Soylent: ‘Future of Food’ or Nutritionist’s Nightmare?

Posted: August 5, 2015 by gamegetterII in Uncategorized

It’s a product that seems unassuming enough: a thick, beige, bland liquid reminiscent of pancake batter. But, in fact, the aspirations of Soylent — a product billed as a complete meal replacement — befit its birthplace, the Bay Area of San Francisco, home to countless tech startups founded to conquer the world.

But don’t expect the stuff to win over many nutritionists any time soon.

“I’m all about enjoyment and fun, and drinking sludge just doesn’t fit in,” said Keith Ayoob, EdD, RD, at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, in an email. “We have teeth, people. Let’s use them and not drink all of our nutrition.”

Ayoob was one of several nutritionists who spoke with MedPage Today about Soylent and what it means for human health. They expressed bafflement that people would want to go without normal food and reiterated that nutritional science is limited by many unknowns.

Created by engineer and entrepreneur Rob Rhinehart, Soylent started shipping earlier this year after a period of experimentation with help from a committed do-it-yourself group of followers. So as to dispel any doubt about the intent of Soylent, visitors to the company’s website are greeted with the words “What if you never had to worry about food again?”

Its name comes from a 1973 sci-fi film starring Charlton Heston, Soylent Green, in which humanity subsists on artificial food pills that (spoiler alert) turn out to be made from human flesh — if nothing else, suggesting that Rhinehart is no ordinary marketer.

Rhinehart says the Soylent formula (which, for the record, includes no human flesh) fulfills all human nutritional requirements, such that a person can live on it exclusively. Though some do — Rhinehart himself ate nothing but Soylent for 5 months — many use it as a supplement along with some normal food. And the DIY ethos still prevails — there are more than 2,500 recipes posted by users to make similar products.

Read the rest Here

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