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Soylent: No Food For 30 Days

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the do-twinkies-count? dept.

News 440

Daniel_Stuckey writes "Senior Editor of Motherboard Brian Merchant went an entire month without eating regular food. Instead, the journalist whisked up a concoction called soylent, an efficient take on the future of nourishment and nutrition. Merchant says: 'It was my second day on Soylent and my stomach felt like a coil of knotty old rope, slowly tightening. I wasn't hungry, but something was off. I was tired, light-headed, low-energy, but my heart was racing. My eyes glazed over as I stared out the window of our rental SUV as we drove over the fog-shrouded Bay Bridge to Oakland. Some of this was nerves, sure. I had twenty-eight days left of my month-long all-Soylent diet—I was attempting to live on the full food replacement longer than anyone besides its inventor—and I felt woozy already. ... By the third week of Soylent, not eating food seemed normal. I saw a doctor, who said I was healthy; I was still losing weight, but nothing serious. Yet, given that a daily mixture of Soylent contains 2,400 calories, both Rob and Dr. Engel thought it was odd that I’d shed so much. Dr. Engel said that given my weight, height, and body mass, I should only require about 1,800 calories a day. I could still be adjusting to the new diet, or I could have such a hyperactive metabolism that before Soylent, I was tearing through hundreds of extra calories per day and staying trim.'"

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It's People. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45407873)

Seriously, it's people. He knows this, right?

Re:It's People. (4, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 10 months ago | (#45408177)

Soylent Green is people.

This looks like Soylent Beige.

Brian Merchant (5, Funny)

wrackspurt (3028771) | about 10 months ago | (#45407887)

A real people person ;)

Re:Brian Merchant (4, Funny)

evilviper (135110) | about 10 months ago | (#45408311)

A real people person ;)

"Soylent... the great taste of friends!"

Re:Brian Merchant (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408435)

A real people person ;)

Maybe the guy lost weight because the Soylent green was made from the skinny people.

You know what they say, you are what you eat.

Or... (5, Insightful)

drater (806171) | about 10 months ago | (#45407895)

it could be that it's just flat out bad for you.

Re: Or... (2)

jo7hs2 (884069) | about 10 months ago | (#45407903)

Yeah, kinda odd that was omitted as an option.

Daniel Tosh was right (4, Funny)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 10 months ago | (#45407911)

"We wonder why other countries hate us? I love that! We have a game show in our country called "Survivor." Thats a GAME in our country! ...You can win a million dollars for surviving on a place where people already live! Do you realize what kind of message that sends? Not a good one!"

Re:Daniel Tosh was right (0)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 10 months ago | (#45407929)

"We wonder why other countries hate us? I love that! We have a game show in our country called "Survivor." Thats a GAME in our country! ...You can win a million dollars for surviving on a place where people already live! Do you realize what kind of message that sends? Not a good one!"

The "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episode examining the interaction between various survivors is very thought provoking. And gut bustingly funny too.

Re:Daniel Tosh was right (1, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 10 months ago | (#45407961)

You can win a million dollars for surviving on a place where people already live!

Nevermind the camera crew that follows them around everywhere.

I think that's on par with wilderness camping in your mom's basement.

Re:Daniel Tosh was right (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408037)

Real men camps in their mom's garden!

Re:Daniel Tosh was right (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408129)

Only if the camera crew and the cast have the same accommodations. Otherwise, by that same logic, the living conditions of the wild animals featured in National Geographic must be "on par with wilderness camping in your mom's basement".

Re:Daniel Tosh was right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408165)

How is this different than living in your mom's basement?

Re:Daniel Tosh was right (3, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 10 months ago | (#45408023)

In poor countries, only the rich can afford to get fat.

In rich countries, only the rich can afford to stay thin.

Re:Daniel Tosh was right (4, Funny)

slick7 (1703596) | about 10 months ago | (#45408191)

In poor countries, only the rich can afford to get fat.

In rich countries, only the rich can afford to stay thin.

Feed the homeless to the hungry, it's for the national security of the children.

Re:Daniel Tosh was right (1, Interesting)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about 10 months ago | (#45408271)

In poor countries, only the rich can afford to get fat.

In rich countries, only the rich can afford to stay thin.

Nice try at saying something catchy or clever there, but you are very, very wrong. Obesity is in fact a problem in some developing countries, due to poor nutrition (no lack of calories) and a lack of education and/or diet alternatives. And many of us po' folks in the west manage to stay thin on our own, by making informed decisions about what we eat.

And since Daniel Tosh is in the title, I must mention that I think he's not only unfunny but more than a little date rapey, at best. As far as his comedic prowess, he is a master of the lowest common denominator. Sophomoric rubbish. That's not a compliment.

Re:Daniel Tosh was right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408413)

Obesity is in fact a problem in some developing countries...And many of us po' folks in the west manage to stay thin on our own

Some people have also been to the moon, but it would be foolish to give that as a counter to an nontechnical statement of 'nobody goes to the moon'.

Re:Daniel Tosh was right (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408091)

Oh stop fooling yourself. Other countries don't hate you because you're rich or even wasteful. They hate you because Your Government Interferes With Their Country. Period.

Re:Daniel Tosh was right (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408203)

I thought they hated us for what we allowed Lucas to do to Star Wars–specifically, but not limited to Jar Jar Binks.

Macro Nutrients... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45407915)

SCREW THAT!!!!

Re:Macro Nutrients... (1, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 10 months ago | (#45408325)

As I recall there's not even any insoluable fiber in the stuff. Pass.

Who was eating all those excess calories? (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45407919)

Maybe the Gut bacteria [slashdot.org] found the soylent concoction particularly tasty and were eating more of it than the human, hence the weight loss.

Re:Who was eating all those excess calories? (4, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | about 10 months ago | (#45407945)

Or more likely he was just dumping them out the other end because, for whatever reason, he couldn't absorb them.

Re:Who was eating all those excess calories? (2)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45408003)

Well, that is the fate of gut bacteria, is it not? Seems they are "born" late in life.

Re:Who was eating all those excess calories? (4, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 10 months ago | (#45408423)

That's what most people forget about dieting, and where food labels are often misleading. Sure 1 cup of sugar contains the same number of calories as 2 cups of whole wheat pasta (according to Google). But the latter requires much more energy for your body to actually process, and it's questionable if you're body could even get at 100% of that energy, where as with sugar, it would be able to process it very efficiently.

Re:Who was eating all those excess calories? (3, Funny)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 10 months ago | (#45408541)

I don't care, sugar tastes better.

Subtracting fiber (2)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45408653)

And this is why Weight Watchers subtracts 4 calories per gram of dietary fiber before dividing by 35 to get the PointsPlus value. It's also how low-carbohydrate foods during the Atkins fad could get away with mentioning attractive "net carb" counts in large type absent an official FDA definition of "low carb" [webmd.com] .

Re:Who was eating all those excess calories? (5, Insightful)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 10 months ago | (#45407991)

He probably went from an unregulated diet (random food when hungry, different foods each day, plus various snacks as desired, etc) to the highly-regulated soylent concoction (2,400 calories with no variation). It's surprising how much we eat if we add in all the little things that we don't really think about, like extra drinks or whatever.

It's also possible his body simply became more efficient with handling the same number and type of calories each day, rather than store the excess due to normal daily variations in consumption.

Re:Who was eating all those excess calories? (4, Interesting)

erice (13380) | about 10 months ago | (#45408131)

Maybe the calories were not absorbed. He did say that "my stomach felt like a coil of knotty old rope, slowly tightening". His digestive system wasn't very happy and was likely dumping calories and nutrients out the other end without processing.

People's ability to digest food and absorb it's nutrients is highly variable even without considering major digestive disorders like lactose intolerance and Celiac Disease. Even if it worked for the inventor, that doesn't mean it will work for you.

Re:Who was eating all those excess calories? (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45408201)

Pretty much covered by the first respondent [slashdot.org] .

I had a friend in College from Australia. He found he always had digestive problems returning home for a visit after every semester. A semester was just long enough for his native flora to die off, and it took a day or three of cramps and trots (a bad case of the "dampass" as he called it) to get his gut primed again.

So he got these pills from his doctor, who got them from the military, and would take them on the flight home. They were nothing more than "seed stock" for his gut. This was back in the 60s and apparently Australian Diet of that era was just enough different from American fare that some people had trouble adjusting.

Re:Who was eating all those excess calories? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408473)

It is likely this mix was a lot higher fiber and a sudden shift in diet can cause stomach issues as the gut flora takes a couple of days to adjust. Multiple people who have done this with soylent typically see the stomach issues the first 2-3 days before it clears up and in this case he was also not drinking enough water according to his own account which was also causing some of his issues.

Re: Who was eating all those excess calories? (1)

smg5266 (2440940) | about 10 months ago | (#45408475)

If you rtfa you find out that the stomach issues were from dehydration and were quickly alleviated after a few glasses of water.

Re:Who was eating all those excess calories? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408679)

He did say that "my stomach felt like a coil of knotty old rope, slowly tightening".

This story seems to leave out what I've seen in other more detailed posts before. He screwed up the formula for the couple days and left a supplement or two out that he later fixed and that is what made it become more tolerable.

Re:Who was eating all those excess calories? (1, Funny)

evilviper (135110) | about 10 months ago | (#45408301)

Every order of Soylent comes with a FREE TAPEWORM!

Re:Who was eating all those excess calories? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408307)

He went from a chaotic diet to a steady one. His body didn't try to store every calorie it could find because it no longer thought it was starving.

Calories (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45407937)

That might be because the whole calorie counting thing is pure BS. Its all about the glucides baby :) i can tear through 3 eggs + bacon for breakfast and I still lose weight.

Re:Calories (2, Interesting)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 10 months ago | (#45407995)

>That might be because the whole calorie counting thing is pure BS.

This.

The absence of causality in the CI-CO = dW has been well established for centuries. It was lost briefly in a period between the 1970s and mid 2000s, but I think we're back on track mostly, provided that you don't listen to doctors.
 

Re:Calories (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 10 months ago | (#45408107)

"provided that you don't listen to doctors."

Ugh, doctors. I saw an acquaintance post that a doctor lowered his calorie intake from 1600 to 1200 to reach a BMI of 30, what ever that means. He is trying to lose weight and had dropped a significant amount, over 100 lbs already. To me both the BMI and calorie counting is BS. How a trained medical professional can use both is baffling unless (s)he is a dinosaur stuck in their old ways.

Re:Calories (3, Interesting)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 10 months ago | (#45408183)

BMI was intended as a look at an overall population, however it's generally a good representation of people without really unique body types or lots of muscle.

If your friends had 100 pounds to lose, bringing up BMI worked well for him. BMI is a way of showing that he's what most people would consider obese. You wouldn't use it to decide whether to lose 5 pounds or not, but sure it's accurate to within 100 pounds.

Counting calories is a very effective way to lose/gain weight. Sure you don't know *exactly* how many your body is burning, but if you don't lose or gain weight at 3000 calories, and maintain the same lifestyle, you can be sure that you will lose about a pound a week at 2500 calories, or gain a pound a week at 3500 calories/day. Sure not everybody wants to or has to do that, but it works.

Re:Calories (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 10 months ago | (#45408479)

But a little rudimentary unit analysis [wikipedia.org] suggests that it's bullshit. It's not a dimensionless constant, it's M / L^2. It doesn't even make sense - L^2? Are we paper people? Extruded prisms of constant width?

What's the argument for the factor? What are the physical constants it depends on? What are the other Pi numbers in the system?

Finally, does it even correlate well with anything, meaningfully?

Re:Calories (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 10 months ago | (#45408657)

BMI was intended as a look at an overall population, however it's generally a good representation of people without really unique body types or lots of muscle.

Where "unique body types" make up a quarter of the population. That's how often the BMI scale miscategorizes people as over or underweight, compared to body fat percentage.

It was a halfway useful number when it was invented a century and a half ago, but the flaw in the scaling factor becomes more and more evident the taller you go, and what was exceptionally tall a century ago is the average now.

Re:Calories (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408507)

Yeah, but what is his blood pressure and resting heart rate? How far can he walk? How fast can he run? How much can he burn on a cycle for 15 minutes? How would he do on some basic strength exercises (bench, squat, curl, etc.).

If our car lost weight but couldn't accelerate fast enough to merge into traffic or go more than a 50 miles without slowing down we'd want it fixed. Our bodies are sort of like engines. Why do we ignore the PERFORMANCE of our bodies?

Re:Calories (3, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | about 10 months ago | (#45408275)

The absence of causality in the CI-CO = dW has been well established for centuries

It's pure PHYSICS that if you need a certain number of calories, and if you do not consume enough, you will lose weight.

There are several edge cases, things like fiber that your body can't digest (or lactose if you're in the unlucky few). And there are some that some that will suppress your appetite, versus those that stimulate it. But those DON'T MATTER at allon a strictly calorie controlled diet... that's only affects your un-monitored calorie consumption, or possibly your will-power at sticking to the stringent diet.

Absolutely ZERO doctors or scientists will claim you can maintain a healthy weight without consuming the number of calories the math says you need. If there was ANY WAY to do that, the US Military would be paying HUGE amounts of money to get the secret formula that lets them transport half as much food, halfway across the planet (through war-zones) to feed all those hungry soldiers.

The reverse isn't so strictly true, but honestly, there aren't THAT many examples of foods that don't properly digest (like fiber), or that stimulate your metabolism (like caffeine), and they neither cause HUGE effects, nor can they go unnoticed by the person who constantly running to the toilet, and/or who's sweating through winter and can't get to sleep.

Re:Calories (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 10 months ago | (#45408387)

>> The absence of causality in the CI-CO = dW has been well established for centuries
>
>It's pure PHYSICS that if you need a certain number of calories, and if you do not consume enough, you will lose weight.

That's what I said... CI-CO = dW
But CI-CO => dW is obviously wrong because it doesn't work.
and CI-CO = dW is obviously wrong because a change in weight can't force you to do anything.

Please keep up.

Re:Calories (1)

Boronx (228853) | about 10 months ago | (#45408465)

It's pure PHYSICS that if you need a certain number of calories, and if you do not consume enough, you will lose weight.

No it isn't. Calories aren't mass.

Re:Calories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408503)

It's pure PHYSICS that if you need a certain number of calories, and if you do not consume enough, you will lose weight.

No it isn't. Calories aren't mass.

Einstein would disagree.

Re:Calories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408545)

I once calculated my base metabolic rate, factored in exercise, and tracked everything I ate in terms of calories. There was variation on a day to day basis, but over the course of 4 months I lost weight at a rate that matched the calorie deficit rather quite closely. I was even able to taper off the calorie reduction and observe the slow-down in weight loss, again, sticking very close to the formula. I lost over 50 pounds that way and kept it off. Perhaps the calorie equation does not work for some people, but for me, who graphed the entire thing in a piece of commercial software, it worked almost exactly.

Re:Calories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408027)

3 eggs + bacon is like 400-500 calories? That's a large glass of orange juice.

Re:Calories (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 10 months ago | (#45408185)

>3 eggs + bacon is like 400-500 calories? That's a large glass of orange juice.

Well technically, orange juice is a bunch of fuctose and some fiber (if it's unfiltered) to help your gut bacteria make you fat.

3 eggs + bacon is food.

Re: Calories (1, Flamebait)

IrquiM (471313) | about 10 months ago | (#45408079)

The 3 eggs and bacon is also the reason for the increased heart attack (STEMI) related emergency room visits for people under 45 the last couple of years.

Re: Calories (2, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 10 months ago | (#45408209)

No it isn't.
FFS. We seem to have this discussion weekly on Slashdot.

A little review of the literature: http://www.ketotic.org/2013/09/the-ketogenic-diet-reverses-indicators.html [ketotic.org]

Re: Calories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408441)

In other words - it's that our current diet is so high in dietary SUGAR.

Christ.

been there, done that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45407953)

some people are going apeshit over the stuff. It's a revolution! They've apparently never been in a supermarket. There is a fucking aisle dedicated to ensure, slim fast, protein shakes, protein bars, etc. I guess it's not disruption if it was done 30 years ago.

calories (2)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 10 months ago | (#45407965)

Summary notes that he lose weight at 2400 kcal/day, which is relatively high. This is not surprising: fat storage or burning is controlled by insulin, which is controlled in healthy subjects by blood glucose level. If the food does not rise blood glucose level (either because it is low carb, or because it contains carbs that take time to digest), insulin remains low, and fat is burnt.

Re:calories (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 10 months ago | (#45407999)

Replying to myself: TFA says "The carbs are an oligosaccharid". Theses cannot be digested by human enzymes. Gut bacteria will break them, leaving some to the host, but the process will be slow, which means that will insulin will be stuck to base level.

Re:calories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408009)

> insulin remains low, and fat is burnt.

And you become lipoprotein lipase's bitch

Re:calories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408159)

>> insulin remains low, and fat is burnt.
>
>And you become lipoprotein lipase's bitch

It's all fun and games until your leptin falls off a fucking cliff.

http://itsthewooo.blogspot.com/search/label/Leptin [blogspot.com]

Re:calories (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 10 months ago | (#45408169)

If the food does not rise blood glucose level (either because it is low carb, or because it contains carbs that take time to digest), insulin remains low, and fat is burnt.

OR... his body is having a hell of a time processing it, it's going through him like Metamucil, and he's losing muscle mass.

Soyent Beige (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45407967)

Could have added some food coloring at least after choosing that name, given its provenance.

But hey, if some Californian dude wants to starve himself by drinking some awful looking concotion, instead of eating, you know, actual food, then the sum total of knowledge gained from human scientific research will have increased by at least the words "what a fool".

Re:Soyent Beige (1)

alvinrod (889928) | about 10 months ago | (#45408331)

Although a sample size of one doesn't make for a good study, some of the results that this person has seen can help us gain a better understanding about the product. For example, is it typical that a person consuming 2400 calories will lose weight, even though their body only needs about 75% of that to maintain its weight? That might indicate that the Soylent is not being digested well or that it's have some other effects on the body.

At least this person took the time to document their experience. It's certainly added more to human knowledge than a snarky internet comment.

"no food" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45407975)

Oh, please.. It's food, just not the chewy kind we usually stuff ourselves with.

Other alternate food sources. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45407977)

Each year 2.7 million cats and dogs are euthanized in animal shelters throughout the USA. If you've got lemons, you make lemonaide, right.

Nope! (3, Informative)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 10 months ago | (#45407983)

Dude is over six feet tall. There's no way his maintenance calories was only 1800, 2400 sounds right. For example, if he's a mildly active 170 pounder, this calculator says he should eat 2560 calories a day to break even [bmi-calculator.net] . Sure maybe I'm guess wrong or he's not active or what have you, but 1800 isn't even in the realm of possibility.

Surely, it's that eating measured amounts of a controlled substance forced him to measure his calories accurately...study after study show that people wildly mis-represent how many calories they consume.

Re:Nope! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 months ago | (#45408207)

That calculator is based on someone swinging a hammer, not sitting on ass as most of us do

Re:Nope! (2)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 10 months ago | (#45408339)

Calculator puts "light exercise" at "light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week." He's a journalist in his 20s and looks like a total hipster, he probably rides a fixie to the vinyl shop or what have you.

It takes at least 3 months (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45407987)

It takes at least 3 months to determine if a diet is having any effect on you and much longer to determine if it's positive or negative.

In other words, this experiment shows nothing.

Was the green one the tastiest? (1, Interesting)

argee (1327877) | about 10 months ago | (#45407993)

According to Charlton Heston and Ernest Robinson ... it was.

You do not only feed yourself (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45407997)

When you eat, you are not only feeding yourself. There is an entire ecosystem of bacteria that you are feeding.

All that stuff that is NOT calories, can becomes calories, vitamins, and various other things, depending on your gut bacteria. That is one of the reasons to eat fiber, vegetables, and similar stuff. Gut bacteria is the reason why eating too much meat causes heart disease. Etc. etc.

If you do not feed your gut bacteria, there may be consequences that neither you nor your doctor can understand. And these consequences could be long term and maybe not even easily reversible.

As a summary and FYI, our shit is 50% bacteria (mostly e. coli.) by mass. That bacteria is more critical to our health than almost anything else. And that is why we still eat - to feed that bacteria. Otherwise, we could just live with intravenous system without the need for stomachs and related, messy plumbing.

Marketing Scam (2, Insightful)

teknopurge (199509) | about 10 months ago | (#45408005)

How is this different from any of the thousands of MRPs(Whey shakes, post workout shakes, etc.) already on the market? Sounds like a gimmicky marketing strategy.

Re:Marketing Scam (2)

Karganeth (1017580) | about 10 months ago | (#45408101)

whey shakes dont contain all the nutrients the human body requires

Re:Marketing Scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408143)

Whey powder is protein, some amino acids and little else. Weight gainers are basically junk food in powder form. This seems to include ALL vitamins, minerals, amino acids, macro and some micro nutrients. Basically making a more complete diet than you can get from protein shakes and weight gainers.

Re:Marketing Scam (1)

teknopurge (199509) | about 10 months ago | (#45408161)

You missed my point: there are literally thousands of powdered supplement mixes out there that contain all different types of blends/mixtures of various compounds, minerals, vitamins, amino, etc. there are even some that have whey, soy, casein, etc. as part of the blend.

Re:Marketing Scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408273)

Reread the parent and don't be so flippant about it. Those other shakes are designed to replace a meal here or there, but are not designed to be the only nutrition that you take in for long periods of time.

Re:Marketing Scam (1)

teknopurge (199509) | about 10 months ago | (#45408411)

Shakeology from beachbody has been that for years now.

Re:Marketing Scam (3, Insightful)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about 10 months ago | (#45408313)

The difference, if you don't doing a quick search or taking a minute to RTFA, is that the substance in question is far more balanced. It is a complete nutrition solution, not a protein or vitamin supplement. Big difference. It looks like it works, and there's no reason it shouldn't completely satisfy a person's nutritional needs, but I like food way, way too much to use it by choice. Of course if I had no access to interesting food I might change my tune, but eating a variety of foods is very pleasurable to most people.

Re:Marketing Scam (1)

teknopurge (199509) | about 10 months ago | (#45408383)

Oh, a "balanced" substance? That's never, ever, been thought of before in the food/dietary/fitness/supplement industry. The more I read the more it's just social marketing.

Re:Marketing Scam (3)

uniquename72 (1169497) | about 10 months ago | (#45408605)

Check out the nearest meal replacement to this (Ensure) and compare costs, then realize why you're a dumbass.

Seriously, there've been a hundred articles about this just in the past month. Read one.

Re:Marketing Scam (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 10 months ago | (#45408667)

You can essentially get this sort of substance from some medical suppliers. It's what they use to keep alive people in comas and other situations where normal food can't be used. I suspect something like it is used in "force feedings" as well. You don't need a 25 year old wannabe nutritionist to get this.

Re:Marketing Scam (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 10 months ago | (#45408447)

Well, for starters I am pretty sure(though not 100% sure) that Dr. Weider doesn't include people as an ingredient in his whey protein shakesâ¦. but then again, I could be wrong.

Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408013)

So... oat flour, corn sugar (maltodextrin), rice protein and olive oil plus a bunch of vitamins and minerals. I don't see how this is much different from those powered breakfast drinks and things like ensure.

Fat, Sick and nearly dead - already done (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 10 months ago | (#45408051)

Some Australian guy already did this, and the movie is on Netflix.

Re:Fat, Sick and nearly dead - already done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408075)

The movie is now streaming for free on his site [fatsickandnearlydead.com] .

Re:Fat, Sick and nearly dead - already done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408443)

Did you watch the film? Because what that guy did is called a juice fast. Maybe the same ballpark as this, but not very close.

Soylent Yellow (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408067)

If you ate Soylent Yellow made from Chinese people, would you be hungry again in an hour?

Other meal-replacements? (4, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | about 10 months ago | (#45408095)

I don't see how "soylent" is superior to any of the other meal-replacements we've had for the past half-century. In fact, with all the problems people have had adjusting to the soylent diet, it sounds like the old ones were vastly superior.

I've known people who have survived entirely off of items like reliable old Nutrament [amazon.com] , after surgical procedures made it too difficult for them to eat *any* solid foods for weeks... I've seen nurses preparing some generic forms of Carnation Instant Breakfast (powder), as meals for their feeble patients. And I've seen kids eating nothing but lots of chocolate milk for days at a time. With none of those do you need to FORCE yourself to consume them, nor do you get gastrointestinal distress after a couple days of use, and you certainly don't waste 1/3rd of the calories you consume.

Of course 30-days is really going to be too short of a time-frame to determine the long-term suitability of any meal-replacement. A little bit of up-front weight-loss sounds like a good thing for a few days, but *months* of losing weight would be a clear sign of a major show-stopping problem with the concoction. The same goes for the nutritional balance, as 30 days without fruits and vegetables won't show obvious medical signs, but would be obvious after months as your whole body turns strange colors...

It seems the only thing Soylent has going for it, is clever marketing and extreme claims, with a name that grabs reporter's attention.

I'm not overly fussy about hygiene, but... (1)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | about 10 months ago | (#45408149)

I'm not usually one to particularly worry about sterile environments etc, "clean enough to be healthy, dirty enough to be happy", but seriously, that factory, and the practices in general, just, nope. That's food poisoning just waiting to happen right there.

This isn't new (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408171)

The thing that bugs me the most about this product is that the press is acting like it's something new and unique.

It's not. This sort of thing has been around at least 50 years or so.

Back in the late1950s/early 1960's, scientists from NASA didn't know for sure if man could even swallow in zero-gee. So they concocted a liquid meal that could be pumped into the astronaut's stomach via a gastronasal tube. Now the astronauts didn't want to be fed by a plastic tube going up their nose and into the stomach. And after several Soviet and US flights, it was proved that you can eat and swallow just fine in zero-gee.

The research didn't go to waste. Gastroenterologists and nutritionists became interested in the mixture for special needs patients. Patients that were born with malformed intestines, patients that had lost large parts of their intestines due to disease or injury, patients that couldn't swallow normally, stuff like that. These medical food products have been around for a long time.

Google words like "Vivonex", "Tolerex", "Peptemine", and "elemental diet." Think Ensure, but broken down even more. Not proteins, but amino acids that can be directly absorbed by even the smallest portion of active intestine.

It's a shame journalists today don't bother doing research. Or maybe they aren't journalists? Maybe they're actually spin doctors hoping to cash in?

Ahem (5, Funny)

garompeta (1068578) | about 10 months ago | (#45408199)

"but if I had any money or a girlfriend I would probably eat out more often"

lol, that explains a lot

Re:Ahem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408389)

"but if I had any money or a girlfriend I would probably eat out more often"

lol, that explains a lot

Are we sure he's referring to food here? Apart from, you know, tuna and/or tacos.

"Starving Your Way to Vigor" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408231)

This was an article by Steve Hendricks published in Harper's that involves the history of fasting and the authors experience eating nothing for 3(+?) weeks.

Needless to say, if a person can adapt to no food for 3 weeks, 30 days is not enough to evaluate a minimalist diet.

How is this different from a feeding tube? (1)

moosehooey (953907) | about 10 months ago | (#45408233)

Some people have to live a specially-prepared supplement through a tube, sometimes for years. How is this any different?

Re:How is this different from a feeding tube? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408375)

Other than the formula being a bit different it is very similar.

A lot of meal replacement drinks aren't meant to be the sole source of food. This stuff is supposed to be able to be the sole nutrition source just like the stuff they use for feeding tubes. The biggest differences are you can get this outside of the medical field (the carnation formula for feeding tubes is different than what they do for instant breakfast), soylent is supposed to be cheaper and 'open source' as they will tell you all of the ingredient and amounts in the mix.

Cheeseburger in paradise! (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 10 months ago | (#45408267)

But at night I'd had these wonderful dreams
Some kind of sensuous treat
Not zucchini, fettucini or Bulgar wheat
But a big warm bun and a huge hunk of meat!

Re:Cheeseburger in paradise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408425)

But a big warm bun and a huge hunk of meat!

I wish I could meet a guy like that...

I don't always troll (1)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 10 months ago | (#45408453)

but the comments on the vice.com article are just insane. Do people really buy into this crap?

Jevity 1.5 -- no solid food for 18 months. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45408463)

Due to a medical condition I've been living on a liquid food, Jevity 1.5 for over a year and a half. I take in about 1700 calories a day through a tube into my stomach, have maintained a steady 145 for the whole time.

Not having food or drink was very hard at first, a form of torture almost. Be gradually I accepted it. I still spend a good bit of time watching cooking videos. Used to watch the Food Channel for hours a day, something I NEVER did before all food was denied to me.

There are actually some benefits here. My entire food shopping, preparation, intake, and clean up takes about 1/2 hour per day. So I have more time for other things, including watching cooking videos.

Vice investigates Soylent, finds rats and mold (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about 10 months ago | (#45408579)

http://pandodaily.com/2013/11/12/vice-investigates-soylent-finds-rats-and-mold/ [pandodaily.com]

It's being sold as a supplement so they don't have to prepare it in a facility that meets FDA rules for food preparation.

This is a typical food fad fraud organization.

Re:Vice investigates Soylent, finds rats and mold (2)

sahonen (680948) | about 10 months ago | (#45408607)

The actual product being shipped to customers is being prepared in a fully FDA certified and inspected facility. The place where they were making the prototype formula was just that - a place for prototyping.

Isn't this ketosis? (3, Insightful)

jbeach (852844) | about 10 months ago | (#45408659)

The early stage of wooziness and cloudiness, and then the later stage of alertness because his body has switched to burning fat cells? So the caloric intake doesn't matter, unless and until he hits more than 25g of carb a day?

I'm sure the product keeps him from starving to death; I'm just not seeing how his doctor saw the fat loss and other things as such a mystery. Is there something I'm missing here?
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