Brace yourselves, haters. I just got my shipment of Soylent. That’s right, I’ve stepped over to the darkside of elitist tech bros in the hopes of never having to eat food again. Soylent, if you haven’t heard, is a powder put out by a company that straight up took its name from the shlocky 70s sci fi classic Soylent Green. There’s two ways this whole thing can go down, either Soylent is a tolerable-tasting, super healthy way to replace meals and still get balanced nutrition or I’ve just paid good money to get trolled by nextwave tech jerks. Soylent straight up claims that you can give up food completely and live entirely on their powder. Their demographic is people who consider the whole “food thing” to be too much of a hassle. People who are looking to ditch the drudgery of shopping, preparing, eating and cleaning up and replacing all that with some powder that comes in bags. Unlike meth, however Soylent will keep you from wasting away while becoming increasingly irritable if they are to be believed.

That Soylent is trying to be the Apple computers in the PC world of protein powders is hilarious. It’s not like powders like Soylent don’t already exist for bodybuilding or fat shaming. So instead of selling its product in the same neighborhood as a bodybuilding shop or muscle man gym as supplements, these guys are up online with a flashy website with the words, “[w]hat if you never had to worry about food again?” It’s like a miracle cure, holy shit I never have to worry about food again just buy Soylent forever that doesn’t sound like a Faustian bargain at all how do I get in on this?

Soylent is positioning itself as a tech company, and apparently guys grinding 80 hour weeks playing foosball are the ones who need Soylent to carry on. This powder is said to be engineered for optimal nutrition which is believable if you’re a white male. Upon opening my shipment I noticed that I got version 1.4*. Version 1.3 had some sort of oil in a separate container that you mixed with the powder but version 1.4 has the oil somehow baked in. Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be to be that guy in the breakroom mixing his oil with the powder like a caveman in the 1.4 epoch? You’ll laugh at him until you find out 1.5 came out because 1.4 causes rickets and needle-eye syndrome or some shit so now you’re up late at night refreshing the page on the Soylent website to make sure your tech food is up to date, you’re on forums with people checking the official CHANGELOG and discussing the effects this substance is having on your lives. This is the hassle-free lifestyle you can look forward to when you ditch food for Soylent.

So basically you take a scoop they provide and pull out one scoop of the powder and mix that with at least two scoops of water. They have a couple simple recipes for if you want to dump some berries or yogurt into it but you know me I’m pretty vanilla, in pretty much everything, so I want my techbro powdery suspension drink plain. A quick taste of the powder before you mix it in with the water and you get hints of cereal box dust, Rainbow Co-Op Grocery bulk foods aisle, and prison pancake batter. Then you drink some. And it’s pretty much a wet version of that. It’s an acceptable taste and if it is truly able to deliver on its absurd promise that you can healthily subsist entirely on their product then more power to them. For me, I don’t think I’m going to try to live like that. I will recommend Soylent for one simple and very important reason, your earthquake kit. I didn’t much enjoy Soylent so now I have 6 days worth of it to get by on. Ultimately Soylent is just a gimmicky protein powder/meal substitute you can make in a pinch. That’s why most people keep Luna bars around though so you may not even want it for that.

As much as I feel like you should make fun of the whole techbro scene that Soylent seems to be part of I wouldn’t immediately start clowning on somebody if I saw him or her mixing up or drinking a batch of Soylent in the breakroom. For some people food can be an awful minefield of allergic reactions or weird intolerances like dairy or flavor or maybe they want to keep their food supply cruelty-free in which case Soylent makes perfect sense. However if that person started acting like I’m the idiot for eating a honeycrisp apple or a bag of chips because I’m not cool enough to ditch food for Soylent, well I guess I wouldn’t clown him, but I would overtly pity the guy for buying into the utopian myth Soylent seems to be peddling.
Check out The Atlantic article about the inventor of Soylent
*Post originally written in March, 2015