Why is Soylent always examined in a vacuum?


Having followed Soylent and soylent (DIY) and having now been on DIY for over 6 months, I have come to see something that occurs regularly. I see it in media coverage, when friends and folks ask me about it, and even on this very discourse at times.

Simply put - Soylent is so often examined “in a vacuum”. This is the term we used in insurance claims when they would audit case files. A single case (from hundreds or thousands) would be examined with no input or contrast to anything else, this single case would be broken down and critiqued solely on itself. I feel like critique of Soylent often goes the same way.

There seems to be a strong will of some folks to deconstruct and disprove Soylent. Personally it has changed my life dramatically for the better and while not for everyone, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Instead Soylent (and DIY) exist in a world where people are eating very poorly, fast foods, processed foods, etc. etc. etc. Soylent can arguably do the MOST good for folks who are already missing the target on nutrition for many reasons. Sometimes it’s time, money, skill, availability, etc.

Despite all the great things Soylent and soylent can do for folks of all levels, it is so often critiqued or attacked otherwise. I’ve literally had people tell me subjectively all the things they think are wrong with it while they continue to eat fast food and processed snacks. They compare Soylent to eating a nutritious healthy diet that they themselves are unable to follow. It just surprises me that I often find myself having to justify it against standards that the critics themselves don’t adhere to.

Mainly curious if other folks come across this as often as I do!


Admittedly when I first heard about Soylent from my boss I thought it was crazy talk. Then I did some research and found out what it was. I liked the concept enough to make my own DIY recipe and I’ve been on it for a month and a half.

I think allot of the vaccume thinking is done out of ignorance and misconceptions of what Soylent is and what it’s for. My boss and I have both had people in the office ask questions and poke fun in a friendly way. One of the guy is thinking about trying it himself.


After two different friends posted this humorous NPR story http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/10/27/359338107/sandwich-replacement-monday-soylent
on my Facebook the reactions were more or less as you’d expect. Ick, wrote one… But the others who had forwarded me the story (I’d spoken to both of them about Soylent in normal conversation so they understood) clarified that for me it did make sense as a convenient/affordable/healthy alternative to the fast food I would have otherwise eaten.


Typical negatively biased (although humorous) article. The author was biased to begin with and the fact they made it wrong didn’t help. They drank it at room temp and probably didn’t let it soak. The dog did make me laugh.


One of the things I get a lot is that people think you have to do 0% Soylent or 100% Soylent. They say “I couldn’t live on only Soylent”. After a couple times telling them they don’t have to live on 100% Soylent, some still don’t get it. I say don’t you think it would be a better single meal than fast food? I still think they are stuck in the 100% mode and can’t see it might actually help them. At that point I give up. They will either get it or not. It’s probably better to let them sit for a while and think about it anyway. My guess is that 10 years from now all the naysayers will have to admit that it isn’t killing us and at least leave us alone. :smile:

I really haven’t had that much trouble with people. Mostly because I don’t care if they get it or not. I’m just noticing how I think people think sometimes.


I’ve had the same reactions. People are so used to diets being restrictive in some way. “You can only eat foods on this list or your insides will melt.” The idea that the “Soylent diet” isn’t restrictive in any way or even a diet is completely forien. It helps if you tell them it’s a meal replacement or just a food they seem to get it better.


And I also get the occasional “Nick’s eating food!” whenever I decide to eat normal food. -.-


Story of my life. If I eat muggle food its like I must be giving up on my post food gospel.


the answer is simple: people are curious, not that smart, and like giving their opinions, sometimes unsolicited. Hope that answers your q.


and judge a book by its cover to do that.


Blindly defending isn’t much better. And critique helps with improvement. (not sure if that’s the angle the OP was looking at, honestly)

When I first saw the thread title, I thought it was going to be about how Soylent is always judged as a 100% replacement for food, without much thought being given to using it as more of a supplement/occasional meal.


In response to your well-thought out Opening Post:



You are accusing men of blindly judging it? I never did that.


I’m quite sure there are women who blindly judge it as well.

(Take a very close look at my previous post, then think hard before replying to this, if you choose to reply to it at all. :wink: )


Oops!..I meant to say you are accusing ‘me’ of blindly judging it? :slight_smile:


heh …and I wasn’t replying to you in the first place. This forum makes such things obvious, I thought.

(please don’t reply, this is enough off-topic spam)


I’d say around 70% of people I talk to about soylent either make fun of it, are disgusted, or just look at me kind of weirdly and carry on, despite all my efforts to explain the benefits (health, efficiency, $, etc.). Regardless, I feel like soylent is so amazing that I almost have a moral duty to tell people about it. If they walk away laughing, I honestly feel a little bad for them (especially if they aren’t in the best health).

I think the reactions to soylent will change with time as it becomes more popular and people have more time to think about it and ask the questions we all asked in the beginning.


I suppose there is some thinking bias involved, as well:

If you do Soylent, and it does indeed cause you health problems, you are considered stupid and solely repsonsible for ruin of your health by action.

If you keep on as usual, your diet certainly damages your health, but without unexpected things happening

So while rationally it is most likely that you benefit from Soylent, the little risk of harm is exaggerated, and the certain harm of the current diet neglected.


It probably should be examined in a vacuum - it would be a great option for space missions.

Hey Soylent, have you held talks with NASA yet? Maybe you can help get us to Mars!


I’d agree with you here. I have a friend who smokes routinely and tries to tell me I’m “playing with fire” by essentially testing DIY on myself… From someone who actively does something proven to be killing him :smile: