Soylent survivor: one month living on lab-made liquid nourishment
J Thoendell stashed this in Food
And, social element aside, it’s hard to overstate just how incredible food really is. If it was simply a means for survival, cities around the world wouldn’t be packed to the gills with restaurants. On Soylent, a walk through town becomes an excruciating journey past sights and smells — teases of a culinary world that you’re entirely cut out of.
What did surprise me was that I never really tired of the flavor of Soylent. I expected that by the end of the first week, I’d be dreading every sip, but I actually fell into a groove where I looked forward to my next glass. And it was nice recouping significant time otherwise spent looking for and eating food — perhaps an hour a day or more. Furthermore, if I was ordering Soylent month to month, I’d be paying $8.50 a day to get effectively all the nutrition and calories I needed to stay alive for the price of a standard New York City lunch.
So it’s a trade-off between efficiency and, well, living. Soylent isn’t living, it’s merely surviving.
I lost about 12 pounds along the way with very little health drama. For the most part, I actually felt great.
If you just hate food, I can pretty confidently say Soylent is the solution for you. Otherwise, it’s mainly a great reminder of why food is awesome: it looks good, it tastes great, and it brings us together. No pitcher of Soylent is ever going to do that.
I was considering trying Soylent until the mold story.... kinda hard to forget that one
I had not heard the mold story until you mentioned it.
I don't really understand what the big deal about this stuff is. They have made nutrition-replacing shakes for decades. You can buy them in cans at Walmart if you're too lazy to even add water yourself. The only "innovation" I see here is that Soylent is marketed to geeks who for whatever reason don't want to buy a woman's product like Slimfast or an athletic product like Muscle Milk or an old person's product like Ensure... but I bet the ingredients are pretty similar.
I think you're right. The problem is the potential mainstreaming of non-food as food.
Soylent means committing to a diet of all (or mostly) processed food.
I guess my point is that food is the first and the last pleasure in life for most people. They will literally kill themselves to eat more! But more importantly, food is love. I've read or viewed several of these "I lived on Soylent for a month and didn't die" pieces recently, and the common denominators that come through clearly are:
* The guy who invented Soylent derives no pleasure from food personally. I've heard a theory that a lot of geeks are "supertasters" who can only eat completely bland (and preferably colorless!) foods, possibly as a side-effect of being on the autism spectrum.
* Soylent was designed for the lifestyle of single men who want to "optimize" on the time, money, and thought they are spending on food. They apparently do NOT care to "optimize" on the taste, nutrition, social opportunities, cultural depth, or emotional ties which are the motivating factors for most "humans". I think only one of the test subjects of these Soylent articles even had a girlfriend, and she was horrified.
* Every young male subject appeared to lose more weight than he expected, and yet they NEVER seemed to even suspect that the culprit might be that they were just bored of Soylent. No one mentioned how much weight they re-gained in subsequent months.
* None of the test subjects appeared to be athletes or otherwise in a muscle-mass building phase of life. The only "health" criteria were I saw discussed were those that are weakly correlated with perceived physical attractiveness, athletic performance, or mortality: body weight, cholesterol, and I think maybe once glucose.
Believe me, I am no fan of processed food... but I am 100% CONFIDENT that Soylent is not going to become mainstream. :) Our species wants pleasure and love, and food is the easiest way to achieve those things.
That was a great rant, Joyce. I'm already bored of Soylent.