500 grams of wild alaskan salmon
1/2 cup of mushrooms
3.5 tbsp of olive oil
30 grams of sunflower seeds
1 tbsp of dried parsley
2 tbsp of ground thyme
50 grams of parmesan cheese
3 cloves of garlic
20 grams of sesame seeds
1 medium oyster (from a can)
1 tbsp of ground mace
1 tsp of cod liver oil
To cook it I just added everything to boiling water in order of cooking time, starting with the potatoes and onions and ending with the salmon.
I tried making it last night and ate it for dinner and breakfast, and it was delicious! I also feel amazing. I guess I should track the effects of the recipe on quantified-mind.com. :-)
I was actually surprised by how hard it was to fit all of the daily nutrient requirements into a recipe with about 2000-2500 calories (while also avoiding nutrient overdoses). It would be great if someone would create a website for "nutritionally complete" recipes, especially recipes that are cheap and easy to make with a good blender or crockpot.
I hit the same wall when I overturned my eating habits and tried to fit all my nutrients into my three-meals-a-day habit. I succeeded by tweaking things but then it dawned on me I could spread out all the nutrients on a week. It made recipes composition much easier.
It wasn't some kind of soylent though but "regular" meals.
The classic example is if you take multi-vitamins, you usually have noticeably different colored urine. That's no coincidence.
It's not about a healthy diet - it's about the fact that vitamins are trace components that your body holds onto what it needs and discards the rest. This is very different to the general nutritional needs of the body (carbohydrates and the like - all the things the Soylent maker is principally concerned with).
Multivitamin pills are an expensive "worried well" type supplement. Very very few people need them. They're not "generally a good idea", and if you can afford them you should be using that money to buy better quality foodstuffs because they certainly won't surrogate for poor nutrition in the major groups that you do need in large quantity.
The sad thing is while vitamin deficiency is actually fairly common it's often a slow process and the body can cope fairly well so it's less noticeable.
The persons who claim this are usually trying to push nutraceuticals at the same time.
With that said, taking a daily multivitamin is often overkill taking it weekly is often just as useful. It's just that they are cheap enough that trying to figure out the ideal dose is generally a waste of time.
Well, sure, but that's during specific cases where the person knows that there's something wrong with them. It's not commonly "accidentally" discovered during the course of your regular physicals.
Women who want to become pregnant, or who are already pregnant, should be taking 400 micrograms of folic acid (from before conception to at least 12 weeks conception) and 10 micrograms vitamin d, but avoiding anything with vitamin a.
Personally the only substance I've noticed cause substantial colour changes is high doses of riboflavin (the infamous neon yellow...).
Several of the vitamin B's are often found in energy drinks and various pre-workout mixes in very high doses as well (e.g. it's not uncommon for pre-workout mixes to trigger niacin-flushes as well as riboflavin-neon color). The motivation seems to be that the potential benefits might be good enough and the risks low enough that it's better to dose high and maximize what is available to the body, even if most ends up being excreted.
Not many other supplements tends to be dosed at such high multiples of RDA's as some of the B-vitamins often does.
You'd have to also declare that it's impossible for people avoid these vitamins in everyday life before they became useless.
However, I though the general advice was to make sure you get your vitamins from your normal diet (as you'll get other benefits too).
Most modern food can be eaten raw. Or lightly seared to kill surface bacteria. Modern food safety is pretty neat. It probably won't taste great though.
NB this does not apply to raw processed meat - for example, ground beef/pork/chicken is probably a bad bet. Surface area to volume ratios are key.
No harm in having something that tastes good, and cooking is one of the best hacks there is.
I'm not sure where the iron is?
Is it safe to eat wild alaskan salmon every day?
My biggest concern would be that healthy adaptive systems benefit from variety, challenge, and chaos.
Intermittent fasting is good. A little contamination from things that are normally unhealthy is good. (See, for example, the hygiene hypothesis or the idea of hormesis.) Chewing is good -- as is the somewhat random mix of very-chewed or less-chewed foods you swallow. Triggering your body's reactions (including your gut biome's reactions) to different extremes of nutrient mix will keep the systems 'practiced'...
..unless you're sure you'll spend the rest of your life like a brain-in-a-vat, and then you might as well take nutrition by IV.
Can you provide a reference for that and define what you mean by "intermittent", "fasting", and "good"?
"Intermittent" might mean fasting once every few weeks, or once a week, or every other day, or even every daytime (as for Muslims during Ramadan).
"Good" means a longer life with fewer diseases and less physical or mental decline.
Check a few articles on most popular.
For those of us who generally don’t like food, consider it an annoyance, and yearn for a way to avoid eating it, Soylent sounds immensely promising. But is it safe?
Surprisingly, the answer from nutrition experts seems to be, “Yeah, probably.” Jay Mirtallo is a professor of pharmacy at Ohio State and the immediate past president of American Society for Parental Enteral Nutrition, which focuses on the science and practice of providing food to patients through both intravenous injections and feeding tubes. His main concern with Rhinehart’s plan is that he’s making the concoction himself, rather than buying it from reputable suppliers.
“He basically made medical food,” Mirtallo says. “If he wanted to switch to a liquid diet, those are already available.”
Indeed they are. Companies like Abbott Nutrition and NestléHealthScience sell dozens of medical food products.
I asked Mirtallo if I could live a healthy life just drinking medical food from here on out. “You can completely,” he says. “But I don’t know why you’d want to. There are so many social aspects to food in what we do.”
One potential downside is cost. Rhinehart claims that he only spends $154.82 a month on Soylent. By contrast, a case of 24 eight-ounce cans of Jevity 1.5cal, a high caloric density product Abbott sells for feeding tube patients, costs $57 from Abbott’s Web store. As each can has 355 calories in it, you’d need six cans a day to top the 2,000 calorie a day mark used in FDA nutrition data. So a 24-pack would last you about four days. That works out to 7-8 packs a month, which could cost up to $456.
Nestle produces something called Modulen specifically for people with IBD. The idea is for people with Crohn's to switch to a liquid diet during bad flare ups to settle things down as digesting food causes inflammation.
It is rather expensive. Luckily for me, my insurance covered it (I'm from Israel, so YMMV). The hard part is that you have to pound a dozen glasses of the stuff every day. Some people can't even drink that much water and this is a heavy drink.
Soylent may be an improvement in terms of price and preparation because Modulen comes in powder form and doesn't mix well with water and goops up quickly. It is simply not easy getting it down.
To those of you suggesting this sort of thing can solve world hunger - doubtful. I'm the only one my doctors know of who actually was able to adhere to a liquid only diet for a stretch of multiple months, people simply don't have the willpower.
You miss food quite badly and are never satiated. What I think Soylent could possibly be is an ultimate supplement, like a protein shake - in fact, fitness companies like Beachbody (P90X) hawk all kinds of dubios concoctions, it is a lucrative market. One that actually works would be neat.
My experience was due to jaw surgery: 1 week clear liquid, 4 weeks completely liquid diet, 1 week extremely soft food (baby food).
I lost 30 pounds over that 6 weeks (incidentally, more than should have been possible on a complete fast. Healing is energetically expensive.) . I actually found by the end that I didn't really want to go back to solid food - it was extremely convenient having everything set up for me.
On the other hand, I also essentially lost my sense of taste for that six weeks too - probably made it easier when there's functionally no incentive.
However, when I did return to solid food (after my sense of taste returned), dear god the first bite of mashed potatoes were the best food I have ever eaten.
No idea how much it costs though.
Could Soylent be scalably produced to feed 10% or more of the world's population?
Would the material prices skyrocket in response to demand?
Let's set aside the physiological consequences for a moment, what are the potential economic and environmental ramifications of Soylent?
The profit margin on their product, I suspect, is pretty large.
Why aren't liquid foods like this being supplied to under-nourished children in the 3rd world already? Because they are not a profit source.
The world is optimizing to the wealthy. Whole Foods isn't cheap for a reason.
Probably because it doesn't keep or ship well.
My mother just passed of cancer, she was on a feeding tube for 8 months consuming this Abott liquid food. It was shipped in cases just like anything else - cardboard boxes - and delivered via foil-boxes just like the portable milk that you see at any starbucks, though it required no refrigeration.
However, this substance was not made for taste buds and it smelled fairly bad.
They have different types depending on what caloric intake was prescribed by the doctor.
The packaging of this is ubiquitous in many many other products (milk, juice, etc) and I am sure is a very very low cost factor.
Also consider that Soylent isn't primarily optimized for price, but for quality nutrition and taste.
ALSO consider that anything normally paid for by medical insurance has hugely inflated prices... Abott's probably costs a fraction of Soylent's cost to make. The rest is profit.
Sure they do. He says he's buying them in personal-size containers, and the price includes shipping. Someone is already buying the ingredients in bulk and reselling them in smaller containers, it's just not the soylent guy. Once he's buying in bulk I would expect costs to drop, even with the added expense of packaging and shipping.
There is an abundance of food, it just doesn't get to where it needs to go because the rest of those governments' infrastructure need to be fixed along with the starving children.
1 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plumpynut
It can be even cheaper than $30/month as well, since the manufacturer allows local production of the paste (in peanut-growing locales) with no license fee payment required.
The current costs are also way too high. Most of the world survives on much less than $150 a month for food. I spend less than $150 and i live in the USA.
My question for those more experienced in this area is:
What well tested, off the shelf, medically regulated products could I buy today that would allow me to eliminate the consumption of solid food altogether - and of those products, which ones are the best value for money?
I really can't be bothered doing all the leg work required to make my own meal replacement drink (reasons being: the chance of not measuring correctly + work + forgetting nutrients + risk) - I'd like to just grab a product every month or so and just go.
It was during cancer surgeries and therapies, and recommended to me by the hospital + various specialist doctors, so that's the only vote of confidence I needed that it was OK.
I had no side effects while on it, didn't lose or gain weight, and actually quite enjoyed not having to worry about shopping, cooking, washing up, etc. I also slept better, and all-round "felt" better.
I've considered trying it longer term voluntarily, maybe try 6 months or so, and get the full gamut of medical tests done before and after, to see what they say.
No problems if you can't - but I'd love to hear it from someone that's been through it before (under cancer no less! hope you got better).
The website you shared says that it's merely a nutritional supplement - I'd just like to know what a full regime of meal replacement would be like over say a day (do you have breakfast? or do you just drink whenever you are hungry?).
Pretty much what was your daily eating schedule like during those liquid only stretches.
Keep in mind I was nearly 100% dormant for those months, so I wasn't exactly building up an appetite. The most exercise I'd get would be a trip to the bathroom. I rarely got hungry with 3-4 serves a day.
Occasionally I would try eat some fruit and (real/natural) yoghurt. Just for taste/sanity more than health/hunger. Maybe once a week or so, and about a coffee-mug sized portion at most was all I could handle.
I believe the websites say they're a "supplement" for legal purposes? I'm not sure. The doctors, nutritionists, and specialists all agreed I could live indefinitely off it.
(Thanks for the well wishes, but there's no getting better from my particular case, just a matter of prolonging it now)
Their advice seems to fall in line with the paleo/primal philosophies—in a nutshell: man only started eating a significant amount of carbohydrates after the agriculturalization of cereals (grains) about 10,000 years ago. They argue that wasn't enough time for us to evolve enough to adapt.
But to your point about feeling hungry and tired—I think it's because you're addicted to carbs and sugar (like almost all of us are), but you don't NEED carbs, at all. I tried primal for a month, and yes, the adjustment took a few days (maybe a week). However, after I got over the sugar/carb cravings, my energy levels where much more even throughout the day, sans-grains.
This is a myth and patently wrong. Anatomically modern humans evolved on a diet of cooked food, the bulk of which was tubers and other root vegetables.
EDIT: 'tubas' -> 'tubers' derp.
I stand by my point; that while copper and zinc are both important trace elements, paleolithic man could not practically have gotten them through consumption of tubas.
In fact, 10k years is enough for dogs to have evolved to digest carbs a lot better. There's even specific genes that are known to help that.
Obviously there has been some adaptation to the change of diet, and it is also obvious that this diet was not letal to human (or nobody would have adopt it), but this does not implies that it is optimal for human consumption. Most people in my region are not lactose intolerant... but do you know what? I threw up every time that my mother had me drink a glass of milk because it was "healthy" and good for my bones. If adaptation depends that much between humans (the % of lactose intolerant or lactase persistent is not the same in the US than in China or Africa, for example), trying to correlate anything with animals seem completely off to me.
The paleo hypothesis is that we haven't adapted to carbs to the point that they don't cause disease. Carbs aren't dangerous enough to kill us before we reproduce, so why would we expect the genes to be selected out?
Population members aren't useless to preserving genes once they're done having babies.
Elders use and share collected knowledge (particularly skills that take a long time to master), care for babies while the parents are hunting/etc., help with gathering/cooking/cleaning/etc.. If they are all sick & dying instead of doing this work, your group isn't going to do as well as the competing group whose elders are in good shape.
Grain eaters are still overall pretty healthy, so they can still accomplish the beneficial things you describe, allowing their less-than-optimal genes to carry on.
However, I simply could not eat enough calories through the day to fit my lifestyle without eating carbs. I tried, it didn't work. Burning ~400 calories every day before breakfast and adding another ~900 calorie burn at boxing practice every two days ... just nope.
I can't even fulfill my caloric goal when eating carbs on the days I have boxing. My stomach can't process that much food.
When I was strict about avoiding carbs, I lost about 5 or 6 kilograms quite quickly. Took me about 11 months of grain eating and concerted attempts at a caloric surplus to gain back the weight.
 One of the strangest feelings I have ever felt is being hungry while having such a full stomach it feels eating another bite will make you vomit. This often happens after boxing when I mess up my "every 3 hours" eating schedule and haven't eaten enough calories before going to practice.
When I was cycling 100 miles a week, I found I needed about 3500 kcal / day to sustain myself, and it wasn't easy. On a typical day, I ate 3-4 normal breakfasts throughout the morning (a bagel w/ cream cheese, a smoothie, 2 or 3 eggs and toast, maybe a bowl of oatmeal). Dinners were typically a massive serving of lasagna or similar pasta. Lots of snacks throughout the day. The only days where I would say that I easily got enough calories were when I gave in to the temptation of a fast-food hamburger and milkshake. However, as long as I was cooking at home, it was quite a bit of work to keep up with the calories I needed.
Damn I love me some ribs.
Or nuts - a cup of peanut butter has 1500 calories. Doughnuts, pastries, cheesecake, pancakes... Hell, a beer. Have 2 beers a day, you've burned through a good 500 calories. Real cream in your coffee, real sugar in your drinks.
If you're burning serious calories, you don't get to eat prissy. Look at what they eat in Antarctica.
I'm not sure how you figure that's 5000 calories. While there's undoubtedly some variation, it would appear that's more in the range of 2-3000 calories.
That's a lot of different things to prepare 3-4 times a morning... but my guess is you meant all those things to be 3 or 4 breakfasts, rather than an example of a normal breakfast.
When I'm trying to lose, I do low carb or intermittent fasting, or both. But if I'm not paying any attention, my diet might typically be three meals and some snacking: an cheese and bacon omelet with coffee for breakfast, a 4oz bag of avocado-oil kettle chips and plate of rice and chicken curry for lunch, a quart of chicken lo mein and three spring rolls for dinner. The snacks might something like 10-12 double-stuf Oreos, or a pint of peanuts, munched on over the course of an hour or so.
It's really easy to exceed 4000 kcal, and not hard at all to exceed 5000 kcal, all without ever feeling too full (or ever feeling hungry, of course...).
This is an interesting lesson in the effect of food choices, I suppose. Because, my experience is that as long as I avoid soda and beer, it's really easy to consume <1500kcal a day, also without feeling hungry.
No, I really mean that I ate 3-4 times every morning. I was working from home at the time, though, so it made it much easier to prepare multiple breakfasts while stuff was compiling :-)
When I did weight resistance training in tandem with intense cardio training five days a week it was still difficult to reach my needed caloric content (which hovered more or less around 4000).
I mean, I'm not saying you're lying, but how is it easy for you?
A cup of peanuts has 800 calories.
Hell, eat meat - a rack of ribs has 2500 calories. Something akin to that every evening, with a couple beers and some broccoli and cheese, heavy on the cheese, is 4000 calories in one meal.
There are burritos at Chipotle that have 2k calories for one burrito.
To some degree, it takes acts of deliberate control several times a day, for years, for people who are biochemically prone to overeating, to eat a normal amount given a Western diet... on top of their actual psychological habits.
Aside from this, an obese person deals with larger caloric maintenance requirements in the first place, and views the world through the same hunger-tinted glasses that everyone else does when eating below these requirements in order to lose weight.
A Chipotle burrito with guac & sour cream, and a side of chips, with a 32oz root beer (& 1 refill), will run you about 2400 calories, and represents the approximate amount that in a past era, I was able to eat before getting a subtle, non-painful signal to slow down. Alternately: a normal bag of double stuff Oreos, 2100 calories, 2500 with a decent amount of milk. Nacho Cheese Doritos Family Size: 2400 calories, or 3200 with a 2L of Coke. Digiorno Rising Crust Pizza: 2100 calories, or 2900 with a 2L of coke.
I'm way below my peak weight, but somewhat horrified that this kind of binging isn't out of the question, in the heat of the moment. I'm taking it one day at a time, counting calories, trying to eat small portions, and I've completely removed 'snack foods' and soda & fruit juice from my diet... but it's not easy, and if I don't focus on how much I'm eating, a single meal can destroy a week's worth of dieting.
And for a person who is genuinely hungry? The fastest I've ever lost weight was three weeks in my teens where I had a very controlled diet, and a strenuous 12hr/day backpacking activity. I shed 40lbs in 20 days and had significant related medical problems by the end of my term, so I feel this represents a reasonable approximation of 'starving' (although still at a relatively healthy weight). Midway through, a resupply opened up our food rations for return or immediate consumption. It turns out, 5lbs of cheddar cheese (9000 calories) goes down very easy; I was snacking on granola not an hour later. Stories of Holocaust survivors dying the day after rescue of GI problems aren't particularly surprising in light of a reality like that.
I've never been competitive about eating. I enjoy food, but I'm hardly that unusual: even at my peak weight, a solid 2% of the country had a higher BMI. The pathology is a function of our modern food system's emphasis on fat, sugar, and salt, our culture's value-for-money proposition of ever-increasing serving sizes, and differing physical susceptibility to these things on a personal level, not solely individual psychology. What's an absurd amount for you is the result of absentminded snacking for someone else.
I'm 5' 9", 240lbs (108kg) and lift. I know powerlifters that bulk/eat harder than I do and I've never heard them bitch about something that extreme, even if the protein intake can get tiresome sometimes. The fat though? That's always fun.
I've known bodybuilders to be able to jerk their weight around pretty hard too.
The technical layman's reference would probably be "Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living" by Phinney/Volek. (or possibly the Performance one for athletes)
edit: a) I'm in Germany, not that many products available here. b) I always steered clear of Coca Cola, Pepsi and so on, those were too sweet for me and the caffeine level was rather low anyway.
After dropping soda I can't even drink half a can because of the sweetness but YMMV.
You can order the ingredients whenever you're sure you want to try it (most of them keep for a long time). Then, when you get a few hours free on the weekend, you can make a batch of soda syrup. You can experiment with the ingredients and fine-tune it to be perfect.
If you want to try something slightly different (which, unfortunately, requires processed sugars AFAICT), you can try making ginger ale at home! Here's a simple and practical guide that I used to learn how to make some, which serendipitously was written by a San Francisco tech startups guy.
Will probably get one of my friends to bring me some when they visit home the next time.
and it tastes good! in fact i like all their products :)
Coke Zero is a lot closer, but Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max are both vastly better approximations to their non-diet versions.
RC Light, though, is the only diet cola I've tasted that ever got close to fooling me into thinking I got the non-diet version. It's worth a try. But RC tastes quite different to Coke (much stronger caramel taste) so someone looking for a diet alternative to Coke might not be happy with it.
I miss Diet Pepsi (can't get it in Norway) - Pepsi Max is ok, but it's not the same. Since work ditched Pepsi I've cut way back on the amount of soda I drink. I suppose that may be a good thing, but I still miss the taste.
Diet Coke and Coke Zero are only two of their diet colas. The original was TaB, which is still sold today.
I switched from sugar in my coffee to stevia about 1 1/2 years ago, it was the first non-sugar sweetener I tried I didn't find disgusting.
The initial tiredness is known as keto-fever or induction flu:
Goes away after a few days.
It's really worth pushing yourself past this point - for no other reason than to gain the experience of what it's like to burn fat as your primary energy source to see what people have raved about.
Typical breakfast is 3 pieces of bacon (yummy) with peanut butter. Large cup of coffe with 1~2 tablespoons of coconut oil.
Lunch is a small $3.50 salad at the salad bar.
Dinner is typically cheese and deli meat with more peanut butter.
I drink about 60 oz. of water a day plus 2 large coffees.
I'm only tired because I'm staying up late and not getting good night of sleep. Hopefully ASMR will help with that.
"I read a book on Number Theory in one sitting, a Differential Geometry book in a weekend, filling up a notebook in the process."
Given the complete crap that many people eat and manage to live on, his attempt to educate himself and take control of his nutrition this way is worthy of respect and emulation - not derision.
That's probably true, but hopefully one day nutrition science will be on that level. Perhaps then a much smaller amount of people will have things like obesity and type II diabetes.
No other field of hard science is, anyone who offers an alternative is probably selling you snake oil.
For number theory, there's a few things you could pick up fairly easily, like understanding what 1 and 3 mod 4 primes are, but there's no way you could do the homework in 1 weekend unless you've aced real analysis, and then maybe you could finish 10-20% of the homework (proofs) in a book in a weekend or so.
Many engineers I've met can't even handle using proof by induction to solve a proof.
Rather, writing out any formal proof is monotonous, tedious, lengthy, and prone to minor screw-ups, and to someone with an engineering mindset, not useful in any practical sense.
One thing: How does acing real analysis help with number theory?
Secondly, number theory is not calculus; it requires you to be familiar with college-level math courses (e.g. abstract algebra) before you can even start making sense of it. It's certainly plausible that an engineer might pursue it as a hobby, but it's rather unusual, and certainly not for the faint of hear (it requires major commitment in terms of patience and time).
The same goes true for diff. geometry, although it may be more approachable (e.g. many undegraduate math syllabi have it, while number theory is usually a postgraduate course).
Wait, no, people study those things all the time. They're difficult, but maybe he has unknown prior background in math, or is gifted in that regard.
It's not as though he achieved something that no human ever has before. It's a reasonably routine though difficult task - akin to perhaps completing a marathon.
Sorry, but reading a textbook like a novel is not studying. I've met a fair number of mathematicians but I have yet to see one that can tackle a postgraduate textbook in one sitting (unless they are already intimately familiar with the subject).
A marathon is usually run in about four and a half hours. The best marathon runners in the world (i.e. current record holders) ran one in about 2 hours.
The university that I'm at has about 45-48 hours of classroom instruction per semester; you're expected to spend between two and three times that preparing; that's an assumption of between 135 and 192 hours of work per semester. I find that for my upper level mathematics courses (first year graduate), I spend about 2-3 hours outside of class working on problem sets and reading the material. This is also, as far as I can tell, about how much the other students in my courses are working. My understanding is that this is the expectation across most high tier universities and math programs.
If we assume that the average marathon runner is roughly equivalent to a normal mathematics student in terms of experience, saying that you learned (and completely understood the implications of) an entire semester of mathematics in a day (16-20 hours) is equivalent to claiming you are able to run a marathon in 40 minutes. For the record, that's a rate of about 1 mile every minute and a half.
This is an imperfect metaphor, since math has the same benefits that CS has of being able to absorb material faster the more you already know. On the other hand, my experience (and what most professors I have asked also say) is that most hard math requires a sort of 'processing' time to really start to get it, so the actual case might be worse: I don't think you'd actually learn much math if you just spent 135 consecutive hours (with sleep as required) working on learning math.
Suffice to say: I don't think what he claimed to do is within the realm of reason.
Personal bio, as to why I'm a semi-reputable source: I'm currently both finishing an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a masters in math at highly ranked public university (in general and in math). Most of my time is currently spent learning math, either in class or self taught (for a seminar). The professors I interact with regularly are about as mathematically talented as it is possible to get.
The above being said:
I would, however, say that someone with a good handle on multivariable calculus and differential equations, along with a really good background in math, could learn a decent amount of applied differential geometry in a weekend. Similarly, you could learn/memorize a lot of the results of number theory in a weekend.
Both of the above could give you the illusion of having learned all of a subject without building a deep understanding of it. Both are also in line with the 'hacker tendency' to be able to stuff a lot of information in your head in a short amount of time. The computer science equivalent would be learning that there exists an algorithm called quicksort that runs in O(nlog(n)) that doesn't work well on sorted data without modification, but without learning how to implement it.
The take away is that it's very easy to fool yourself into thinking you've learned a lot from a math book when you're reading it like a novel. In practice, though, if you aren't doing the exercises (or if they don't exist, working through your own), then you probably aren't actually engaging with the material in any deep and significant way.
I actually think this is in line with many of his other claims: he seems to be a person who seems to believe he has learned everything important about a field in a relatively short amount of research time, without having a deep background in it already, either through reading a single textbook or by spending a few hours/days/weeks researching and reading. I think most of his claims should probably be considered in that light.
Agreed. That doesn't mean he didn't read it and glean a little from it though.
> I actually think this is in line with many of his other claims: he seems to be a person who seems to believe he has learned everything important about a field in a relatively short amount of research time, without having a deep background in it already, either through reading a single textbook or by spending a few hours/days/weeks researching and reading. I think most of his claims should probably be considered in that light.
Agreed, it just smacked of elitism to say that it's not possible to read a textbook without interpretation or instruction. That sort of doctrinaire thinking is just bad policy.
I'd note that that's different from having a rigorous understanding of arbitrary dimension differential geometry, and being able to rigorously show new (if simple/uninteresting) results.
I wasn't trying to imply that you can't read a textbook (or any math text, for that matter) and not learn the material at as deep a level as anyone who's main reference is that text. It's a bit like reading someone's code after very heavy optimization, though: it's easy to miss little parts of how or why the algorithm works, and if you go over it once, without trying possible inputs/etc., then you're likely to miss something.
Instruction and interpretation are like comments in code when you're dealing with specific proofs (they make it easier, but it isn't impossible without them). The thing that is harder (but not impossible) to get without some sort of feedback is a deep understanding of when a proof is rigorous and mathematical aesthetics.
The persons who mention that in order to impress others tend to not be the ones who learn the most.
"That sort of doctrinaire thinking is just bad policy."
Is it impossible? No. Is it likely considering the context? No.
Almost nobody, yes. Not in one sitting.
Anyway, I just read the paragraph with the sentence quoted by geoka9 (it's in the "How I Stopped Eating Food" post), and I call BS on it, too.
I realize it's right next to when he says "[I] can read my textbooks twice as long without mental fatigue", but that seems coincidental juxtaposition, rather than him referring to the same books.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it doesn't really seem that implausible, if that's the case.
I have to admit it's interesting to follow this experiment, though. As bootstrapped marketing schemes go, I've seen much worse.
Some people have. He says as much in the blog entry that various folks have let him know they've replicated it and tried it.
In the latest post he mentions that several chemists have figured out how to make his concoction, but he explicitly states he's not making the recipe public yet.
I think the author has definetly started to see real business potential, especially after all the exposure (both here on HN, and in general). That being said, he's probably not a legal expert, and is probably treading carefully (gathering data slowly, not immediately selling the mixture, etc).
Personally, I wish him and his future (potenial) business well. Its definetly a product Id buy. Eating healthy (especially when your choices are very restricted, eg school), can be a pain in the ass. Quick, very healthy, potential food replacement (Though, id probably only totally replace meals with it occasionally) sounds really, really great.
Related: I'm sure most of us don't care upon the soylent formulation per se as long as we could easily make our own meal-in-a-shake-form.
Does anyone have any suggestions/ideas about how to produce something similar?
Thats the link for the ingredients. Blog posts around there discuss some modifications that were made here and there.
As for production, I think many things like this can be replicated. However, I'd love to just buy this, or at least a "base version" rather than sourcing all the various nutrients and powders, then measuring/mixing them, etc.
The whey protein and olive oil you can get anywhere. The maltodextrin means picking up a giant bag from a brewery supply store once every few months.
I'm coming up with two scoops of protein, eight scoops of carbs, and a third cup of oil, and a bit under half a gallon of water. After that it's just a teaspoon of salt and a few supplements/multi-vitamins and you're set for the day.
He mentioned earlier that it takes about five minutes to prepare the next day's batch, and he doesn't need refrigeration or much in the way of kitchen utensils. That's a fairly tight upper bound on complexity.
That said, I'd like to see him compare two months of Soylent to two months of eating solid meals with a similar nutritional profile. Most of the benefits he has experienced are probably just a result of extremely well-balanced diet, not anything specifically related to Soylent.
That's rather the point of Soylent, to deliver a well balanced diet.
> not anything specifically related to Soylent.
This statement makes little sense, he merely claimed Soylent was a way to achieve good nutrition, not that it was magic.
Comparing a well-balanced diet with Soylent is not a waste of time: if nothing else, it's evidence for the debate about whether all the micronutrients and random stuff in 'real' food is subjectively noticeable in the short-term or whether you really can get away with just macronutrients and a few other chemicals.
gwern supports m_d.
gnaritas has an opportunity to qualify his objection, but chooses not to.
(fwiw, I'm also extremely interested in all manner of "are there valuable yet-to-be-identified substances in real food" experiments.)
Nutritionally, being equivalent to a well-balanced diet meets his goals.
After reading the 1st HN abut this I was skeptical, but this sentence fully convinced me that Rinehart is on to something. Imagine a world with a quick, healthy, affordable lunch substitute that negated the 'need' to eat fast food when you feel pressed for time at work... Thankfully this only happens to me 2 or 3 times a month , but I'm guessing that for most of America that's more like 2 or 3 times a week.
Is Soylent much more shelf stable?
Assuming the $150/month calculated, that's still pretty pricey for someone who makes $1-$2 a day in wages. Its not clear to me how to calculate how that cost compares to sending sacks of wheat or rice.
That said, it's an interesting question on the market for food products the broader desirability for a product like Soylent. As a minimalist I'm intrigued, as a foodie I'm appalled :-) But could it put a dent in the McFranchises of the world? Perhaps. Could it, or a similarly engineered product provide the missing nutrition for at risk populations? If so what prevents it? (I'm watching for similar ideas to appear on the market if this gets any more press than it has)
I note however that 'feeding the poor' with a product like this might not get the reception an engineer/scientist might expect. As others have mentioned there are some cultural stereotypes built up around food and meals which are not well supported by an engineered food product that is designed merely to be nutritious.
When writing my comment, I wasn't really considering the sociological implications of where I was going, I was simply thinking that I, if living on a $5/day food budget, would be pretty happy with something like Soylent, especially since I presumably wouldn't get that general feeling of malaise that overtakes you after a few McDonald's meals in a row.
You're right, you can't simply go in and say, "Dear poor people, please consume this nutritious gloop". It could be effective as a form of rations in case of emergency, but attempting to put it out there as a basic staple food would be more challenging.
If Soylent is actually as awesome as the creator makes it sound, and it were available in a tub or in pouches at the grocery store, I'd definitely buy it.
Junk foods should not be buyable with food stamps. Though food industry lobbying results in that restriction not being abided by in a lot of cases.
That $150/month cost is a cost incurred in the US. It would be a different cost to source the ingredients in every country.
No, actually, it's less so. But apparently it can be made out of "very common [mostly vegetable] ingredients growable in every place on Earth", unlike most other "complete" diets.
If Soylent powder preserves well, then distribution should be substantially easier.