Has a tech entrepreneur come up with a product to replace our meals?


I’m not sure why this is a surprise, like it’s some miracle that a person can live on basically a process mash of carbs, fat, protein. I suppose if I treated my body/life like a machine I would only choose the most efficient things to go into it (or the best quality depending on how you look at it). But I don’t, because of things like flavor, feeling, wants. So as much as a bag of soylent chips will fill me up and keep me nourished sometimes I just really want to bite into a nice big juicy steak, or that extra large slice of cake that is horrible for me.


What we need is the matrix, so we can fool you into thinking that soylent is a juicy steak.

My greatest fear is that after a year on this stuff this guy will have a painful reintroduction to real food. having not eaten meat, dairy, or gluten for a year will probably make for a ruff introduction.

But this does sound like cool product for space exploration, military operations, disaster relief, and of course those that have long lists of food allergies and intolerance.


It’s not April 1, is it?


I ordered a week’s worth when they did their kickstarter, just for kicks (pun mostly unintended). I have my doubts about it being something anyone with a choice would be interested in as a long term food substitute, but I am sure that it will be an interesting experiment for a week.

Maybe its a May Day prank.

Like most headlines that ask a question, the answer to this one is “No.”


There is a potential demographic for such a product…


Could someone please explain to me how this product is any different than Ensure? Does NASA and the U.S. Military not know about Ensure?



Alternatively, you could just drink Guinness.

At university, I had a housemate who stated that he only ate because he had to (and seeing his diet, I can understand how he felt that way) - his idea of spaghetti bolognese was boiled(!) mince/ground beef, with plain spaghetti noodles, no sauce.


You beat me to it!


1 Like

Square crackers in a round tin?


The only thing that’s really remarkable about this is that they’ve managed to generate some buzz over a project that’s literally nothing more than reinventing the nutrition shake–the makers of Ensure and Slim-Fast must be kicking themselves. Rhinehart makes a big deal over the improvements to his health, but this was his diet before:

They had been living mostly on ramen, corn dogs, and Costco frozen quesadillas—supplemented by Vitamin C tablets, to stave off scurvy—but the grocery bills were still adding up. Rob Rhinehart, one of the entrepreneurs, began to resent the fact that he had to eat at all. “Food was such a large burden,” he told me recently. “It was also the time and the hassle. We had a very small kitchen, and no dishwasher.” He tried out his own version of “Super Size Me,” living on McDonald’s dollar meals and five-dollar pizzas from Little Caesars. But after a week, he said, “I felt like I was going to die.” Kale was all the rage—and cheap—so next he tried an all-kale diet. But that didn’t work, either. “I was starving,” he said.

Well, no shit, Sherlock. (At least the article acknowledges that Rhinehart just didn’t seem to be that much into food in the first place.) I like that they mention the DIY site for alternate recipes–I may experiment with a low-carb option, myself–but, even before he gets into the fantasy of the GMO algae that can crank this stuff out magically, a lot about this concept seems like agribusiness’ wet dream.


Aw, c’mon. When somebody tells me, “I did the bare minimum to avoid scurvy,” I always think, “This is someone whose food advice I want to follow!”


How could he have been spending $470 a month on food if he was living on ramen, corn dogs and Costco quesadillas? That doesn’t add up.

If you’re interested, Ars Technica writer Lee Hutchinson wrote a series of articles about living on Soylent for 5 days.


Or any of your standard meal replacement bars. I remember there being a thing about the military working on a meal replacement bar from an episode of Beyond 2000 (back in like 96 or so). But I think their focus was on more protein/fat which pushed the calorie content way higher than what an average person would need.

“you could just drop a shipping container” full of Soylent-producing algae. […] Then all we’d have to do is fix the world’s housing problem, “and people could be free.”

The people who survived having shipping containers dropped on them could then just live in them afterwards! They wouldn’t even need to bury their dead! Brilliant!


Calorie content hasn’t stopped candy bar manufacturers, so I’m surprised that this hasn’t all been worked out. My guess is that food is an easy way to provide comfort to those in high stress situations, and meal replacement items don’t fit the bill. I’ve had their rations, which were obtained by a friend of a friend, and they would’ve been quite welcome on the many camping trips of my youth.

ensure is /heavy/. Rockets don’t like heavy.

Then again, air-scrubbers probably don’t like protein powder. hrm.