There is a new meal replacement that is growing in popularity, called Soylent. Cleverly named off of the timeless Sci-Fi novel “Make Room! Make Room,” and more commonly associated with the movie “Soylent Green,” the maker of the product, Rob Rhinehart, assures consumers that no human flesh is utilized in its making. Nonetheless, with such an unappetizing name, it can be hard to wrap your mind around it. So what exactly is Soylent?
Soylent is considered the perfect meal replacement. The maker of the product is an engineer by the name of Rob Rhinehart, who became bored with food and saw it as a laborious and inefficient method of obtaining nutrition. Looking to save time, money, and improve his personal health, he embarked on a mission to create a drinkable powdered supplement that could achieve all of his basic nutritional needs. He claims that Soylent contains all the vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, and amino acids needed for human health, and that is can be consumed exclusively without risk.
Soylent is delivered in packets, with each packet being about 2,000 calories or an entire day of food. In addition to the powdered mixture, you get an oil mixture consisting of canola oil and fish oil. By mixing them together with water, you create a relatively flavorless, pasty white beverage that can replace your current food source. The idea is to increase efficiency by no longer having to grocery shop, prepare food, and spend time eating. It is good for people on the go, who have trouble getting proper nutrition in their daily lives.
Additionally, the product is very low in sugar, making it a superior alternative to other meal replacements on the market. The most interesting aspect of this “food” product is that it is primarily derived from non-food sources. Rhinehart hopes to develop the product further, making it as independent of agriculture as possible. Currently, the powder is made up of maltodextrin, rice protein, oat flour, and numerous raw chemical vitamins and minerals.
Rhinehart believes that agriculture is unsustainable, and won’t be able to keep up with the continuing demands for food. Hence, by devising a product that is largely constructed in a lab, rather than dependent on fertile soils, it can be used to combat food scarcity and malnourishment. Though his intentions seem to be good, a future without food, with the masses subsisting on flavorless white powder, seems rather bleak and unfortunate.
Nonetheless, Rhinehart argues that there is no need to do away with real food entirely. Rather, if more people begin looking toward products like Soylent for the base of their nutrition, it will enable them to appreciate the leisure meals they eat more fully. He claims that he doesn’t want to see farming disappear entirely. However, if people begin to consume Soylent as their primary source of nutrition, and leave whole foods for recreational eating, we can combat food shortages, world hunger, and the environmental concerns associated with agriculture.