Why Soylent appeals to me & how I intend to use it


#1

So I’m preaching to the converted here but given all the reactions people have against the idea of Soylent, I thought I’d articulate my reasons for being interested in Soylent and how I intend to use it. Maybe I’ll send a link to this post to anyone asking me about it in the future. :smile:

I’ve always been an intense all-or-nothing kind of person, in every aspect of my life. So when I’m eating well, a lot of research, planning, measuring, weighing, calculating, charting, documenting, preparing, etc. goes into that. Then, my diet is perfect. Every. Single. Day. But I get exhausted at the effort eventually. Then I give up & live on crap for awhile. While trying to hide it, and feeling ashamed. Yes, I have a really unhealthy relationship to food.

As a recent example, I ate perfectly from Jan to Apr. Then May & June, basically lived on Diet Coke & pasta everyday and nothing else (from Thai restaurants or a box of spaghetti with a can of tomato sauce). Then July & Aug, have been living on Diet Coke & burgers and nothing else. Now I’m gearing up for the perfect diet again.

As you can see, in my down times, I destroy all the progress I made with my health in the good times.

I have tried to correct this pattern. For the last 20 years. I have tried moderation. I have tried just a 75% perfect diet 100% of the time. But I fail. I always end up alternating between 100% perfect diet for many months, then 0% for many months.

No amount of interventions, education, knowledge, logic, advice from naturopaths, nutritionists, personal trainers, doctors (hell, even psychotherapists), preaching from friends, family, media about how “healthy eating is not that hard” has been able to help me break this pattern.

So my hope is that Soylent can help me during those times I’m failing with my nutrition. And as a perfectionist, Soylent & other existing alternatives just aren’t good enough for me. :smiley: Hence, I’m working on a DIY.

So I may be more extreme than others (as I tend to be, in everything). But I don’t think it’s very unusual, generally speaking. I think a lot of people are going through this, or have experienced it at some point. (Hence the popularity of products like Soylent.)

As I see it, its an inherent cultural/societal problem in North America – I can’t speak for elsewhere – with the values & lifestyle we are taught from birth. Eg, society is structured to support a lifestyle involving working lots of overtime with very little vacation at the expense of leisure, family, health because it defines your worth as a human being – while not easily supporting those who try a different approach. Soylent throws a bandaid on that, without addressing the root problem, and thereby enabling it all to continue as-is. (There’s an amusing conspiracy theory to be found in there. J/k.)

But without a radical anarchy to overthrow that (lol), as for what I can do for myself, as an individual, here & now… Soylent.


EDIT: About the paragraph re. cultural issue…

This post has addressed my personal challenges as a result of inherent personality traits, then briefly suggested I and others are ALSO a product of our culture to some extent (whether you agree with the specifics of my provided example or not).

If you disagree with that basic premise, well then, the popularity of Soylent and prevalence of various meal replacements is because each one of the millions of us are all individually flawed (lazy, no personal boundaries on work-life balance, etc.), and cannot be described as a social “trend”. To be fixed individually and nothing to repair on the wider societal/cultural level.


#2

In my experience that is much more an issue of personal boundaries.


#3

Personal boundaries don’t do anything for you when most companies offer only 2 weeks vacation time per year. Compare that with other countries with different values regarding work-life balance. Also consider the massive government cutbacks over the last decade on phys ed/sports programs & nutrition education in school, for youth.

That’s just two tiny examples.

It is not impossible to have a better lifestyle, and many people do, just that the baseline structure & fundamental social values means it can potentially be an uphill battle with unnecessary obstacles.


#4

I get 4 weeks of vacation…

Not saying you’re entirely wrong, but I think we’d all be better off if more people demanded more vacation time and such. As it is now, most people are just too scared of being unemployed so they “do what it takes” to get and keep a job.


#5

Let’s please not zero in on people’s work habits and debate that endlessly.

The point of that one particular paragraph in my original post (not even the point of my post overall) was that we can examine things from a social science perspective to see what, culturally, produces a particular trend & value system (in this case, poor dietary habits) among the majority of the population, across multiple generations.

Of course it can also be viewed from perspectives of individual psychology, nature, nurture, industrialization, economics, capitalism, or any number of ways.

All have some validity. It is the complex mingling of all factors that produces a result. My post addressed my personal challenges as a result of inherent personality traits, then briefly suggested I and others are also a product of our culture to some extent. That’s all.


#6

They’ve done fine for me for the last 20 some odd years.

I’ve done just fine without that.


#7

Ok? Glad to hear it.


#8

I got fired from Pizza Hut when I was 18 for asking for a 2 week vacation. I’d worked there for about a year and a half and never took a sick day.

I can’t give statistics about who’s fault it is most of the time but there must be at least several millions of people that have no choice. Especially people who aren’t in a skilled job and are completely replaceable.

I was actually fired a few days after asking for “leaving your coat in the back overnight”.


#9

Ok, nice point but I regret that one paragraph. How about this…

Why are you interested in Soylent and how do you intend to use it?


#10

I intend to use the powdered food in some recipes I want to invent, including ice cream, cookies and pancakes.


#11

It’s healthier, more convenient, and cheaper than what I used to eat. Old diet: pizza, chocolate, and whatever junk I shoved into my mouthhole. New diet: Soylent, pizza, and chocolate.


#12

@HungerControl & @wezaleff – So you just want the Soylent to add in some missing nutrition to an unhealthy diet, without necessarily depriving yourself of the “junk” foods you enjoy? What stops you from eating a fresh healthy diet? Time, convenience, taste, or…? Not trying to be snarky, just legitimately curious. :smile:


#13

All of the above, for me! I occasionally enjoy baking, but I rarely have interest in preparing my own healthy food. Adding water to a powder is about the limit of my day-to-day cooking abilities. Buying a prepared fresh healthy diet is too expensive, plus I’ve always been a picky eater, so I wouldn’t eat the majority of what’s available anyway. On top of all that, I haven’t eaten meat for years, which completely eliminates some cheap, quick, healthy foods: I used to eat a ton of chicken breast when I ate meat, for example.


#14

This is interesting. I’m starting to see a lot of people in this forum using Soylent this way. It surprised me because when I read about the origins of Soylent (eg, The New Yorker’s “The End of Food”), it was used as a healthier alternative to a bad diet, to replace fast food & instant noodles. This is also the mindset I came to it with. I hope to drink my DIY Soylent instead of hamburgers, chocolate, Diet Coke, etc. during my nutritional slump phases. And not using Soylent (or reducing consumption) when I am doing well preparing my own healthy meals.

But for your intended use (and others with similar approach), how do you see Soylent as different from an existing nutritional supplement/meal replacement, such as Vega One or Shakeology or similar – full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytonutrients, probiotics, some protein. To me, these are inferior to Soylent because they cannot be complete if consuming as 100% of diet. (But I’m using Vega One as my base ingredient and filling in the gaps in my DIY.) But the way you want to use Soylent, they might be good enough?


#15

I had never heard of Vega One until recently, but it looks both much more expensive than Soylent (3-4 times per calorie) as well as lacking certain micronutrients entirely (or tiny % of daily values), so I’d need to supplement it as well. So it looks inferior in both of those ways, but the convenience is probably identical, which makes Soylent a clear winner for me.

I hadn’t heard of Shakeology, but it looks even more expensive. I couldn’t even find nutritional info for it on their site, but from Google it looks like it’s a supplement, not a food, and it’s about 5-6 times as expensive as Soylent per calorie. So that gets a big thumbs down as well.

I like that Soylent is nutritionally complete because it’s where I’m getting a baseline of micronutrients in my diet. Any feasible replacement would have to do roughly everything Soylent does, as well as be significantly cheaper for me to consider switching.


#16

Ok I see what you’re saying. But how do you use Soylent to get your full nutrition with all micros without significantly going over your daily cal if you’re having it with pizza, etc? That’s why I considered a supplement (Vega One) rather than food (Soylent) would come closer to meeting needs in a situation like yours.

Regarding cost though – using Vega One as the base of my DIY allowed me to save costs in other areas by removing some ingredients & significantly reducing others. I’ve got my cost down to $12/day if I buy everything in bulk. And that’s even using expensive high quality ingredients like cricket protein, gelatinized quinoa flour, etc to supplement the Vega One. Mind you, I haven’t actually tried it yet, its under development & all still hypothetical.


#17

I’m a big guy. I also only average about half a bag of Soylent a day.


#18

Ah ok. That would do it. :smile:


#19

I guess what stops me from eating a fresh healthy diet is a combination of time and convenience and image. When I’m hungry I want to grab something to eat, or get it ready to eat within a minutes or two. Nobody wants to do the fucking dishes. I don’t want to let food and cookware burn again. I don’t want food waste. I don’t want rotting food scraps to stink up the kitchen or attract all the rodents in the neighborhood. I want something that could be served to others or guests that has a good name. I want something that could be donated to charity without the inference of cannibalism.

I tried to invent some foods with Soylent. I bought the stuff through a third-party vender because I didn’t want the white box with the disgusting name “Soylent” on it. My Soylent ice cream idea froze rock hard; I tried again with more cream but the calories were too high - I now do better with peanut butter and whipping cream and milk for home made ice cream without the Soylent. I sometimes do a commercial shake mix that has nutrition to supplement a meal if the only ready to eat foods available are convenience foods. My Soylent pancakes idea burned on the outside and stayed raw on the inside so that idea went to waste. I have better luck with Bisquik pancakes. I didn’t try the Soylent cookies because the Soylent probably won’t handle baking, similar to what happened with the pancakes.

I’m looking for foods, mostly solid foods, that are healthy and ready to eat and have a reasonable shelf life. And, the product must have a name you can be proud of and proud to share with others.


#20

I want something that could be donated to charity without the inference of cannibalism.

This reminds me of that old Gerber baby food story.