Back in February, Rob Rhinehart decided he was going to create an easy and simple way to nourish your body without the hassle of buying and preparing food. And as it turns out, he might have just done it. He has named his creation Soylent.
What is Soylent?
Soylent exists as a combination of all the raw chemicals the body needs to survive that it would usually acquire from eating food. The end product is a white, shake-like liquid that is prepared by adding water and then drinking.
Credit: Soylent Facebook
“I researched every substance the body needs to survive, plus a few extras shown to be beneficial, and purchased all of them in nearly raw chemical form from a variety of sources,” Rhinehart said of Soylent on his blog. “The section on the ingredients ended up being quite long so I’ll save that for a future post. The first morning my kitchen looked more like a chemistry lab than cookery, but I eventually ended up with a thick, odorless, beige liquid. I call it ‘Soylent.'”
Various reviews and articles written by people who have tried Soylent describe it many different ways.
“Soylent tastes like the homemade nontoxic Play-Doh you made, and sometimes ate, as a kid,” Gawker described. “Slightly sweet and earthy with a strong yeasty aftertaste.
“Soylent tastes vaguely bread-y, like if you mixed flour, baking soda and water and then added more water,” Forbes said of the mixture. “But the first glass is the hardest.”
The Soylent Name
The name Soylent itself is taken from the science fiction film “Soylent Green.” Soylent Green, much like Rhinehart’s concoction, is produced to provide the necessary chemicals to keep the impoverished people of the future alive in an overpopulated, dying earth.
Soylent is given out as food is scarce and only the rich have the luxuries of actual food. Taking this name is fairly accurate and a good choice for Rhinehart’s product, except that at the end of the film the main character discovers that Soylent Green is, in fact, made out of people. This connection has raised a little adversity to Rhinehart’s drink as people poke fun at the name choice and the connotation that will come along with hearing it.
Yet, despite the possible poor name choice, Soylent is in fact not made out of people, and through the personal trials and tests of Rhinehart, he claims that Soylent has made him feel better and healthier than he ever has before.
Health Benefits of Soylent
“I feel like the six million dollar man. My physique has noticeably improved, my skin is clearer, my teeth whiter, my hair thicker and my dandruff gone,” Rhinehart said. “I used to run less than a mile at the gym, now I can run seven. I have more energy than I know what to do with.”
He also claims that Soylent has helped his mental capabilities as well. He writes he’s witnessed himself possessing greater patience, and analytical skills. He also points out the fact that with a Soylent diet, food allergies become irrelevant.
Naturally he would only say positive accounts of the overall results that he’s seen, but Caleb Melby of Forbes, had the same inkling and gave Soylent his own test drive to see for himself; only living off of Soylent for a week.
“Thursday was productive, without craving, grumpiness, or distracting and overwhelming food desire,” Melby said. “I ran errands after work, went for a jog and returned home for another glass. I don’t feel ‘wired’ or more ‘curious’ as Rhinehart says he does. None of the world’s closely-held secrets have made themselves known to me. My hair is neither shinier nor my teeth noticeably whiter. But there is something to be said for a day uninterrupted by shopping, cooking, cleaning and post-meal lethargy.”
So it seems that while some of the more boastful health benefits may be buffed up a tad to help promote Soylent, it seems that it does serve as an actual viable source of nourishment. Throughout his article, Melby mentioned that it helped him greatly in dealing with his habit of snacking daily and it completely tided him over until his next helping of Soylent. He also commented that adding vanilla flavoring greatly enhanced Soylent’s taste and made it not only bearable, but delicious.
Credit: Soylent Facebook
Additionally it has been stressed by Rhinehart that his product, though designed and created with the ability to be lived off of alone, is not intended to be the only thing a person will ever eat again.
“Cooking should be a hobby, like hunting. People used to hunt for survival, now they just do it for fun,” Rhinehart stressed in his blog. “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.”
So on Soylent an individual wouldn’t need to adopt a convention of never eating again, no one would want to give up all their favorite foods. He is giving an alternative to eat healthy as well as eat what they want.
After Rhinehart’s success with his product, he decided to put Soylent into production and distribute to people who would be interested.
Putting Soylent into Production
“I have decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign,” Rhinehart said on his blog. “If accepted and successful, this will fund a larger controlled study of the effects, allow me to scale up production, improve control, and, my ultimate goal, use technology to alleviate global hunger, malnutrition, and improve the total health of the human race, especially the poor.”
And according to an article published in Bloomberg Businessweek, Rhinehart made his goal of $100,000 in just two hours. And according to his campaign website, Soylent raised $797,223, which funded the production of more than 310,000 meals.
Additionally, people can try Soylent by placing a preorder on the Soylent campaign’s website. It costs $65 to order one week’s worth of Soylent. Two weeks, three weeks, and so on, up to three month’s worth of meals of Soylent can be preordered. A three-month supply costs $680.
So perhaps you wouldn’t want to drop everything and give up on eating for good, but Soylent provides some interesting options in nourishment. Maybe if you worry that you aren’t eating healthy enough or just want to make sure that you are giving your body the nutrients that it needs, Soylent may be worth checking out.
Visit the Soylent campaign website for more information or to preorder the second production round of Soylent.
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