects of a given food source. You’re also going to be able to profile individuals based on their response to Soylent. If your nutritional profile requires a higher daily intake of iron, Soylent and blood testing will determine that, and you can correct it precisely. If you want to shape your physique in a certain way, there’s no the possibility that you can tailor your nutritional profile to help achieve that fitness goal.
With Soylent as a basline, statistics like BMI, weight loss, weight gain, subjective analyses of personal hunger and satiety levels, and a myriad other characteristics of our daily lives can be quantitatively assessed in terms of daily nutrition. All of those datapoints can be compared relative to the health effects on a population of other individuals.
Clinical studies, with the Soylent numbers as a baseline, can determine the precise effects, and mechanisms, of whole-food consumption.
If there are such things as these “critical for healthy life” phytochemicals or synergistic combinations of whole foods that we need in our diet, then I can think of no better way to justify their existence and utility than Soylent. Simply profile the addition of a given food source to a population of individuals and measure the results. I can also think of no better way to disprove these claptrap theories than the science of Soylent.
The tl;dr version: Anyone who claims to know so-called “whole foods” are necessary for a healthy life is a quack. The science can’t yet justify it, and they’re probably selling a bill of goods. Or they’ve bought a bill of goods. Soylent provides the means for nutrition to become a real science.