WHY are you eating Soylent?


Hello everyone, I received my 4-week Soylent order yesterday and as of 15 minutes ago I have been on Soylent for 24 hours!

I find Soylent to be surprisingly filling – I don’t feel hungry at all or the need to snack.

So I just struck a conversation with a friend and I was telling him all about Soylent. And naturally he thinks of it as a very hipster thing to do – to basically give up real food and eat Soylent semi-exclusively.

I compared Soylent to self-driving cars, to make my case that Soylent is not just good in itself, but it’s good because it enables you to do more with the time/money/energy you save. He said it’s more like Tesla, “saving the Earth, but first stop, luxury.”

I told him Soylent is not expensive and powdered food will never be an elitist/luxury thing. But he’s not convinced. He thinks that Soylent, like self-driving cars, liberates people from taking responsibilities for themselves and it means that you no longer have to be cognizant of your actual, physical day-to-day being.

In the end he thinks that I am doing this mostly for the novelty value hence the hipster label.

I can’t really argue with that, although I do hope that Soylent can be a viable anti-inflammatory diet for me so that my acne situation can improve.

So I wonder, why does anyone else eat Soylent?

And is it hipster?


I do it because the alternative for me is to swing by a gas station for a Krispy Kreme donut or three, or stop by a fast food restaurant and pickup a few things off the dollar menu for lunch. I eat soylent because it fulfills my need for something easy to eat. On top of that, it’s healthy. :stuck_out_tongue:


Generally speaking, the most accurate definition of a hipster is someone doing something you don’t like. It’s kind of a nonsense catchall that applies to a lot of different activities, usually with a negative connotation.

Personally, I don’t really care for cooking. I usually feel that a meal should take longer to eat than to cook. That leads to meals that are more “assembled” or “heated” than actually cooked, just sandwiches, hotpockets, and anything microwaveable. This is not a healthy diet. So Soylent seems like the right fit for a healthy diet with very little food prep effort.

I’m not sure I understand the elitist luxury angle your friend has presented though. Soylent’s not exactly cheap, but it’s not that pricey. Going for the monthly subscription it’s currently at $255/month (well, technically a little more, since it’s using a 28 day month). I’m having some trouble getting accurate data, but everything I’m seeing puts average food cost per person per month at somewhere between $200 and $400.


I’m eating it because I’m no cook, and the packaged/refrigerated/frozen food I tended to eat was crap.


Good luck with your Soylent experience!

Everyone’s heard about Soylent, but it seems that relatively few enthusiasts use this forum.

The Colbert interview with Rob was my introduction. I remembered the movie well, but I never read the novel. I also unsuccessfully tried to copy Futurama’s bachelor chow twenty years ago. Dammit, if we can produce optimal feed for animals, why can’t we do the same for people?

I’ve been living on one version or another of vegetables, grains, and beans for a very long time. I’m closer to hippie than hipster. It’s easy enough to prepare, but I don’t like cooking in the summer and I don’t like salads. Terminal bachelorism.

With high hopes, I bought a week’s supply of Soylant 1.0 from Spud (thanks!). I did straight Soylent for two days, and it did not agree with me at all. I’ve actually developed a taste aversion to it.

Still, I’m very enthusiastic about bulk protein and carbs in vegetable juice. It almost makes me feel like a hipster. If only I could buy kibble in a forty-pound bag and pour beer over it.


This is a good thing. Why is it being presented as an opposing argument?

You’ve already given good reasons to use Soylent. Your friend has made up his mind and is just being dismissive.

I would say a hipster is someone who avoids things that have been adopted by the general public and gravitates towards things that are novel and obscure.


Thanks for all the replies guys!

I think my friend is resistant to Soylent because he values process. And taking the process of preparing food out of one’s life seems wrong to him. And he may have some spiritual alignment that makes him skeptical of Soylent as well.


I don’t think S/soylent liberates people from taking responsibilities for themselves–it just makes it easier to make responsible choices. It is an alternative food that some people will choose and others will not. It’s a bit like Indian food I think. Another option for dinner for me, but a “no way in hell” option for others who are not fond of this particular alternative. S/soylent will not cause my favorite Indian restaurant to close down. Each one has its place.
It’s exciting to watch how S/soylent is finding its place. I look forward to seeing how mainstream it may or may not get. I don’t have a clue what is hip but I know what I like/want/need.


I don’t know what I want but I’m pretty sure Soylent is hip, as in novel and obscure. : )


I think Soylent, or powdered food replacement will become much more common in the next few years. Not sure if it will ever be mainstream but it will be a huge market.


I meant I know what I want in a very general sense: to be healthy; to have a healthy option that is also convenient (including non-time consuming); and to have a healthy, convenient option that is also tasty and relatively inexpensive. Presumably everyone wants something similar to this (maybe in a different order). It’s just a matter of determining one’s own preferences in the like/need categories to best satisfy the criteria.
As far as mainstream–I guess what I should have said was “seeing how close to mainstream” soylent gets. I don’t think the current interest level is its peak, nor do I think it will ever truly be mainstream. I’m just curious where it peaks and then settles along that continuum.


Because it’s people.


Why Soylent? Because as long as I can remember I’ve wished I could eliminate the requirement for 3 specific things from my life.

  1. Eating
  2. Sleeping
  3. Going to the bathroom.

They are all things that I’d be willing to do on occasion, and on my terms. But the fact that way HAVE to do them, and are biologically driven to do so whether we want to or not, whether it’s convenient or not, or whether it’s a good idea at any given moment or not, just doesn’t sit well with me. I’ve gone to pretty great lengths in my life, to design it the way I want it to be. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s a WHOLE lot better than it would be had I taken all the “well meaning” advice from others while I was “growing up” (which quite frankly, I’m happily still doing in my 40s LOL)

Soylent is the first thing to come along that felt like it was something close to removing item #1 from my list. True, it’s still technically “eating” since it’s still food. But it’s the “put it on my terms” part that I love. I don’t have to decide what I’m in the mood for. I don’t have to go buy a whole bunch of different ingredients and figure out how they all need to go together (which, since if I spend more than a fleeting though on the subject I find food and everything related to it to be quite disgusting, is a huge deal for me), then put them all together, eat, then clean up after this ancient ritual.

Unlike so many people I know and have known, I value my time immensly and I’ll seriously consider anything that will grab me a few extra minutes of “me time”. Soylent has done that and so much more than I ever expected. Not only has it given me more time for myself, but all the time in my life has improved in quality because I feel better (and that’s been backed up by some amount of science thanks to our recent doctor visit).

I couldn’t care less if Soylent never got any media coverage and nobody knew about it enough to consider it hip - except that would probably mean it would die out and fade away. So for that reason alone, I will gladly accept the label of “hipster” if some nitwit wants to attribute it to me because I drink Soylent. That means the world knows about it and is talking about it and that ultimately will only help ensure that I can get my Soylent. Maybe that’s selfish of me… but hey, my life is in fact all about me. :wink:


For me soylent is a diet but it’s also a lifestyle that I wish to adopt. There’s no reason for me to eat unhealthy food because a healthy option is sitting in my fridge that most likely is faster anyways. Also I am college student and some days I need to get meals in fast and get to the next class or I won’t have time to eat at all. Soylent assures that I get food and healthy food too.


Concerning sleep, have you ever tried out polyphasic sleeping?


I don’t have my Soylent yet, but the reasons I’ll be doing it are definitely not hipster. Some reasons very similar to other comments in the thread, others might be unique.

Strong aversion to cooking and food preparation, and a general resentment of all the social baggage that goes along with procuring, preparing, and consuming food. Yeah, I’ve got issues.

I drink a lot of Ensure Plus these days. In the past it’s been Carnation Instant Breakfast, Slimfast, Ovaltine, MetRx, various bodybuilding shakes, or whatever can of shake mix caught my eye at the health food store. When I was in high school, at lunchtime I would sometimes go buy a quart of milk and that would be lunch. Before the shakes it started with PowerBars when I was a teenager; then Clif Bars, I have basically lived off them at times. Or Luna Bars, or Balance Bars, or whatever.

Not like I’ve been solely surviving on fake food all this time, far from it. I eat sort of regular some of the time, get a lot of drive-through burgers, grill cheap cuts of beef, make spaghetti, but an awful lot of microwave meals and snack-food-as-meal type things too (e.g. Hot Pockets). And often I just eat mass quantities of dessert foods when I get hungry (Krispy Kremes FTW! I occasionally eat a dozen in one sitting).

Your friend’s comment about not being cognizant of, and taking responsibility for, the physical realities of day-to-day living: Yeah, I want that. I don’t enjoy thinking about food and my bodily functions and I want to put it all on autopilot as much as possible. Yet I still want to have good nutrition and not completely screw my body up. I’m in relatively good health now, but overweight and woefully out of shape. I sense that I’m pushing my luck (I’m age 41) and I won’t stay healthy unless I regularize my nutrition.

I’ve had daydreams in the past of growing my own vegetables, having chickens, sheep, and a dairy cow (may do that yet), preparing nutritious whole food that I grew myself; but the stark reality is I HATE doing all that stuff. My mother-in-law gave me a dozen daffodil bulbs a couple years ago, and I resented every minute I was digging in the clayey, rocky spot I picked to plant them. I spent $50 on fish for the pond a couple years ago, must have been too cold when I put them in because I never saw them again after I dumped them in (granted, it was months before I checked on them). We planted fruit trees a couple years ago and unfortunately do zero maintenance to them; most of them are still alive but the bugs get at them pretty bad, and we missed an opportunity to prune them and train their branches and so on. Maybe through the miracle of nature they’ll produce fruit one of these years anyway.

I recognize the magnificent value of being intimately involved in sourcing and preparing one’s own food, but good grief it’s like a whole career just doing that, even if you buy it at the grocery store. And you have to do it e-v-v-v-very day, three times or more a day, again and again and again and again…

So, yeah… Soylent. One of these months.


As an interesting counterpoint to your friend’s concern about not thinking about what’s going in your body, I actually think about it /more/ now that its a controllable process. Trying to track it with traditional food is infeasible task, due to the vast amount of variables involved. Soylent allows me to have something consistent, with a known content. I’m able to get accurate results by experimenting with individual vitamins and seeing their effect on me within a relatively controlled environment (the only changes are the ones I’m testing).

But overall, I eat Soylent because its a relatively cheap way to eat healthy, and it saves me money by vastly decreasing the cravings that led me to waste money on fast food. The combination of the fixed expense the decreased going out to eat means my budget is stable and predictable. It simplifies me life to a point that its easier to optimize.


Lose weight & improve diet.
I love food, maybe too much.

  1. Save time.
  2. Eat something that has good, complete nutrition by design.

Regarding time, the worst of the 3 meals for me is lunch. There I am in the middle of the day, having built momentum on whatever I’m working on, but now I have to stop everything to go eat. And eating solid food in the middle of the day makes me sleepy. So now I have to endure that or take a nap. None of this is because I wanted to, but because I had to. F**k that.

You mentioned your friend values process. Well I do too. The process of my daily work is 100 X more important than the traditional process of eating lunch.

Regarding nutrition, none of the normal meals I ate were ever vetted by a nutrition calculator that looked at min/max levels for everything you need. I still think it’s a totally neat idea!

If you’re friend thinks that soylent is wrong for him, that’s cool. But if he thinks it’s wrong for you or for me then he’s just being a hipster. :wink:

I still enjoy one regular meal per day (dinner) and for me this makes for a nice balance between efficiency vs. enjoyment. I also feel better on this approach than all regular food or all soylent… so there’s that too.


I drink it for convenience and weight control…

For me, it’s all about the convenience…the weight and body fat loss is just a great bonus for me