One of my favorite things about Soylent is that it provides a "reasonable" but consistent baseline for doing these sorts of tests. Until Soylent there wasn't a non-medical meal replacement that at least theoretically tried to be everything you need. Once Soylent has been battle tested for awhile, we can start doing actual experiments with controlled variables around diets. If we can get that far without throwing the baby out with the bathwater, we will potentially upend how we do nutritional testing.
> Until Soylent there wasn't a non-medical meal replacement that at least theoretically tried to be everything you need
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.
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!
Oats do not contain appreciable enough amounts of gluten to bother anyone except those with celiac disease. Even some celiac sufferers eat oatmeal that has been processed to remove that last .01% of gluten. Doesn't regular soylent use oat flour anyway?
also this: http://www.amazon.com/Bobs-Red-Mill-Gluten-22-Ounce/dp/B003L...
I don't have a citation either way, so I will just say that I noticed a reaction to oats just like a reaction to gluten. Could be that mine were contaminated, could potentially be that I am allergic to oats as well.
That's a lot more ingredients than "1", and many of those things spoil very quickly. Soylent is exactly one thing to buy, and keeps for >6 months, meaning that you can stockpile it and not worry about running out.
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".
Okay, so you don't agree with the approach. Doesn't mean you have to resort to name calling.
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.
The guy misdosed himself due to ignoring stuff that could be found on the wikipedia page on human nutrition multiple times already. The fact that he has radically changed his stance on inclusion criteria with each iteration gives me little confidence in his decision making process.
Dammit! Now it's January? I hope it doesn't keep slipping. It was supposed be August in the beginning but then popularity pushed it down to November, then December...I want wanna drink some fancy science!
Does anyone know if Soylent actually makes you feel full / satisfied after consuming it? Would the effect be similar to eating a bowl of soup or something? I recall many years ago I used to get something called Instant Breakfast, but I still needed an apple or a couple slices of toast to feel like I actually ate something (might be that psychologically, I need the recent memory of chewing action in order to be convinced that I actually just ate a meal).
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.
The stuff that I've mixed up (not real Soylent, but from the HackerSchool recipe) has a significant amount of flour, which makes it very thick. The way I mix it it's more like a milkshake, and it feels very hearty. Whether or not I get hungry after mostly depends on how bored I am - I would have snacked anyways.
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.
This is just nuts to me. Why aren't people doing one of the simple joys of life - cooking and eating delicious food, even simple recipes can result in really delicious food. Come on people, get back to basics!
I might eat this as snack food, or to replace an occasional meal, but the idea of eating exactly the same thing every single meal scares me a little bit. I guess I just don't have confidence that modern science has fully quantified everything that's needed in a complete human diet. Don't get me wrong - I'm sure Soylent is great stuff - I just think that I wouldn't want to completely give up 'normal' food for it (besides the worry factor, it also seems really boring).
Not sure, but I think this is the expected use case. Soylent is supposed to be something you can eat exclusively, but also, I don't think even soylent creators expect their users to eat it and nothing else ever. I plan to replace "mindless" meals with it, but eat delicious, healthy non soylent meals when I have time and inclination. Many times I eat stuff I dont want that isn't healthy due to time constraints.
actually, I take it back... what you're saying is not the expected use case. you want to use it as a snack food (maybe), when really its intended to be a default food, but that doesn't mean you should only eat soylent ever. They want to make something that you can eat exclusively workout endangering your health. I don't think they actually expect everyone uses it to only use it exclusively.
As a bodybuilder/powerlifter, I would kill to have packages geared towards my sport with the proper macronutriets. Would be cool if you could customize as well based on meal frequency and macro-nutrient requirements.
For example, I need to eat 6 meals a day @ 40g protein / 40g carbs / 20g fat in each meal.
Making it easy to do this is my goal with Eat This Much (http://www.eatthismuch.com), and before that, with http://www.Swole.me (the name being more bodybuilding focused before I added recipes and improved the algorithm to make something that would appeal to a normal, well adjusted person :)
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):
I've heard non-elderly, non-infirm people consuming the major brand product as a convenient replacement for meals.
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.
>Does ramen, McDonalds, and frozen cardboard pizza count as real food?
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.
Haha of course, hence the "I doubt that'll happen anytime soon." Though I wouldn't be surprised if it became commonplace for people to swap out their breakfasts for something like Soylent in the near future. I already do something similar by throwing milk, protein powder, ground up oatmeal, and flax seeds into a blender every morning. The convenience is pretty overwhelming, and it has a much better nutrition profile than a bowl of cereal.
I do the same for breakfast, but I feel more comfortable doing so because most of those foods are regulated. I don't believe protein powder is, which is a little scary considering how often it's consumed. If Soylent is to be treated as a supplement (lack of regulation) that is consumed exclusively, it's even more unnerving.
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 obvious solution would be if we could get Soylent Powder or Soylent Base containing all the nitty-gritty little vitamins and minerals and choline and whatever, and then add whatever fats, carbs, and protein we wanted. I wrote them about that (I've already ordered in the Kickstarter, just to support them) but haven't received an answer yet. BTW does anyone know the current composition of the latest Soylent?
I've been trying to put on some muscle mass over the last 6 months, and simply trying to consume enough protein throughout the day is one of the hardest parts. I can certainly sympathise with someone looking for a simpler solution - it would interest me too.
This protein talk is BS, unless you're an elite athlete there's no way you are not meeting your protein intake with a normal diet. Whatever excess protein you take will be converted to energy (or fat), so you're just paying more per Kcal than carbs.
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.
You really don't have to eat that much protein (maybe two grams per kg of lean body mass) just make sure that you are eating several hundred calories over your maintenance every day and you are lifting consistently, with good intensity and incorporating progressive overload.
A lot of this stuff (very high protein, high meal frequency) is out there because it keeps supplement companies in business.
Not to mention that when you find one particular solution that works (eg. 6 chicken breasts a day), it gets very boring, very quickly. Although I doubt that drinking Soylent everyday is going to help with the boredom!
For me it varies. There are some foods I can eat on a daily basis without ever tiring, but some others I go off very quickly. So far I've found one protein shake I can stomach for long periods of time, the others I get sick off after about 2 weeks.
Gold Standard double chocolate. I tried their cookies and cream first, and was fine for a couple of weeks before I just couldn't stomach it any more. I've tried a couple of other brands and flavours with similar results.
I meant to thank you for sharing this. I'd been researching protein powders and found that many reviews were kinda iffy on most (and I'm not personally fond of vanilla, blech). It's good to see recommendations from someone else with similar eating patterns (i.e. getting sick of things relatively quickly); I find that recommendations based on similar behaviors tend to match my own preferences more closely.
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.