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Soylent 1.4 begins shipping today (soylent.me)
44 points by jbardnz on Feb 25, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 81 comments

For all the naysayers... I eat it, I love it, I'll never give it up. Soylent is awesome and I'm stoked to see v1.4 waiting on my doorstep.

Please, don't knock it till you try it OR at least do a little bit of research. Soylentarians are bombarded daily by the uninformed opinions of FoodBarbies and the like. At least do some research before you decide to tear down the idea.

And for a little more opinions,

I personally dislike official Soylent (own it, tried it, don't like it). With that said, i've been on 70% DIY Soylent for ~9 months now. I couldn't live without the stuff. While i may not like official Soylent, i am ever grateful. It's been a huge boon to my life.

Are you saying that 70% of calories you consumed in the last 9 month came from Soylent? Are you sure about that? I'm mostly asking because it's well known that people underestimate how much food they eat, so unless you actually made food diary you are probably underestimating as well.

Aside for that, in what way was this a huge boon to your life?

I'm averaging 70% simply off the top of my head, of course - but with that said 2/3 meals a day are on average soylent - with a a couple random days a week where it's 3/3 soylent, and 1/3 soylent. It might be closer to 66% of my meals are from soylent, but it's hard to say.

It also is worth noting that i meant meals, not calories specifically. When i eat "normal" food, i eat for taste - because DIY does get boring. So, it can range quite heavily in what i eat - but i generally don't hold back. I'm a thinner guy anyway, so i don't worry about calorie intake. I drink/eat soylent for the ease of use, stability in meal consumption (i used to skip a lot of meals), and a nice feeling bloodsugar level (i have not tested my bloodsugar, strictly speaking about how i feel).

edit: Oh, and the boon, as i mentioned before is.. well, all the benefits i listed above. Specifically stability in eating. I don't skip meals anymore - which is a big win for how i feel. Moreover, a good chunk of the meals i didn't skip in the past, were filled with horrible "just make hunger go away" type meals. I don't eat fast food, so it was usually just random junk in the house. Lots of cheese, usually hah.

It's actually very easy to calculate how many of your calories come from Soylent, since you buy it on a subscription.

But the plusses for Soylent are more time, more money, less hassle and more consistent nutrition.

Could you share your recipe with me? Would love to hear it!

I use PeopleChow, slightly altered to be around 66% Oats and 33% Masa. I prefer the taste of the larger oat percentage, and in general i just like that i am using oats, given the (potential?) health benefits.

Furthermore, this mix really leaves my bloodsugar level feeling amazing. I really have to eat balanced meals, or i am left feeling woozy/shaky. I am left feeling almost entirely neutral after DIY Soylent (this specific variety of course).

If anything, the only downside of it for me is the neutralness. Sometimes i am left a bit bored. Quite funny considering i started doing this because i had terrible eating habits due to time restrictions, and now i complain about having to fill time that would otherwise be left with food preparation and consumption hah.

As a sidenote and unforeseen benefit of both DIY and Soylent - they make amazing road foods. When i am driving somewhere far away, i always mix up a bottle of my DIY. And i always bring a pouch of Official with me, for the way back (and random times when you might be stuck without food). Official Soylent plus a bottle of water and a blender bottle is a pretty nice meal in a pinch. Even if you don't want to eat the stuff regularly, i'd recommend it to anyway for road meals.

In case you don't know: http://diy.soylent.me/

>Due to U.S. food regulations, the exact makeup of the artificial flavors used in Soylent versions 1.0 - 1.3 were proprietary and not made available for our examination.

I understand proprietary formulas wouldn't be made public, but they start off stating "Due to U.S. food regulations..." What food regulations would prevent ingredients being shared?

If I had to guess, they were buying the flavoring from a third party, and the third party refused to disclose what was in their product to Soylent. In the U.S., for certain items all you have to disclose is either "Natural Flavors" or "Artificial Flavors". So it's not that food regulations prevent the ingredients from being shared, it's that they don't force you to share.

Speaking as someone who has done contest prep diets for bodybuilders and regular folk.... there is huge individual variation in metabolic rate, and the existing calculators out there are all garbage at judging metabolic expenditure.

the only accurate way to determine your caloric maintenance would be to track your food intake while you remain weight stable, and then substitute that with an isocaloric amount of soylent.

They seem to gloss over this and blanket recommend 2000 cals per day

If you exercise, eat more. If you are sedentary, eat less. But more to your point, that's really a criticism of the FDA guidelines, which recommends 2000 calories a day.

> But more to your point, that's really a criticism of the FDA guidelines, which recommends 2000 calories a day.

The FDA guidelines do not recommend any number of calories a day. The % DV is based on the recommended amounts for a 2,000 calorie diet, and there is a standard, required, footnote noting this and that actual DVs vary by calorie needs.

> The FDA guidelines do not recommend any number of calories a day.

Soylent does not recommend any number of calories a day.

they sure do, the standard 'dosage' is 2k cals per day and they have a calculator (that you have to dig for) if you figure your requirements differ from the 2k cals per day. Nevermind the fact that these types of calculators of woefully inaccurate.

Every nutritional label I've seen that prints the RDA % is based on a 2000 cal/day diet. I think they're just following the norm here.

I think that all goes without saying. They aren't forcing their users to consume 2000 calories a day.

It will be nice to get rid of the oil bottle. (Although my kids love the empties for various play activities so I better stock up on them before I use up my current supply.)

I also think the serving size fits into how I use the product. I usually go a couple days consuming only Soylent, and then have dinner one night and then back to only Soylent for a couple more days, and repeat. But either way, I usually only have a pint for each meal. So even if I have nothing but Soylent one day, I still only use 3/4 of a package. I never was able to drink an entire pouch in a day.

Soylent seems to be the only food product following software versioning.

I still don't understand this company, to me it just seems like a marketing/branding ploy sitting on top of Ensure.

If you check the nutritional information for Soylent and compare it to Ensure, you'll see that Soylent is not at all like Ensure.

I whole heartedly disagree. It really doesn't look that different from Ensure Complete. (Ensure's product that targets the exact same market) They contain almost the exact same vitamins and minerals. Considering the differences in recommended portion sizes I'd say they are pretty much identical.



Did you even bother to read the ingredients?

Top ingredients of Soylent:

High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Rice Protein, Oat Flour, Isomaltulose

Top ingredients of ensure:

Water, Corn Maltodextrin, >>>>Sugar<<<<

Ensure + a multivitamin. Yeah.

Okay, i have a heavy urge to call your nonsense FUD - but to give you of the benefit of the doubt, why do you think it is that?

Have you compared the two nutritionally speaking? If so, what led you to believe they were so similar?

To me the differences are striking - unbelievably so. So much, that you come off as a troll. Please inform me otherwise.

That is absolutely incorrect. Soylent is designed to be a meal replacement in the realest sense. Rosa Labs is constantly tweaking the formula for optimum results. To compare it to a weightloss shake and overdoses of vitamins is rather reductive of the work done by Rosa Labs. If you think you can do better, go ahead and try. I tried to make my own with disastrous results.

I've tried soylent for a week's worth. Unfortunately, my budget simply can't handle the load that this would cost me - even at a bulk order for one month. At half the current price, I'd be able to seriously consider it. Until then...

I thought exactly the same. I have a family of 4, and Solyent would be significantly more expensive than what we already spend. And we eat very healthily.

Probably shouldn't feed Soylent to your kids--a lot of the nutritional needs are different depending on their age.

nutritional needs can also be very individual, in terms of things like total caloric intake, macronutrient requirements to 'feel optimal'

does soylent recommend a blanket amount of product to everyone per day, with no variation in individual metabolism?

or do the have some kind of induction period where they figure out your maintenance caloric intake and then give you enough soylent to satisfy your caloric needs?

There's only one formulation, but the Soylent team has stated that the total volume consumed per day should be based on individual needs (e.g. a petite 5' individual should be consuming less overall than a muscular 6' individual).

edit to add a source (many more are on the forums):

> Then, a bit before midnight, I got a pair of e-mails from two of the folks at Soylent, one from founder Rob Rhinehart and one from customer service vice president Julio Miles. "We encourage Soylent beta testers to decide how much Soylent they require in a day," he said. Rhinehart had a similar message. They both tell me that I don't have to actually eat the entire bag of Soylent.

From http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/08/ars-does-soylent-day-...

so they aren't really forthcoming about changing the total caloric intake, and you can't alter the macronutrient ratio because it's just one formula?

I don't understand this at all. How do you manage to feed each member of your family for less the $65 a week?

Here's one way to live on $1.70 per day if buying in bulk.

    lentil: 180	g
    rice: 180 g
    banana: 120 g
    olive oil: 20 g
    egg: 112 g
    milk: 99 g
    dry roasted peanuts: 50 g

    cost    : $1.70
    calories: 2000
    carbs   : 200 g
    fats    : 56 g
    protein : 175 g
with macronutirent ratio, calories from = fat:protein:carb = 25%:35%:40%

buying bananas, milk, and eggs in bulk doesn't sound like a great idea given their inherently short shelf life.

Anecdote: Two person household experimenting with meal plans (breakfast+dinner with leftovers for lunch) and our groceries cost about $400/mo. Personally, that number seems very high to me, but it could go down as we prioritize cost over following Recipes As Written. Cost was stable around $300/mo before, but with less varied meals.

Those two numbers translate into $50/person/week and $37.5/person/week.

I wanted to try out Soylent for a breakfast replacement, but was also turned off by the price. Edit: Also the delay! Wow, 4-5 months

Probably by preparing meals at home.

Out of curiosity, how much does it cost to feed a member of your family for a month?

This looks like an awesome update! More convenience, more production, more fat, more science!

> Sodium and chloride levels have been increased slightly, to 1,640 mg and 2,300 mg, respectively. In the past, Soylent has not fully met the Institute of Medicine’s recommended sodium intake levels, due to the challenges of providing recommended daily sodium values without creating an unpleasantly salty flavor. > > Thanks to the addition of isomaltulose, Soylent 1.4 can now meet the IOM’s recommended levels for sodium and chloride while maintaining a balanced flavor profile.

I should point out, here, that the IOM's recommendation is controversial, and that many would consider 1.64g sodium per day to still be inadequate. (Luckily, getting sodium elsewhere is easy.)

I simply don't understand why someone would willingly give up one of life's great pleasures for consuming something resembling thinset.

I'm glad Julia Child isn't alive to see this product.

I can tell you why, though I am very much against Soylent: convenience. My day is limited, such that I spend a significant portion of my free time cooking. If I had those 2 extra hours out of the 24 back, I feel I would be happeir and more productive. This is the same reason I wish I could get away with only sleeping 2-4 hours a day (I tried at one point to mess with sleep cycles; it was not fun).

Why not Soylent? Because it will kill you. It's pretty simple, I think. I am a big fan of Michael Pollan, and his main argument is that even nutritionists and doctors, people who dedicate thier lives to studying nutrition, can't answer lots of the more complex questions: "Eat carbs! No, wait, eat protein! No, eat whatever you want, just get enough vitamins! Fast! Eat constantly!" What are the chances that a single non-nutritionist got it right? I think exactly 0, and I'm not willing to prove that theory wrong using my own body.

Edit: ideal situation is where the human body naturally requires only 1-5 meals per week. Then I could easily see myself cooking a few gourmet meals. Alternative: be so filthy rich that you are either less busy or have a chef ready to cook for you any time of day.

> I am a big fan of Michael Pollan, and his main argument is that even nutritionists and doctors, people who dedicate thier lives to studying nutrition, can't answer lots of the more complex questions

One fantastic thing about a versioned product like Soylent is that it actually may make it possible to determine those answers empirically. Given the existence of a simple standardized diet that people are willing to eat exclusively outside of a laboratory setting, you could pay a bunch of volunteers to eat soylent you provide which either has or hasn't been modified to include different amounts of vitamins, different amounts of carbs or whatever.

> I'm not willing to prove that theory wrong using my own body.

Fortunately you can't stop other people from experimenting in just that way. The world is full of people who eat odd restricted diets and live reasonably long, healthy lives. There's no reason to let the best be the enemy of the good. Start with something that's just barely "good enough" and iterate on it until you really have something.

> Why not Soylent? Because it will kill you.

Did you ever explain why Soylent will kill you?

No, and this is a complex enough subject so it probably makes sense to discuss:

Everything kills you. Oxygen, water, sugar, protein. You have about a billion heartbeats before your heart gets too tired. The goal is to find the right balance of things you eat, do, don't do, etc so that you maximize your useful lifespan. I am sure that Soylent kills you faster than a balanced diet, because (a) it's processed (b) not diverse enough and (c) uses subpar ingredients. It is the whole meal equivalent of hot dogs: techincially has fats, proteins, carbs, micronutrients, but eat enough of them and you will suffer.

Besides, Soylent is not a new idea. Take a look at Ensure shakes. Would you drink those for the rest of your life? If not, then why drink basically the same type of stuff but with a different label? Because a software developer is selling it?

Edit: another idea for a convenient complete meal: McDonalds. Protein (burger), fats (fries), and carbs (soda). Blend it and you have Soylent 2.0.

You're completely delusional

I get the convenience argument, but then again I don't: one can make (for example) an omlette roulée and clean up after oneself in a few minutes.

Completely agree with you about nutrition angle.

For me, this is not just a few minute dish with no side effects. It's also remembering to have ingredients on hand, making sure I actually use those ingredients before they go bad, dealing with kitchen clutter, etc..... Hoping I don't get bored of it in a week and spend hours on the internet looking for more quick breakfast recipes, especially ones with similar ingredients but different tastes. (There was that time I made 100+ breakfast burritos and froze them all. I ended up tossing the last 20, because the thought of eating them was just not acceptable.)

On the other hand, when I do manage to make breakfast, I feel like a million bucks!

For me (a DIY user, not official mostly), it's entirely this. I am apparently so bad at making food reliably, that i would skip meals - heavily. Skip, and eat poorly when i did actually eat.

I like food quite a bit, but i just don't cook often enough or well enough to eat healthy and regularly. So, i found a solution that works really well for me.

Of course, if i had lots of money and a personal cook, i wouldn't drink soylent. I would gladly eat normal food, all the time and on time.

Cooking healthy, well, and quick is a skill that takes a long time to master. I for one am not a great cook: I can make about a dozen staple meals, but don't feel like I have the time to learn to make something more sophisitcated. I enjoy good food very much, which is why I go to restaurants.

I love food and eating, but there are certainly meals where I'm hungry and want to eat something, but don't have the time/energy to make something nutritious and complete (lunch is often this way for me). If Soylent was cheaper/available in Canada, I'd be tempted to have some on hand for that.

As others in this thread have said - Soylent for breakfast and lunch but real food for dinner sounds pretty good, actually.

Then you are missing the point of Soylent. Soylent is not made for pleasure. Soylent is made for easy, cheap nutrition. If that doesn't appeal to you, then it's not for you. Comparing Soylent to french cuisine is like comparing a white wall paint to the entire collection of the Louvre. Yes, a Rembrandt is much "nicer" than boring white paint but we still need white paint day-to-day.

Then why not "eat" Ensure? At least Ensure has a track record, is actually available, and has a peer-reviewed scientific backing. What is the advantage of Soylent?

I honestly don't understand the appeal of an unproven and difficult to source food product, but I would appreciate hearing your thoughts.

> Soylent is made for easy, cheap nutrition.

I'd add balanced, certainly more so than fast food and microwave meals.

Not everyone has enough time in the day to prepare meals such that they meet the recommended FDA guidelines. Just because I personally eat Soylent doesn't mean I can't enjoy a gathering with friends at a restaurant or eating a meal at home with my family. It's not all or nothing.

It's amazing to me how many people miss this point.

I bought a month's worth. I only eat it for dinner around 4 - 5 times a week, meaning it will last me 3 months. My time is worth a lot to me, and I would much rather spend the free time I have after work doing things I love to do than things I don't (which include cooking).

I am a bit of a foodie. I love good good, I love going out to dinner, I love trying new restaurants, and I love eating with friends. Soylent does not affect this in any way, because I don't eat out or eat with friends every night of the week.

Side note: People look at the cost of Soylent and don't factor in the cost of the time it takes to gather ingredients and prepare / clean up meals, which is pretty short sighted in my opinion. This cost is not insignificant.

I don't use Soylent 100% of the time, but usually for one to two meals a day. I have used it for a week straight.

I generally agree, I crave "real" food immensely when I'm eating Soylent a majority of the time, but...

I have pretty severe TMJ and everything I have to chew increases the overall pain that I feel, and it's not temporary pain, it's persistent pain that is actually distracting.

Drinking Soylent helps alleviate this to some degree, to the extent that I'm willing to make a trade off.

Not everyone experiences food as a "great pleasure". Food is fuel, and sometimes it's tasty fuel.

Is anybody actually living off of this stuff? After following them for a while I got the impression they were a glorified Ensure and gave up.

I certainly couldn't.

I barely managed to swallow the grittiness of the mixture after following their instructions and shaking up my first batch a few months ago. I even put it in my vitamix on high for a while and it still tasted like undisolved powders sitting in the bottom of a jug of water.

I ended up throwing out the remainder of the first mixture, and the rest of my week's supply has been sitting in storage ever since.

Apparently there is a secondary market out there where dissapointed early adopters can sell their soylent to others, which speaks volumes about it's quality/taste/texture... that people who waited over a year for delivery can't even finish the stuff and want to pawn it off to somebody else. [0]

[0] http://motherboard.vice.com/read/i-waited-five-months-for-my...

I do. I eat Soylent for lunch and breakfast.

Why Soylent and not Ensure?

Because if you look at the nutritional facts Ensure is no where near what Soylent is, nor is it designed to be. Not only is it missing the majority of the daily requirement percentages (partially or entirely), but of the 11% of your daily carbs that it does give you, literally half of that is sugar. Sugar.

Why you think Ensure is something you can live off of, is beyond me.

They are very different products. Like I said before, compare the nutritional information for the 2 and you'll see they nothing alike.

Possibly stupid question: is the serving size meaningful? I thought the procedure was to make a day's worth all at once, and consume it throughout the day at whatever schedule you choose.

Three servings of 670 vs. four servings of 500-- I don't see exactly what this changes.

The labeling now more accurately reflects observed usage patterns.

Sort of the opposite tactic of most companies who try to squeeze serving sizes to meet certain nutritional milestones despite having no basis in real-life usage of the product. I'm looking at you Pop-Tarts! No body eats one tart at a time.

Or 1/3 of a muffin as a serving. Ridiculous, but a lot of people probably fall for it. It's mostly North American thing tho. In Europe, you usually get calories per 100 grams, so you can compare different foods to each other as well.

Two Pop-Tarts at once? I've never done that.

...But then again, I don't eat an awful lot, and that's why I was originally interested in the "revised serving size"-- I'm wondering what other Soylent drinkers do if their caloric input is usually (far) less than 2000 cal/day.

The packages inside the box each contain two tarts, somewhat suggesting that's how they expect them to be eaten.

Wouldn't want one of them to go stale.

Put peanut butter between them after toasting them. Tastiest thing in the world.

And dip it in milk or chocolate syrup.

But don't forget to wrap it in bacon and deep fry it too.

I think most soylent drinkers don't do it 100%. I drink it for breakfast and lunch, and do dinner with the family. So for me I do four servings over two days. I think they're finding that this a common pattern and updating the packaging to reflect it.

That's my pattern exactly, which I settled into very quickly. From what I understand from others, they had the same experience.

A bag is about 2 days' worth, not one. I can't imagine going through an entire bag every day. Serving size is just labeling as you suspect; in my house, serving size is correlated with size of glass.

Damn, I'd love to try this. It's awesome!

Why would you eat that instead of vegys? I think food scarcity is not real.

International shipping already, come on!

A bit more keto than 1.3, better.

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