Soylent: NO MORE Food, just a Drink!


Several articles pop out on blogging giants like TechCrunch, Gawker and Time (to mention a few) about the most innovative, futuristic food-replacement drink called Soylent.

Rob Rhinehart, a 24 year old electrical engineer, Silicon Valley techie, discovered this strange creamy liquid through a series of informal tests and experimentation.

The premise is simple. He came up this idea to address the lack of nutrition our foods have and the hassle it brings during cooking and/or preparation.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, Rob whines about the longer time it takes to prepare a food unable to get important things done. And so happened the birth of Soylent.

No, this is not made of soy! Its main ingredients are olive oil, powdered starch, whey protein and chemical powders. He named this drink based on a fictional food from Make Room! Make Room! novel which was subsequently filmed on 1973 as Soylent Green.

This food-hacking experiment led to a crowdfunding campaign and successfully raised an astounding US $1,000,000 to cover for the formal research and of course, to produce and commercialize this innovative product.

One investor tested the product for two weeks (without eating any food) and the result was phenomenal. Rhinehart and his team claimed that comparing Soylent to an average person's diet...

1. Soylent has all the energy and nutrients the body needs.
2. The nutrients in Soylent are fully-absorbed by the body.
3. Makes you more alert.
4. Soylent can help loose fat and maintain body weight.
5. Soylent is cheaper and fast to prepare.
6. Soylent is safe.

However, when Rob introduced this first on the market, objections sprouted in the web stating:
1. The body needs natural foods and not just atomic ingredients
2. The inventor knows nothing / doesn't have background in health
3. It hasn't been scientifically tested externally except the founder

Soylent preparation is fast and easy. You will just pour the entire bag into a pitcher filled with 2-2.5L of water and stir continuously until mixed. Now put the pitcher in the fridge to chill. That's it! In terms of price, Soylent is competitive.

US citizens find it cheap! On estimate, an average American spends US$24 for all the meals all day. That is around $336 for 2 weeks, right? On the other hand, Soylent only costs $130 for 2 weeks! That is 60% cheaper!

On its crowdfunding site, these are the prices:

$65 - 1 week supply (for US delivery only), $75 International
$130 - 2 weeks supply (US), $150 (International)
$230 - 1 month supply (US), $270 (International)

Note: Estimated delivery for US is on Dec 2013. For International (UK, Canada, Mexico) deliveries, ETD is Dec 2013, for European countries, Mar 2014. Sadly, no shipment for Asia yet :)

Here are what the early adopters are saying...

I've lost weight. I have lots of energy...Drinking soylent allows me to feel in a precise manner the difference between actual biologically-motivated hunger and the simple wanting of food.

The cognitive effects are extremely noticeable, in fact the most noticeable for me.

So far I've noticed a lot of what you all have been mentioning: healthier skin, less fatigue, focus even with less sleep.

My mood experience! It has improved a lot lately. And by a lot, I mean A LOT.

The beauty of Soylent is that it is essentially flavorless thus allowing the user to customize from glass to glass. Anything we consume should be enjoyable.

The taste is awesome.

The time and money saved is making me really happy. Especially the time.

As a Biologist/Chemist I approve of Soylent and really want to start using it.

---courtesy of Tim Feriss' blog


On my first encounter with this, I was really fascinated with this product. Several reasons..
1. There is a growing need for nutrition as foods nowadays are not healthy. Think about fast and junk foods.

2. People are going health-conscious. The trend is upward, fellas. There is a need for something nourishing to the body

3. Time is of the essence. This food is for the busy people. I would rather spend to speed up a certain activity to focus on something more valuable. Imagine a slow internet connection, perhaps

All in all, I am into this idea. This is magnificent. Although this is not new to everyone, as there were a couple of attempts already to replace food, this is promising. And I'll stick to this product updates to give it you.

What I am thinking

Entrepreneurs have the common attitude - problem-solvers. In this case, Rob Rhinehart had his personal itches and he scratched it himself thinking that his itch might be some other people's itches too. Entrepreneurship might happen accidentally.

How could Rob invent a food-substitute drink when in fact he's in Silicon Valley? He should be doing something like web development, software programming and all other computer-related innovations. But hey, he discovered a drink! That is something extraordinary.

Obviously, Rob and his team didn't fund Soylent using their own money. That is leverage - using other people's money to make money. Having more with less. How's that for a start-up? And that is why I am convinced that someone doesn't need money to make money. Agree?


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