Soylent

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Soylent

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:39 am

So this is happening... I haven't actually opened the box and tried it yet but I'm sure I'll do so this weekend. My plan isn't to go all Soylent like some of the hardcore folks out there seem eager to do but I think it could be a decent every-other lunch type deal. We'll see. Anyone else on TR interested in this stuff? I've been waiting for this "1 month" (if you eat it for three meals a day) supply since the beginning of the year so it should be easy to get fairly soon. If you haven't been following this story and want to read up on Soylent I suggest you skip what the creators say about it and read this article on Ars first. I'll post some more pictures and my impressions of the stuff after I crack it open.

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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:53 am

I really like the idea of Soylent and would like to try it, if only for an easy lunch substitute at work.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:05 am

I've been waiting forever for it to come to Europe :(
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:47 am

I dunno man. Word on the street is that the green variety is made with questionable ingredients.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:56 am

I know a lot of people think the name is in poor taste but I think it's just great.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:25 pm

I've heard of it, but it's not very cost effective. ~$3 per meal at the best price available, my 5 days a week lunch ramen is about $1.05 and that's with the good stuff. And ramen is tasty.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:33 pm

I love ramen but it's not exactly nutritionally complete... Not that we have a perfect understanding of what that means... :-?
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:51 pm

Wasn't that a movie?
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:17 pm

NovusBogus wrote:I've heard of it, but it's not very cost effective. ~$3 per meal at the best price available, my 5 days a week lunch ramen is about $1.05 and that's with the good stuff. And ramen is tasty.

While I don't dispute that ramen (especially the spicy Korean stuff... yum!) can be quite tasty, it is also very unhealthy. Extreme amounts of both fat and sodium.

Skullzer wrote:Wasn't that a movie?

Yes, the product is named after it. Vrock's and drfish's posts are both oblique references to the movie.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:10 pm

Noticed that the carbs come from Oat starch (OK) and Maltodextrin. If a large proportion of carbs come from the latter, this could be concerning.

Most (if not all) forms of maltodextrin have a high glycemic index. While this is good if you are an endurance athlete trying to make up for depletion of muscle glycogen, it's generally not so good if you are less active.

For those that don't know, maltodextrin is a common carb additive in body building/training supplements. It's used because it can be sourced cheaply and doesn't taste bad (or too sweet).

Otherwise, the nutrition label looks to be pretty decent for a meal replacement.

Edit: While a bit of maltodextrin now and again (like other sugars, etc) is probably fine, eating it at every meal in large quantities may increase your chances of developing metablolic issues and even type 2 diabetes...
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:52 pm

You'll have to keep us all updated drfish. I've been curious about Soylent since reading that Ars piece too. If there's no bad side effects I could definitely see myself using this as a lunch meal replacement. Taste and texture are not really an issue though I'd be curious how you think it fairs in that regard too.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:02 pm

I guess my take on it is, unless you're on a really tight budget, or are trying to survive a post-apocalyptic food shortage, why in the world would you *want* to eat a near-flavorless carb/protein powder instead of actual food?
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:00 pm

just brew it! wrote:I guess my take on it is, unless you're on a really tight budget, or are trying to survive a post-apocalyptic food shortage, why in the world would you *want* to eat a near-flavorless carb/protein powder instead of actual food?


A quick and nutritious meal for those in a hurry for example? I don't usually have time to eat breakfast, it consists mostly of coffee and pretzel or an energy shake. My co-worker grabs a greasy burger or such from McDonalds for his. I could see this being a better alternative.

Only thing holding me back is the price, it's not expensive per se, but still I don't like the idea of paying ~$250 for the 3 month supply. I buy a less complete nutrition shake mix that costs around $30 for a month's worth, so this jump in price is hard to swallow, even if it appears to be a nutritionally superior relacement.

I'd give it a try in a heartbeat if they had a promotional rate some day though.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:10 pm

wierdo wrote:A quick and nutritious meal for those in a hurry for example? I don't usually have time to eat breakfast, it consists mostly of coffee and pretzel or an energy shake. My co-worker grabs a greasy burger or such from McDonalds for his. I could see this being a better alternative.

At least the greasy fast food tastes better! :lol:

I do the crappy fast food thing some mornings. But I also try to keep a small supply of pita chips, hummus, and yogurt (we have a communal fridge) at the office. Since I have a desk job, I can snack on those for "breakfast" while I am working.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:26 pm

cynan wrote:Noticed that the carbs come from Oat starch (OK) and Maltodextrin. If a large proportion of carbs come from the latter, this could be concerning.


That is my primary concern as well based on what I've read and heard from others.

slowriot wrote:You'll have to keep us all updated drfish. I've been curious about Soylent since reading that Ars piece too. If there's no bad side effects I could definitely see myself using this as a lunch meal replacement. Taste and texture are not really an issue though I'd be curious how you think it fairs in that regard too.


I'm planning on mixing up a bag for lunch tomorrow for myself as well as Entweichen and Sheldomaus (who I'll ask to post their impressions as well).

just brew it! wrote:I guess my take on it is, unless you're on a really tight budget, or are trying to survive a post-apocalyptic food shortage, why in the world would you *want* to eat a near-flavorless carb/protein powder instead of actual food?


The sheer geek factor? ;) Honestly though it's a mix of things, it's fun to talk about, the science behind it is cool, the utility of it is nice, and it should be healthier than other fast meal alternatives. Along with Soylent I'm working to get at least my breakfast and lunches healthy and simple, mostly by carefully choosing things on Amazon Subscribe & Save. :lol:
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Sat Aug 16, 2014 5:06 am

Problem with GI is that there is still so much that affect it. What you eat for breakfast can affect the uptake of the carbohydrates from lunch, i.e. making it a lower GI then the foodstuff inherrantly has. As does the cooking method in part, etc. But In a purer form, I guess the GI of the component should be decently close to it's actual value.

I read ars reviews on it, and it definitely seems interesting. The normal meal replacers from companies that usually does protein supplements are usually quite a bit more expensive as well from what I've seen so far. Just hoping it comes to Europe as well at some point.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Sat Aug 16, 2014 5:25 am

I've been interested in this since first reading about it on Ars. Keep us posted... I've got to wait for the price to go down before I take the plunge. Meal replacement would have been an easier concept when I was living the bachelor life, but now being in the house with a fiancee who loves to cook changes things.

My primary concern is the nuclear farts. I wonder if those go away after your body adjusts to it.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:00 am

Mixed up the first batch, giving it time to chill in the fridge before consuming "for best results" I'm a pretty big fan of the packaging and overall presentation of the product. I especially love the "Soylent 1.0 Release Notes" - like I said, the geek factor is significant.

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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:43 am

just brew it! wrote:I guess my take on it is, unless you're on a really tight budget, or are trying to survive a post-apocalyptic food shortage, why in the world would you *want* to eat a near-flavorless carb/protein powder instead of actual food?


Time, and it would shrink your stomach.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:51 am

Thanks for the pictures drfish.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:43 pm

Drank my Soylent lunch at around 1:30, it was fairly tasty. Quite sweet, a little gritty but not so bad (I'm pretty used to ground flax in my breakfast choices already). Not as thick as I was expecting, something like heavy whipping cream in viscosity I'd say, maybe not quite so thick. mrs drfish, Entweichen and Sheldomaus all had a glass too, hopefully they'll post their impressions here as well.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Sun Aug 17, 2014 3:46 am

Honestly it was pretty delicious. I do think I would miss normal food though. I'm going to use them if I need something quick, or before I workout.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:19 am

Thanks for sharing guys, I thought they solved the grainy feel issue, I guess that's still a challenge for them sounds like. Maybe needs more time in the blender? No idea.

Not that I'm too concerned about it, but would've been neat if they indeed did sort that out. I guess the next step is to add food coloring and make it green.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:33 am

wierdo wrote: I guess the next step is to add food coloring and make it green.
There are all sorts of green things that you could add. Spinach, for example.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:41 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:There are all sorts of green things that you could add. Spinach, for example.

Or Edward G. Robinson.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:25 pm

In my mind's eye, I can see someone running down the street screaming "Soylent green is wheatgrass!" as a way of discouraging folks from eating it.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:35 pm

i'll be honest: i was interested in soylent until i realized it was nothing at all special.

it's basically this, this, or this with more calories (so you can round it off to 666 calories per meal, total 2000 calories a day).

and the silly part is the extra calories are maltodextrin - literally one of the worst carbs for your body. You could have filled the extra calories with pure white sugar and it would have actually been better for preventing diabetes.

i thought it was a cool new concept and turning sci-fi to life, until i did a little research and realized people have already been doing it for the past decade at least - and some are already better at it, and cheaper too. You can always fill up the extra carbs/calories your own way - even potato chips would be healthier at this point.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:42 pm

TBH, I can see the appeal of this stuff, both to people wno have terrible diets and to those who could be training their tastebuds off of the salt-sugar-fat-msg addiction that so much food, even the so-called "healthy" food is binding us to.

When I cook without salt, choose lean meats and go easy on the oil and spices, food tastes bland - yet this is the nutritionally balanced way to eat.

I try not to eat processed food more than once or twice a week, but fresh food goes bad so fast, even in a clean fridge, that you kind of have to unless you're prepared to make regular grocery trips. When I get lazy and don't want to cook, I'll usually just opt for some kind of simple packet soup like miso and fill my belly with toast. Since that's pretty devoid of several key vitamins I feel I ought to compensate with a multivitamin tablet. Soup + vitamin tablet is essentially what Soylent seems to be - only it's probably even more nutritionally balanced than my version.

The thing is, I'm not a good cook by any stretch, but I can knock up something reasonably healthy in ten minutes. Even with a paltry repertoire of like 15 basic dishes, I don't get bored of eating the same stuff all the time. I'm pretty sure I would get bored of Soylent though.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:01 am

wierdo wrote:Thanks for sharing guys, I thought they solved the grainy feel issue, I guess that's still a challenge for them sounds like. Maybe needs more time in the blender? No idea.

Not that I'm too concerned about it, but would've been neat if they indeed did sort that out. I guess the next step is to add food coloring and make it green.


After drinking some that was in the fridge for nearly 24 hours I can say the the texture is less grainy/improved - not that I thought it was really that bad in the first place.

willyolio wrote:i'll be honest: i was interested in soylent until i realized it was nothing at all special.


Fair enough, there are other meal replacement things out there but I wouldn't call it not special. Whether you buy the entire mission of the product or not I still think its interesting because of the community. Regarding maltodextrin it is certainly not ideally but I believe it was a compromise made primarily in the name of cost. This is Soylent 1.0 after all, half the fun is going to be watching it evolve as/if production ramps up and other ingredients become feasible to use instead. I'm curious about Ambronite but for that kind of money I'd rather have "real food."

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Update on my opinion after 3 glasses... I'm still digging the taste, it's weird, almost equal parts sweet and savory but then again not very savory at all. You get a bit of a raw flour taste but it's not unpleasant all things considered, just something you're aware of. As I said above after sitting in the fridge overnight the texture is improved. I poured what was left of my yesterday morning batch into a Blender Bottle to drink at work today for lunch, then I mixed up another bag to let set in the fridge for tomorrow. The trick will be to find the right mix of eating it all within the recommended 48 hours after preparation and not feeling like I have to eat more of it than I want to. I could of course make 1/3rd of a bag at a time for a single meal but that makes the convenience a little bit less awesome and since that's such a big factor when it comes to accepting its shortcomings it's a hard compromise to make. I suppose I could see what it looks like after 72 hours, that would be one Soylent meal a day.
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Re: Soylent

Postposted on Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:23 am

I saw the Ambronite product as well, but their prices are just not attractive at all, I'd likewise rather spend that kinda money on a fancy restaurant even if not nutritionally complete.

The key is fast, nutritious and affordable, if those three categories are not addressed then it's not a practical replacement for breakfast on the go as far as I'm concerned.

Shame, but understandable considering their approach.
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