One man became tired of buying and making his food every day so came up with a solution to drink a cocktail of nutrients instead.
Rob Rhinehart, 24, is a software engineer from Atlanta. He said he was sick of spending time and money on food, and so came up with an “all-in-one” drink to give him all the nutrients he needs.
Called Soylent, it is a beige drink made of various vitamins and minerals. He claims it “tastes great” and has been drinking it for six weeks without getting tired of it.
He said it contains all the necessary elements of a balanced diet but has just one third of the calories.
Rhinehart was inspired to create the drink after a family friend became so ill that he struggled to use his hands to cook.
“I was home for Christmas and saw an elderly family friend get admitted to the hospital after losing an unhealthy amount of weight. He was losing strength in one of his arms and found it very difficult to cook.”
“I started wondering why something as simple and important as food was still so inefficient, given how streamlined and optimized other modern things are,” he said. “I also had an incentive to live as cheaply as possible, and I yearned for the productivity benefit of being healthy. I’d been reading a lot of books on biology and I started to think that it’s probably all the same to our cells whether it gets nutrients from a powder or a carrot.”
He believes that it is the minerals from fruit and vegetables that are important, not the actual food.
“We need carbs, not bread. Amino acids, not milk. It’s still fine to eat these whenever you want, but not everyone can afford them or has the desire to eat them.”
For fat, he includes olive oil and fish oil. For carbohydrates, he uses an oligosaccharide, which he said takes the body longer to metabolise than fructose or table sugar, meaning it provides a steady flow of energy for more time.
While this would be a nightmare drink for many people, Rhinehart said it has lifted a big weight off his shoulders.
“No groceries, dishes, deciding what to eat, no endless conversations weighing the relative merits of gluten-free, keto, paleo or vegan. Power and water bills are lower. I save hours a day and hundreds of dollars a month. I feel liberated from a crushing amount of repetitive drudgery,” he said.
But he admits if he had more money or a girlfriend he would eat out more often. He said eating is a “leisure activity” that he loves doing.