The world’s current food industry is chock-full of corruption: mistreatment of human labor, pesticides, animal abuse, growth hormones, GMOs, preservatives, obesity, poverty—the list is never-ending. What if we didn’t have to rely on this system? What if we didn’t need food?
Rob Rhinehart thinks his product might be the solution. Rhinehart created Soylent, an artificial food replacement that would allow humans to subsist happily and healthily on a completely liquid diet.
VICE Motherboard‘s Brian Merchant was intrigued. He read about Rhinehart’s 30-day Soylent diet and decided he would like to try it himself. Remarkably, he made it through the month despite his first-day doubts, saying after his first glass, “I can’t imagine eating this for the rest of today” and sighs, “it tastes like it looks.”
What it looks like is thinned out milk, as a result of mixing the powder (oat flour, maltodextrin, rice protein, canola oil, fiber, and small amounts of minerals) with water. One week of the stuff costs $65, and a male serving comes to about 2,400 calories a day.
At the end of the 30 days, Merchant walked away relatively unscathed. His doctors reports came back healthy, though he did lose ten pounds. The effects, it seemed, were more psychological. Merchant found himself left out of social gatherings and on day twenty found himself with a hankering for fried chicken. He also had to buy gum due to his sore, underused jaw.
Though a future in which we subsist only on liquid seems lightyears away, there is an enormous interest in Soylent. The company is currently filling over 1,000,000 preorders, and have an enormous amount of financial support.
So, would you do it? Forgo the crunch of tortilla chips, the satisfaction of making the perfect fried egg, and maybe most importantly, the time around the dinner table with friends or family—just for utility?
Watch above and consider what food means to you.