Soylent (food substitute)
||This article has been nominated to be checked for its neutrality. (June 2013)|
Soylent was designed by software engineer Rob Rhinehart as a way to get all the nutrients needed by the body without the time, money, and effort that usually goes into preparing food. Lacking background in chemistry or nutrition, Rhinehart developed the formula by reading web sites, textbooks, and papers in scientific journals, and by self-experimentation. He named it after a fictional food from the novel Make Room! Make Room!
Soylent is currently undergoing testing and modification. As of March 2014, a crowdfunding campaign has provided over US$2,000,000, and venture capitalists (Andreessen Horowitz) provided another US$1,500,000, to produce and market a commercial version of Soylent. The funding paid for additional research and modification of the formula. As of March 2014 the first shipment of U.S. orders is planned for April 2014.
- Carbohydrates (400 g), in the form of oligosaccharides such as maltodextrin
- Protein (50 g), in a powdered form such as rice protein
- Fat (65 g), in the form of olive oil
- Sodium (2.4 g), from table salt
- Potassium (3.5 g), in the form of potassium gluconate
- Chloride (3.4 g), also from table salt
- Fiber (5 g)
- Calcium (1 g), in the form of calcium carbonate
- Iron (18 mg), from an iron chelate
- Phosphorus (1 g), from monosodium phosphate
- Iodine (150 μg)
- Magnesium (400 mg)
- Zinc (15 mg)
- Selenium (70 μg)
- Copper (2 mg)
- Manganese (2 mg)
- Chromium (120 μg)
- Molybdenum (75 μg)
- Vitamin A (5000 IU)
- Vitamin B6 (6 μg)
- Vitamin C (60 mg)
- Vitamin D (400 IU)
- Vitamin E (30 IU)
- Vitamin K (80 μg)
- Thiamin (1.5 mg)
- Riboflavin (1.7 mg)
- Niacin (20 mg)
- Folate (400 μg)
- Biotin (300 μg)
- Pantothenic acid (10 mg)
Extras not considered to be essential:
|Serving size (148 g)|
|Servings per container 3|
|Amount per Serving||Soylent Powder||with Oil Packet|
|Calories from Fat||45||210|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat||5 g||8%||37%|
|Saturated Fat||1 g||5%||15%|
|Trans Fat||0 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||84 g||28%||28%|
|Dietary Fiber||8 g||32%||32%|
Development process and health concerns
As of May 2013, Soylent has been tested by Rhinehart himself and by a handful of volunteers as well as individuals recreating the substance independently at home. Modifications to the ingredient list have occurred in response to results incurred in testing, for example: the first version of the formula omitted iron, which Rhineheart reported caused his heart to race. In other early experiments, intentionally induced overdoses of potassium and magnesium gave Rhinehart cardiac arrhythmia and burning sensations. After the early recipe had stabilized, Rhinehart found himself suffering from joint pain due to a sulfur deficiency. Methylsulfonylmethane was added to address this problem.
Soylent in its present form may lack some nutrients essential for normal body functioning and/or may fail to provide nutrients in appropriate proportions, potentially causing medical problems if used long-term.[unreliable source?] The fundamental basis of the assumptions made by Soylent are disputed; with focus on the fact that, because digestion is a complex phenomenon and there is not a simple linear relationship between nutrient ingestion and nutrient absorption, many factors contribute to nutrient absorption in the human body.
With respect to the suitability of the product for general consumption, homemade Soylent is made without the kinds of regulatory safeguards and fine-tunings followed when making accepted artificial diets such as medical food.
In September 2013, Rhinehart said he would like to get Soylent down to a cost of US$5 per day. As of April 2013, Rhinehart stated he was spending US$154.62 per month on Soylent, yielding a diet of 11,000 kilojoules (2,600 kcal) per day while a medical food such as Jevity would cost US$456 per month to get 8,400 kilojoules (2,000 kcal). For comparison, a family of four in the United States can purchase food for approximately US$584 per month (avoiding eating out) which is approximately the same as multiplying Rhinehart's base Soylent cost by four.
- Scutti, Susan (February 18, 2014). "Can Soylent, A New Crowd-Funded Nutritional Drink, Back Its Claims? Eat All A Healthy Body Needs For $9/Day". Medical Daily. Retrieved 2014-03-14.
- Lallanilla, Marc (March 14, 2013). "Who Needs Food When You Have Soylent?". LiveScience. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
- Finley, Klint (May 3, 2013). "Silicon Valley And The Reinvention Of Food". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
- Storr, Will (May 6, 2013). "The man who lives without food". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
- Varughese, Ansa (March 15, 2013). "Rob Rhinehart, 24, Creates Soylent: Why You Never Have To Eat Food Again". Medical Daily. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
- Hutchinson, Lee (February 18, 2014). "Future food Soylent delayed again—now arriving in mid-to-late April". Medical Daily. Retrieved 2014-03-14.
- Rhinehart, Rob. "What's In Soylent". Mostly Harmless. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- "Soylent 1.0 Final Nutrition". Soylent. 27 January 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- Davis, Lauren (June 2, 2013). "Could Soylent really replace all of the food in your diet?". io9. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
- "Gruel today, gruel tomorrow". The Economist. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- Rhinehart, Rob (April 25, 2013). "Soylent Month Three". Mostly Harmless. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- Campbell, T. Colin. Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition. BenBella Books Inc, 2013.
- Matthews, Dylan (March 14, 2013). "Rob Rhinehart has a crazy plan to let you go without food forever. It just might work.". Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- Ars does Soylent, the finale: Soylent dreams for people | Ars Technica
- Pomeroy, Ross (April 1, 2013). "'Soylent': Can Man Survive on Goop Alone?". Real Clear Science. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- Official website
- Rob Rhinehart's blog
- Rosa Labs official web site
- List of Soylent recipes
- "How I Ate No Food for 30 Days", Vice Motherboard, November 12, 2013