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How Stupid Are People? People are So Stupid 10,000+ Will Pay $1 Million+ For Fake Milk Called Soylent

It boggles the mind.

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 raised almost $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.

Soylent
“Soylent” — Makes my mouth water. How about you?

Let me just cut to the chase right off the bat, because I’ve been Googling around and have yet to see anyone make this most basic, mammalian point: MILK! Dumbshits. Milk is a meal in a glass that by definition has all a mammal needs for nourishment and even growth. You can split hairs all you like about how close the nutrient profile is between human, bovine, goat and sheep milk, but I will guarantee you that either one of them has orders of magnitude more appropriate, properly apportioned nutrition for humans than “Soylent” jism.

Yummy
Yummy. I’m getting hungry. How about you?

I’ve actually experimented with an all milk and kefir (a form of fermented milk) diet (and Part 2) on the order of 5 or 6 weeks. Guess what? It works. Guess why? Duh! It’s complete nutrition. Been around for millions of years, too. Tried & tested.

In terms of lactose intolerance, most folks have little to no problem with raw milk. And if they do, there’s always Acidophilus milk, or kefir—where most or all of the lactose is fermented out. In fact, my father-in-law is lactose intolerant and always has Acidophilus milk in the fridge. Had him try a small glass of my home brew kefir. He loved it, zero problems, and now has kefir in his fridge. Says it gives him lots of energy.

…I’m sure he’d be better off with “Soylent,” though. Plus, he could pat himself on the back about how it’s “vegan,” since we just know how healthy it is for omnivores to cut out all of the most nutrient dense foods. It’s gotta be…it’s “environmentally conscious” or some shit. And we all know how healthy it is for omnivores to put “the planet” ahead of their basic nutrition.

…That’s not to say that I don’t do my part. Hell, every time I get my scotch on the rocks or with a splash of club soda in a bar and order another, or even another, I always recycle the swizzle sticks into the next drink with the admonishment to the bartender: “Save The Planet!”

Anyway, beyond “saving the planet,” the site purports that a one month’s supply is $270. One month for whom? Wouldn’t a one month’s supply for someone requiring 3,000 calories per day be twice that for someone who needs 1,500? What does the cheapest ghetto pasteurized milk cost, like from Lucerne or something—because even the worst quality milk is millions of times safer and more nutritious than this “Soylent” spew? I think I see whole milk for around $4 per gallon, regularly. At 150 kcal per cup, that’s 1,200 kcal per gallon or, $0.003 per calorie—a third of a cent. Let’s assume that month’s supply of “Soylent” goo is based on 2,000 kcal per day. That comes out to $0.0045 per calorie, nearly a half a cent. OK, not a tremendously huge cost difference—$180 per month for 60,000 kcals vs. $270.

But imagine the profits. I’m sure it’s being sold as a powder, so shiping and spoilage is not an issue as it is for milk. Moreover, he doesn’t have huge swaths of land to maintain and herds upon herds of cattle to feed, milk, and minimally process—and pasteurization and homogenization are minimal processing compared to his crap. From the originally quoted article:

A lot of people got mad when you claimed Soylent was as nutritious as fruit or vegetables.
Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s safe or healthy, and just because something is artificial doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy or dangerous. Look around you. Nothing we buy is natural. Everything useful is designed and manufactured, and food should be no different. People are afraid of sweeteners when it’s real sugar that’s killing us. They’re afraid of preservatives when food waste is rampant. McDonald’s is trying to engineer lower-calorie food that is more filling to fight obesity, but people are demanding natural-sounding ingredients. It’s frustrating to watch. The idea of “real food” is just snobbery. Everyone has the right to be healthy, even people who don’t like vegetables.

Where to even begin with that quote but with “certifiable dipshit,” and call it a day?

…Oh, BTW, I happened to get a link via email to this extensive infographic on milk just yesterday.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

20 Comments

  1. Geoff on August 9, 2013 at 21:06

    I’m so glad you got to this, I’ve been seeing Soylent all over lately because it’s a Y-Combinator incubated startup and they are now accepting bitcoin, two worlds which I follow very closely. Honestly these guys are just such fuckwits that I almost don’t know where to begin with getting pissed off at their whole schtick.

    Setting aside for a minute the fact that milk is a clearly superior product from the perspective of complete nutrition; in that it is a perfect hedge against the “unknown unknowns” of nutrients for health and growth; from what I have seen of the specs on this product I would rather drink any number of whey protein powders for 100% of my nutrition than this stuff as well. Given the massive amount of money that supplement companies throw into R&D, how does this tiny little startup of fuckwit comp-sci engineers think that they have a prayer at making something better? That goes doubly for baby-formula makers… and baby formula seems to add an ingredient every few years with a “whoops, sorry, we forgot to include this essential nutrient for brain development, please no class action lawsuits!”

  2. BigRob on August 9, 2013 at 14:55

    Not to mention he thinks its kewl to name his product after fictional product made from people and fed to other people.

    Soo kewl.

  3. Erica on August 9, 2013 at 16:13

    Yeah, what’s up with naming it Soylent? I’m flashing back to the drive-in, 1974, and Charlton Heston screaming, “Soylent Green is people!!!” There’s no way I’d drink that stuff.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 9, 2013 at 16:34

      You’re dating yourself, Erica. 🙂 I saw it too, and have it on DVD (from a $2.99 box) up at the cabin.



  4. Erica on August 9, 2013 at 17:22

    Definitely dating myself! Actually, I haven’t seen it since that one time. It scared the bejeezus out of me.

  5. Joshua on August 9, 2013 at 19:42

    The maddening thing is that his shit will be FDA approved, but raw milk is illegal in most states.

    If I had my druthers, neither one would require FDA approval, but it really is close to being true that everything is either forbidden or mandatory.

  6. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee on August 9, 2013 at 21:58

    the stuff looks like discolored mucous. does it have soy?

    recycling sticks? but you have done your part by not having children; that is much greater deed. so you do indeed can rid on high horses regarding earth.

    regards,

  7. William on August 9, 2013 at 23:08

    Charlton Heston, and Edward G. Robinson were fed up with soylent back in 1973!

  8. gina on August 9, 2013 at 23:09

    Wait..you mean that WASN’T satire? If this is the dystopian future already, can I just be a female Snake Plissken or Edgar Friendly?

    eww…a rat burger’s got to be better than that stuff:P

  9. Romeo Stevens on August 9, 2013 at 23:42

    I’m a little flabergasted at the traction he’s getting considering you can make your own version from whole foods and not have to worry about poisoning yourself like Rob did due to misdosing for *cheaper*.

  10. Steve on August 10, 2013 at 14:17

    Supposedly in the book (haven’t read to confirm), Soylent Green was NOT made of people, so the inventor named it this in respect to the original idea, not the movie’s idea. He strikes me as a reasonable person, but you make a great point that milk is a pre-existing “soylent” that has been around for a long time. However! Milk is originally designed for GROWING baby mammals, not adult mammals intending to maintain a certain shape.

  11. Tim Maitski on August 10, 2013 at 05:22

    Here’s a cheap, nutritious diet. 2500 calories/day for $81/month.

    half gallon of milk
    6 eggs
    2 pounds of potatoes

    Shop at ALDI’s if they have a location near you.
    Milk is $2.49/gallon
    Eggs are $1.29/dozen
    Potatoes 39 cents/lb

    Add an avocado a day at 79 cents and some cheap greens and you have some super nutritious eating for about $4/day which is only $120/month.

    Last yearI saw an “investigative” report on how difficult it was to survive on food stamps. Food stamps give you around $6.50/day. They said that they had to resort to eating chicken necks in order to get enough protein without going over their daily food budget. That’s such BS. Just do a little calculating at nutritiondata.self.com . You don’t need to have a phd in nutrition to figure this stuff out.

  12. Steve on August 10, 2013 at 06:25

    “soylent” is what I’ve been calling that lab-grown meat that’s in the news. How do we know it’s not human?

  13. Steve on August 10, 2013 at 06:26

    Thanks for making me feel guilty for not recycling my swizzle sticks. You are sooooo superior.

  14. Tim on August 10, 2013 at 09:04

    The sad part is, soylent is way better than the SAD. When I first started getting my eating under control, exploring different avenues like paleo, primal, pescatarian, vegan, Atkins, etc… I would lament, ‘why doesn’t somebody just invent People Chow?’ They have Dog Chow, Cat Chow, Llama Chow, Chicken Chow–any kind of animal food diet in a 50 pound bag you could imagine.

    It would make life so easy. Just weigh out your kibbles in the morning and eat them all day–just like pouring food in a dog’s bowl. They could have different formulas: People Chow for babies, elders, muscle-men, beach bods, obese, skinny…

    If this soylent were incorporated into a shelf-stable, crunchy, tasty, pellet which could be eaten dry or hydrated and eaten wet, warm, cold, whatever, and came in different flavors…I think it would be awesome!

    I saw ladies getting a spiky patch sewn directly on to their tongue on TV the other night–that is how desperate the world is for weightloss. We’ve lost all touch with reality when it comes to food choices! http://kfor.com/2013/06/07/tongue-patch-causes-weight-loss-by-making-it-painful-to-eat/

  15. Alex on August 10, 2013 at 10:46

    I mean… potatoes, people. We have clinical data – not to mention tens of thousands of years of healthful subsistence – that demonstrates their efficacy as a single food source. And you still get to chew, and digest things, so there’s a heightened sense of fullness and satisfaction there, which is no small thing. Eating real and sustaining food is bliss; a life deprived of that cannot be called healthy.

  16. pzo on August 10, 2013 at 11:56

    Yeah, some guy throws some shit together and pronounces it complete nutrition. Just like infant formulas, as mentioned above…..”Oh, shit, we better put some Vitamin D in there, those rickets are so inconvenient.”

    And let’s keep in mind how margarine was so superior to butter…….”Oh, shit, transfats! Omega 6’s!”

    I hope he keeps chugging this swill and then when his teeth start loosening, or he gets skin rashes, or he can’t get it up, what then? Blame it on the paleo movement?

    Americans love products. Shit in a box is more appealing than beef not in a box. it’s a national psychosis, it’s consumerism.

  17. Richard Nikoley on August 10, 2013 at 14:41

    Steve:

    That’s true, which is why it’s probably not optimal as a SOLE source of nutrition except for a short-term intervention, such as all the milk diet healing literature I found. No shit, it was used to great effect for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months in all sorts of maladies. Makes perfect sense why it would work.

    Now, I simply use it as a supplement, average of a pint-quart of milk & kefir combined, per day, more post workout. I think it’s far superior to any powders.

  18. MarkD on August 11, 2013 at 15:02

    Perhaps this is my English sense of humour, but SOYLENT must be some sort of joke to provoke people into talking about real food such as fruit, vegetables, fish and meat….?

  19. Richard Nikoley on August 11, 2013 at 16:27

    Do Anglicans do Lent, Mark? 🙂

    In other news, someone told me there’s a t-shirt: “I Soyled myself.”

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