Why I Consume Soylent

A short treatise on why I think haters of Soylent are wrong |
What this is all about

For a week now, I’ve been consuming half my calories in the form of Soylent. Instead of eating a normal breakfast and lunch, I drink the liquidy non-food and perhaps have a coffee to spice things up. This is peculiar, admittedly, but to my surprise very few people I talk to have seemed to agree with the benefits of this regime; more often, they expressed little but disdain and mockery towards it. I don’t mind, but think their dismissal of it implies a lack of understanding, which of course is a most common and unfortunate condition for us humans. So, I will clarify - this is why I consume Soylent:

  1. It is convenient

    I resent the notion that I am hard wired to enjoy food. With few exceptions, I enjoy food in a purely physical manner, without any degree of emotional or social gratification (in contrast sex, which the astute reader may note is another hard wired pleasure, most definitely does gratify in those ways). I understand that most people do not have this relationship with food, but I do. And that means that I often regard eating as a chore - necessary, but not really fulfilling, or not as fulfilling as getting something done, as talking to someone cool, as many things. That’s why I am thin - my diet is not particularly healthy, but filled with periods of fasting in which hunger or prudence are not sufficiently compelling reasons to get, much less make, and consume food. This is not healthy, obviously - the effect, that is, and not the cause (let’s not get into a whole discussion of hedonism right now, though). And so, having finished college and filled myself with the intent to forge a yet more fulfilling and balanced life, I seek to correct this imbalance. And so given my preference for activities not involving making or even sometimes eating food, Soylent makes perfect sense. I spend a few minutes preparing it at night, let it cool in the fridge, and have my breakfast and lunch set for the next two days. Convenient.

  2. It is healthy

    When I was in college, a typical breakfast was a sandwich, or some yogurt, or nothing at all. My lunches were likewise at best sandwiches, and for dinner if I got ambitious I would throw some pasta and vegetables in a pan. Hardly a balanced diet, nor a consistent one. Soylent is simple - it has everything that’s recommended for you, in basically the right proportions. I could never achieve that with normal food, even if I tried. There are not yet scientific studies showing consistent consumption of it does not make the body accept the included nutrition, true, but all indications I could find suggest liquid intake of the nutrients will work just fine. Consuming it also make management of calorie intake incredibly simple, bowel nonsense nonexistent, and poisoning impossible (unless you have enemies, in which case poisoning is actually much easier - I’ll take the risk). And, in not giving up eating normal food entirely, I am still retaining variety and flexibility likely best had for a good diet.

  3. It is affordable

    Simple. Let’s pick a subscription, let’s say for 14 bags - $130. That’s 28 days of breakfast and lunch, but let’s up that to 32.5 to include weekends and other occasions. As you can yourself confirm, $130/32.5=$4. That’s $4 for a day’s breakfast and lunch, not including the large amounts of time saved. A totally rice-based diet may compare to this, yes, but just about any typical diet would cost me much more. And in the end of the day, I like to spend my money frivolously on other things.

  4. It makes me appreciate food more

    Soylent tastes alright. It’s sort of like pancake batter, but just mildly sweet - I actually quite like it. But even after only a week, the thought of getting a sandwich for lunch makes me excited. That excitement is new, grown out of lack of indulgence in tasty foods so easy for me as a well-off American (and perhaps easier as a not well-off American). Also: I now intend to learn to cook actual meals for my dinners. Admittedly, I mostly like this plan for the sake of its own utility, but the greater appreciation for solid food with non pancake-batter taste certainly helps.

  5. It prepares me for life in space

    Because who knows where I will be in 40 years…