Rob Rhinehart Soylent = Nutrition Without Food
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Nutrition!
Rhinehart has created what he calls "Soylent," a powdered concoction that seemingly contains all the nutrients and biological fuel people need to go about their lives. Added to water, it's constituted the lion's share of his diet for nearly four months, and he's just launched a fundraising campaign on CrowdHoster to bring it to the public (it's a product by Crowdtilt – think Kickstarter with absolutely no fees).
"Regular food is great. I absolutely don't want to 'end' it," he told us. Rhinehart still eats standard food on occasion and is the first to acknowledge the sociological value of communal eating. But for the day-to-day in-and-out of consuming food, there's a large enough slice of the population who'd rather not bother with cooking. Soylent presents them with a reasonable, more desirable alternative.
The proof's in the pudding – here's a guy alive and well who estimates he's eaten about 20 conventional meals in the last four months.
If it seems weird to try to survive on what amounts to little more than a smoothie, consider this: In an interview with Vice, Rhinehart explained that "we need carbs, not bread. Amino acids, not milk. It's still fine to eat these whenever you want, but not everyone can afford them or has the desire to eat them. Food should be optimized and personalized."
But forget for a moment those first-world concerns of "Oh, I'm too tired to cook." There's an exciting humanitarian element at play here. Soylent is cheap to produce – a month-long personal supply could cost around $100 when produced at scale (one month of groceries costs the average American around $600 or more). If Soylent can truly deliver on its promise to keep the human body powered effectively, then it will become a huge asset in fighting the world's hunger problem. Rhinehart thinks big and gets visibly animated when discussing this, saying, "I want it to be as widely available as possible. I'm imagining small packets of Soylent in stores, vending machines, everywhere." He wants to make it as easy to get as a cup of coffee.
Soylent's crowd funding was wanting to raise $100k.
They ended up raising more than $700k:
Buy it here: