Why do YOU believe in Soylent?


#1

Topic title says it all, why do you personally think Soylent is a good idea? There’s plenty of nutritionists giving kneejerk reactions saying it’s missing X, Y or Z, and that you’re better off eating “real food.” Then there’s people saying this has been done before, usually refrencing Nutributter, or some such but staying vague. Despite all this, the team is going to raise over half a million, and likely top three quarters of a million dollars for Soylent.

I’m sure there are plenty of us here for totally different reasons, why are you here? Ignore the detractors for now, you shouldn’t be here because you think someone is wrong, but because you think you are right.

For me, I think a small comment in rob’s month 2 update says it best for me:

The point is having another option. Perhaps this does not constitute the ideal diet, but I am quite confident that it is healthier than any easy diet, and easier than any healthy diet. I’m touched so many people are concerned about my intake of possible unknown essential nutrients. No one seemed to worry about me when I lived on burritos and ramen and actually was deficient of many known essential nutrients. The body is pretty robust. If you can survive on what most Americans or Somalians eat, you can surely survive on Soylent.

What about you? What turned you onto Soylent? Why do you think Soylent is a great idea?


#2

2 things:

  1. Rob mentions in one of his blog posts that the human body obviously knows how to survive with a limited nutrition profile, and that the body knows how to compensate for deficiencies. Yet, I can’t help but consider how this one problem alone affects the overall health of a human body over the course of its lifetime. What would aging be like on Soylent? I’d be willing to guess that it would present a large reduction in health complications.

  2. I care more about my own health than the luxury of stuffing my face. If I own a lot of property and land and assets, but suddenly lost a lung tomorrow, what would I be willing to give that I owned to get a lung back? My body and its individual parts are by far much more valuable to me than my material assets.

That’s my two cents. :slight_smile: That’s why I believe in Soylent, and in @rob.


#3

Someone posted a link to Rob’s blog on the Facebook group page for the Calorie Restriction Society; I followed it, read the blog entries and was fascinated.

Like Rob, I’m not interested in doing away with food; some people, I know, seem to hate food but I’m not one of them. The point, as Rob says, is to have an option! The funny thing about it is that there’s nothing new in Rob’s idea, it has been done before many times over and there are dozens of full nutrition meal replacement products on the market, ranging from the supposedly elite ripoff maxi-orofit medical versions.Jevity, Ensure et al. marketed by Nestlé, Abbot and other corporate sharks, scads of dieting profiteers, yet more body-builder profiteers, the niche market versions of emergency rations kept in lifeboats, and so forth and so on. So what is so fascinating about Soylent?

Undeniably, Rob’s cheeky use of the SF future fantasy image conjured by the Soylent name. But much more than that, I guess it’s seeing the pedestrian meal-replacement concept taken up by a group of young techie geeks promoting it for multiple pragmatic reasons: personal convenience, boredom with fixing meals for one, concern about feeding a world of seven, eight, or ten billion people, concern about environmental overload and the role of agriculture, etc. etc. It’s seeing a cadre of young minds and wills just doing something they believe in, something with potential to benefit so many people in so many various ways, and doing it in opposition to Big Food and Big Pharma. That’s as close as I can come to identifying the peculiar fascination of Soylent. Another part of it is watching the crowdfunding investment skyrocket. It’s a bit staggering. It’s going to top $400K this evening; I think we can now be certain they’ll get their half million and they are now speculating it might finish at $750K. To raise that kind of funding in that way from early adopters is indicative of a huge backlog of interest. Why are all those people not making use of existing meal-replacement options, do you suppose? I think everyone must feel as I do, that the existing products are exploitative ripoffs. I hope Rob anbd his associates realise that and do all they can to keep it super-economical and affordable, make it into a really attractive option even for people who are really poor – because the 1% are quite rapidly raking in all the chips and making paupers out of the 99%. Let’s hope Rob makes this into a people’s thing and that Soylent Corp. doesn’t grow up to become just another corporate shark swimming in the same ocean with Nestlé.


#4

@GodRaine Yes! You hit another key point for me also, that I just suspect that if it’s done correctly, done well enough, a product might result that would become an adjunct to the already acknowledged discipline of Calorie Restriction, greatly promoting health and longevity, possibly becoming another breakthrough towards actually extending human life span. I was greatly heartened to hear the words “no toxins, no allergens, no carcinogens, and no waste” on the video posted on the campaign website home page – demonstrating that these possibilities are very much on Rob’s mind. I greatly hope that Soylent continues to develop in that direction.


#5

I’m not sure believe is the right word. I am cautiously optimistic. The paragraph initially pointed out is what hooked me as well. Especially the line about the lack of people worrying when he was eating poorly. It seems logical enough to me that a diet that is aiming at getting all the right nutrients is going to be better than any that do not. It also seems logical to me that whatever issues might arise, should be observable long before serious detriment can occur. I don’t expect to wake up one day without any teeth. The more I thought about whether I would do it, the easier it became. I realized that although I do love food, most of my meals are maintenance. I eat because I have to. What I eat is pretty healthy, but I eat mostly the same things every day and week. On weekends, I get fancy. I will continue to do that on Soylent. Another reason for me, is that I am diabetic. I would like to be able to dial in the exact formula to keep my levels balanced.


#6

It is, quite simply, an obvious idea, which a person decided to implement. It was staring us in the face the whole time and makes perfect logical sense. When I began reading the blog I could not help but grin throughout the entire thing. It was such a simple idea with so many benefits and even allowed for it’s weaknesses. In summary, it was brilliant yet plain, emphasising how great an idea it was.


#7

Personally, I have always wanted something like this.

I just want simplicity and find ti frustrating how much time/money is spent on dealing with the issue of eating. I want something that is quick, cheap, and healthy yet the market doesn’t really provide something like that. Even if this doesn’t save me money compared to what I currently do, it will save time and is almost guaranteed to be healthier.

In the end, I want soylent for simplicity.


#8

Yep, Cameron, you nailed it there – simplicity. Not only does the market not really provide something that is quick, cheap and healthy, but so far I cannot even find that on the Internet! I spent hours yesterday trying to Google up a brief menu and recipe plan for three to five days worth of dead-simple but perfectly nutritionally balanced meals – forget it. I could not even get close. It may be out there on a website somewhere but all the TRADEMARKS and company names promising Complete Nutrition etc. totally dominated the search results. I am still trying – wanted to see what others had done before doing a lot of hard work myself with CRON-O-Meter or similar nutrition apps. That really brought home to me how the current so-called foodie culture has moved towards endlessly elaborate recipes and esoteric ingredients with a nearly total disregard for basic nutritional balance. No wonder everyone is longing for something like Soylent.


#9

I believe in Soylent because I’m unconcerned with the taste of food and would rather eat my full nutrition in an efficient manner.
The fact that it tastes good is icing on the cake.


#10

Initially, I was just a bit tired of the time, money and energy I spent planning, shopping, preparing, carrying and eating food. Which was a lot.

Now, after having done a month on Soylent only and then 2 days of mostly solid food, I hate how I feel/am on solid food.
Soylent gives me much better sleep, doesn’t make exercise as hard as solid food, allows me to be more awake and to work faster, and prevents me from feeling cold when I got outside without a jacket at 3 in the morning. Not sure why that is though.

Edit: Before anyone gets to confused or even worried, I don’t mean that I couldn’t notice that it is cold.
I can still feel any temperature. The cold just doesn’t bring any discomfort anymore. Hot rooms (above 22°C) still do. :smiley:


#11

Probably your body just can afford to heat itself properly.


#12

Interesting idea, but, I still shiver. I just don’t FEEL it anymore. :open_mouth:


#13

Translation of what I have written on some Polish board.

The point is not to entirely replace normal food, such experiments are
being conducted merely as a proof of concept. I am not going to let go
of good schabowy z mizerią (pork chops with cucumber salad?). The
point is that i do not always feel like, have time or money for decent
food and then I eat some crap (it is impossible to call most of the
modern food otherwise). Besides, my stomach do not always want to eat
in the morning and then I’m just being hungry, Soylent would mostly
solve that problem.

The point is not even to make something better/healthier than high
quality food. The point is to make something being simultaneously
healthier, cheaper and more convenient than popular fast food (I don’t
only mean stricte fast food, but also what is being sold in regular
shops as meat, bread, healthy fruits and vegetables).

Not having to eat - for me it’s a breakthrough. When eating becomes an
option, it’s easier to appreciate the taste. There is no point in
concealing that I usually eat just to fill up, not for the taste.
Having Soylent, I will be able to eat only when I want to and enjoy
the taste.


#14

Well, it definitely is strange.
Try spending more time in cold environment. If you don’t start feeling cold, start worrying as it could turn out to be dangerous.


#15

It’s not exactly an unknown phenomenon, though, FlameRunner; yogis in India and Buddhist monks learn or acquire the ability to defy bodily chilling and some can demonstrate this by repeatedly quickly drying out sopping wet cloths draped over them as they sit quietly in freezing weather, just with their generated body heat. I wonder if Ben has somehow tapped something similar via Soylent. Fascinating…


#17

I’m diabetic, so I have to carefully watch everything I eat, and I’m sick of it. Food is no longer pleasant, mostly, it’s at best a pain in the butt maintenance chore that I’d happily do without. Doubly so if I can occasionally eat the few foods that are pleasant more often because I’ve got both better nutrition to start (so a nice porterhouse won’t hurt anything) and more free money because Soylent is less expensive than actual food.

I had this very idea when I was a kid, dorking around a little trying to figure out if the Sci Fi ‘food pills’ were in any way plausible. (This was LONG pre internet, so no really easy research available) I ended up getting discouraged from all the bits and pieces I could find that contradicted each other as to how much of what you need. I was delighted to have klutzed across Rob’s site to see that not only has my idea (NOT claiming it as ‘omg u stole it’; I’m sure others have had the idea at some point too) and have been throwing handfuls of money at my monitor waiting for the funding to open… Would love to just dump some powder in a cup of coffee and boom, dinner.


#18

I want to get all nutrients I need in an easy and cheap package.

While I’ve never been big on fast food I tend to make rather monotonous meals because I can’t cook.


#19

I read Rob’s blog several weeks ago and sent him an email basically telling him why I wanted to experiment with soylent. I told him basically that between working six days a week, raising two kids, and being a husband didn’t allow me to eat as healthy as I needed. I told him I wanted to try soylent because there was no way that soylent would be worse for me than what I was consuming for meals. Looking back now, I think what I should have said was that I was addicted somehow to fast foods that lacked nutrients and I was using my lifestyle as an excuse to keep eating fast foods. Once I started making soylent, I immediately noticed a difference. I didn’t want to eat junk food. It was as if my body was saying “FINALLY!, thank you!” Now, after being on my own form of soylent, I just feel normal. I feel as though my body has adapted to what I ingest. Like CuriousBen said, when I eat a normal meal I usually feel terrible. I’ve found that snacking on fruits is still great though. Exercise is much easier and more rewarding than it used to be. I still get sore and all, but I can exercise longer and feel less fatigued when I am finished. I sleep much better and wake up easier. I can “listen” to what my body tells me and change my soylent as needed. BTW, I really don’t like the name soylent. It seems like nectar or something would have been more appropriate. Anyway, I believe in soylent because I think it is a step in the right direction, maybe not the final solution to nutrition, but definitely a step forward.


#20

I’m a 43 year old science fiction author, and in fact, the name Soylent is one of the reasons I find it exciting. Regardless of the denouement in the Heston film, to me, the name Soylent embodies a futuristic foodstuff, which I’m sure Rob thought of when he dubbed it Soylent. I liked Rob’s initial openness, transparency and documented reports about putting together and trying the product out on himself, with medical supervision.
I do enjoy food, but after hitting 40, I’ve made a conscious effort to be more healthy and sensible about what I fill up on. As someone who’s always been interested in futuristic and scientific concepts, Soylent is a fascinating, intriguing development that I’ve wanted to see since I was a small boy, marvelling at pictures of food in tubes as eaten by astronauts in the '60s and '70’s. I’m so hopeful for success in this respect.
Finally, I would like to add that I hope they don’t lose sight of Rob’s original goals and don’t choose maximum profits over doing good with Soylent. One of the best things I read from Rob’s blog is the idea that Soylent has a very real opportunity to alleviate some of the massive suffering in the world from lack of food and malnutrition. A true world of the future should, I feel, be similar to that of ‘Star Trek’ - where people have not forgotten to look after each other as a global family. If Soylent can be made available to those who need food the most, it will be nothing short of a miraculous historic event, equal to the discovery of penicillin.


#21

I’m 68, a writer and dog breeder; I have no formal training in human nutrition and am no kind of authority on nutrition or meal replacement. Rob’s blog posts captured my imagination and this forum completed the job! I enjoy food and enjoy preparing my own meals far too much to “stop eating food.” Nevertheless I am an enthusiastic supporter of the soylent idea, for the following reasons:

(1) Busy people are often too busy or too bushed to cook and consequently suffer very poor nutrition, often consuming the worst sort of junk food and compromising their health needlessly. Soylent offers the possibility of a fast, safe meal replacement of a high nutritional standard.

(2) We still do not know nearly enough about human nutrition. The only way this can be overcome is through ongoing experience and controlled experimentation; the real way forward to breakthroughs in nutritional understanding lies in the area of the chemically defined diet, because only with a CCD can the input variables be controlled sufficiently to know what’s going on. It is also a high-risk strategy but that’s the price of knowledge.

(3) I’m attracted by the possibility of evolving my own meal-replacement options tailored specifically to my individual needs, taste and preference. That this approach also offers the possibility of great economy and efficiency is the icing on the cake.

(4) As the world population continues to grow, food and resource supplies continue to become tighter, more and more people fall by the wayside or through the cracks in our poorly-conceived social/economic/governmental “systems.” Little or nothing is being done for them. Even in the area in which I live, supposedly in a prosperous industrialised country, there is only one tiny underfunded undersupplied “food bank” within fifty miles – it is open just for one hour every two weeks, and you get one visit a month for a preassembled “hamper” – no choice. Soylent might offer a workable option to that kind of harsh, degrading, unsympathetic handling of the ever-present problems of marginalisation and malnutrition.

(5) Trying to evolve my own soylent recipe is rapidly teaching me a lot about nutrition. I enjoy taking responsibility for my own nutrition – so few people in North America seem to think their nutritional health is any business of their own and assume someone else should be doing that for them!