Published on May 7th, 2014 | by No Artificial
Could Soylent Mix Replace Food?
Robert Rhinehart, 25-year-old entrepreneur, created the food replacement drink that claims to have all the nutrients that the human body needs.
The story began 2 years ago, when Rhinehart and his 2 friends were living in a small apartment in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, working on a technology startup.
Because of their low budget, they had been living primarily on ramen, corn dogs, and Costco frozen quesadillas—supplemented by Vitamin C tablets.
“Food was such a large burden,” Rhinehart told “the New Yorker”. “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.”
Rhinehart started to think about food as an engineering problem. “You need amino acids and lipids, not milk itself,” he said. “You need carbohydrates, not bread.” Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, but they’re “mostly water.”
He began to consider that food was an inefficient way of getting all nutrition to live. “It just seemed like a system that’s too complex and too expensive and too fragile,” he explained.
He started to study textbooks on nutritional biochemistry and the Web sites of the F.D.A., the U.S.D.A., and the Institute of Medicine.
He created a list of thirty-five nutrients that the human body needs to survive.
Instead of going to the grocery store he ordered all vitamins and minerals off the Internet and mixed with some water in a blender.
He called his mixture Soylent, which resemblances the dystopian 1973 science-fiction film “Soylent Green,” where people live on mysterious wafers, that were actually made from human flesh.
"Soylent isn’t coming for our Sunday potlucks. It’s coming for our frozen quesadillas." @widdikombe fantastic line
— Rob Rhinehart (@robrhinehart) May 7, 2014
It’s been almost a year now since Rhinehart started living off his creamy “food substitute”.
He claims that all his body’s cells have regenerated from the nutrients his mix provides.
“It provided more value to my life than any app,” he explained.
This is why he and his friends started a food company that sells an enhanced version of Rhinehart’s homemade combination of carbohydrates, fatty acids, protein, fiber, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamins and zinc.
His company website features that Soylent provides all the essential nutrients “required to fuel the human body.”
For more info visit www.soylent.me
the New Yorker