As far as I understand it that's because the knowledge to make such a thing does not exist and everyone in the field is confident trying to make such a product would fail. They are waiting for the pure research folks to learn more about human nutrition (either a bit more or a hell of a lot more depending on who you ask).
Ensure/Jevity/etc would certainly market their products for non-medical purposes if they could. But they are only used as last resort options during medical interventions precisely because of the results they've seen during those medical interventions.
A bunch of volunteers self experimenting is an interesting way to get around this (the ethics of this level of experimentation on human subjects that is). While the data will be too uncontrolled and biased to judge any positive effects you will probably get some very interesting data when someone gets sick (as long as they at least keep a detailed enough log of their diet).
Considering the ingredient list now includes snake oil like Ginseng and Ginkgo Biloba I don't trust the makers enough to include myself in those tests but I am interested in how it turns out.
Actual controlled experiments in diet are not currently blocked waiting for "a non-medical meal replacement that at least theoretically trie[s] to be everything you need".
In 10 years "eating the Soylent" might have a colloquial meaning very close to "drinking the Kool-Aid".
Here are a couple that predate Soylent:
1. I am gluten intolerant, so swap out oat flour for almond flour. Swap out B complex supplement for marmite. Also, calling marmite "real food" is a bit of a stetch in my estimation.
2. After the first week, realized I was probably mildly allergic to casin, swapped to coconut milk.
3. After the first week after that change, noticed I am probably also mildly allergic to banana. Cut it completely.
So what I ended up with was a high fat low carbohydrate equivalent that isn't too bad. I actually drink this pretty regularly, and it is extremely filling. However, calling this guy an idiot is disingenuous to say the least; his work is going through considerably more scrutiny than Soylent Orange, and it contains considerably less allergens. Depending on who you talk to, up to 15% of people are gluten intolerant and so, when keeping risks in mind, we should be cognizant of the dangerous of various proposals.
All in all, I actually do like (my modified) Soylent Orange, but ad hominem attacks are unnecessary and "real food" is a suprisingly slippery concept. Hell, coconut and almonds are common allergies too!
I already basically live on milk-based shakes now, and it's a pain having to replenish my milk supply twice a week. Soylent would solve that nicely.
I am capable of buying every single item in soylent individually and combining them. I am also capable of going to a farmer's market every single morning and cleaning, preparing, and cooking three fresh, square, delicious, healthy, nutritious meals every single day.
I just don't fucking want to.
Optimizing is saying no to things.
I think the creator of soylent put it best: "less time cooking and cleaning means more time for music and math".
All you are pointing to is an alternative solution which basically has all the same issues in getting the right mix of nutrients, and more work on the consumers part. Convenience is at least part of the appeal of Soylent.
Fine, you prefer that approach, fair enough, there's no data that says it's the better one.
Odd. I'd expect their number-one priority to be "ensure Soylent is healthy and safe".
The comment is made within the context of a manufacturing update. Besides, you could respond to anyone that says they have a priority, "I'd expect your number-one priority to be feeding orphans."
On a related note, for those that are looking at this class of products due to lack of time / skills to cook at home, would anyone be interested in my list of "bachelor chow" recipes? Basically, this includes anything that can be easily prepared (minimal active preparation time, even if it has to cook all day in a slow cooker), along with the ability to be good leftovers for multiple days. Examples include chicken fried rice, ham/noodle/cheese casserole, "skillet" breakfasts, beef stew, etc.
I have a similar question about it. Drinks go super fast into the blood stream. You could try combining it with some celery. I guess that'd work for someone who really, really doesn't want to make meals: use Soylent and celery.
For example, I need to eat 6 meals a day @ 40g protein / 40g carbs / 20g fat in each meal.
If Soylent got popular enough, it would pretty much make my service obsolete. I doubt that'll happen anytime soon, but I'm still a huge supporter of what Soylent is trying to accomplish with taking the thinking out of what I should eat. You can actually use the two in conjunction pretty well by adding Soylent as a "custom food" on Eat This Much, making it take up about 80% of your daily calories, locking it in place, and then running the meal plan generator to fill in the last 20% of your calories with real food.
Here's an example where I added Soylent similar to one of their initial recipes, each serving being 1/4 of their daily recommendation (and a higher calorie target so I don't atrophy into nothing):
Don't count yourself out just yet. Some people will always prefer to eat real food.
Furthermore, all the existing makers have to do is launch another brand and Soylent is more/less boxed into an all but hipster lifestyle business. They would have to fight an uphill battle all the way as there is no real element of defensibly about it in a market where the existing players already dominate the key element: distribution.
As an example of branding nutritional beverages: as a kid, I like carnation instant breakfast because what kid doesn't like any excuse to have chocolate milk for breakfast? It's not quite the same as a complete nutrition product, but it's close enough to illustrate the point of branding. Most people dislike Ensure because it's associated with the infirm and the elderly. If one were to build a complete nutrition brand, it has to be associated with Olympians, military specops and so on.
I wouldn't count him out either. "Some" is likely going to be the overwhelming majority of people for at least another century.
I honestly hope I'm not around to see the day when actual food is too expensive for the average person to eat.
I think actual food may already be borderline too expensive for the average person to eat. At least Soylent promises to make it somewhat healthier.
It is pretty expensive to eat good, healthy food all of the time, but I still think middle-class families can afford it (although its getting harder all the time). Sometimes the crappy, unhealthy alternatives are cheaper, but there are still meals that you can cook at home that are pretty inexpensive.
PS - Are you Louis? We had a quick email convo last year. If you need help implementing some of the marketing aspects of EatThisMuch, let me know.
The recipe, for those who are curious:
- 1/2-1 cup raw oatmeal
- 1-2 tablespoon(s) peanut butter
- 1 scoop whey protein powder (I use Gold Standard Double Chocolate)
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds
- 1 banana
- 1-2 cups milk
Blend the oatmeal and flax seeds into small bits before adding the rest, then add the rest and blend. Chocolate-banana-peanut butter taste, and a pretty good mix of nutrients.
Please keep with it. You have an actually unique and well implemented idea.
Great redesign as well. That also looks like a fairly balanced meal, I'd down the carbs and up the protein though.
I got 6 tupperware boxes each day and it was heaven, apart from the price tag.
I've been dreaming of starting a healthy micro-meal delivery service ever since. You even get the perfect distribution point for free: the gym.
It was amazingly effective and I'm glad I did it but, unsurprisingly, it was just too expensive to maintain in the long run.
The importance of meal frequency is pretty much regarded as bro-science these days.
Customizable "meals" based on your activity level, age, and weight goals (among other factors) should be a goal for the Soylent team down the road.
This is why god invented excel. So you can eat real food. Just read the labels...
Did you ever see prisoners? They get huge and they don't drink whey in prison, they don't even eat a lot of meat. All they do is rest all day and, in the limited time they have to workout, they pull heavy weights.
A lot of this stuff (very high protein, high meal frequency) is out there because it keeps supplement companies in business.
Which is that, if you don't mind my asking on matters of personal curiosity?
I have similar eating habits insofar as finding some foods off putting if I eat them too regularly.
Or it's a placebo effect. Who knows?
2. Lift heavy
4. Be consistent
Go on bodybuilding.com / reddit.com/r/bodybuilding and read posts about peoples diets and see what works for who. People usually post progress pictures in r/loseit, r/gainit, r/progresspics, r/brogress along with their routines and diets.
If you're looking for a more scientific approach: http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/articles
Meal frequency adjustments can be accomplished with a measuring cup.