The Inventor Of Soylent Speaks

soylentIt’s hard to imagine eating this stuff more or less exclusively for more than seven months can be remotely satisfying, even if it meets human nutrition needs, but Soylent inventor Rob Rhinehart tells VICE that he’s lovin’ it:

Remember Rob Rhinehart? I’m sure you do because it’s hard to forget about a guy existing solely on vitamin puke. A few months ago we wrote about Soylent, an incredibly nutritious “food replacement” smoothie that Rob, a 24-year-old engineer, had been making and consuming as his only food source for almost five weeks. On one hand, it did look a bit like semen—but on the other, Rob claimed that by drinking it every day he’d never have to eat again. Given that starvation is a fairly major problem in the world at the moment and the planet’s population will likely surpass 9 billion by 2050, Rob’s invention seems like an important one.

Since we last talked to him, Rob and Soylent have become famous. His project has been derided as “dangerous,” “ludicrous,” and “a red flag for a potential eating disorder” by nutrition experts. Fortunately for Rob, the supporters of Soylent have been generous: a crowdfunding project for his fancy health goo raisedalmost $800,000 in under 30 days. Now Rob is the CEO of the Soylent Corporation; his hobby has officially turned into a career. His management team might look like the kind of technically minded nerds who’d want to consume most of their meals in the form of a beige, odorless powder mix, but they’re also the potential forefathers of a famine cure.

With over $1 million in preorders already received for Soylent worldwide, it seems like this stuff is going to stick around. I caught up with Rob to ask how it’s all going for Soylent—which some are already calling “the future of food.”

VICE: Hey, Rob. So, what happened after our interview?
Rob Rhinehart: My inbox exploded. Gmail cut me off after I answered 500 emails in a single day. Achievement unlocked. Since then Soylent has become a company and people are finally rethinking the nature of food. These are exciting times.

How have you dealt with all the media attention?
At first it was very difficult. I’ve always been a private person and it was uncomfortable to put myself out there. However, I decided it’s my job now, and I had better get good at it. On the internet everyone talks about you like you’re not in the room.

You’re still eating nothing but Soylent with good results, right? How long has it been?
Yes, Soylent is exactly what I was looking for. It’s been roughly 90 percent of my meals for seven months now. Once we got some professional dietitians and food scientists to collaborate with us, it got much tastier and more filling. I still keep painstakingly close track of my health and body metrics, and I still run almost every day. This also makes me approximately vegan and when I do eat, I eat very well. I’ve developed a lot of good habits since starting Soylent, and learned a lot about the body and what’s running me…

[continues at VICE]

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  • Matt Staggs
  • Ted Heistman

    good slave food for the third world.

    • Anarchy Pony

      My first thought as well.

      • Ted Heistman

        Yeah, let them eat this while they grow GMO corn for Monsanto.

        • HCE

          Get enough people on a dietary method such as this and there may not be anyone to eat this GMO corn. The potential as a means of resistance seems possible.

          • Ted Heistman

            Well be my guest, if you wanna eat this. I don’t. I am an omnivore not a sludge-avore.

  • Ted Heistman

    I don’t believe he is drinking this 90% of the time. If He said 100% I would believe him but not 90%.

  • Anarchy Pony

    And eventually all the proles will subside on a diet of slop. Just more limited technical thinking, lets not address root causes of a problem, like inequality, and dispossession, let’s just feed the starving people some goo. To be honest I don’t really find the concept of calorie and nutrient dense liquid food that bad, but it’s the way they are presenting as the penultimate tool for fighting starvation that bugs me.

    • emperorreagan

      That’s always the problem, isn’t it? There’s money to be made by slathering more layers of complexity on top of a problem; analyzing the roots of a problem and addressing them won’t make anyone money and likely will be expensive. Who wants to address enclosure centuries after the British stripped their population of their security and the enclosure of North America has been mostly completed?

    • Heath

      It’s the same argument monsanto runs when trying to sell it’s agenda. Or any sales related diatribe in which profits spell out consumer projections.

      Your sales chart is people!

    • Dan Muench

      Eventually? I was homeless in LA not long ago, and at the local Catholic feed, in addition to the food, we were given the same stuff Nestle makes for tube feeding. Being nutritionally deficient part of the month (try eating well on 200 a month when you can’t cook meals or store food, so I ate well for abour a week and a half/two weeks, then was at the mercy of Providence), I drank them.

      Urban survivalism at it’s finest…

  • kowalityjesus

    I see gynocomastia in his future, hardcore.

  • tsisageya 1

    My only question is: Why isn’t it called Soylent Green?

    • I_abide

      Copyright issues… that and there’s only 5% people per container.

  • Cortacespedes

    “Qu’ils mangent de la soylent”

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