SIG MMG 338 Program Series

Soylent The Wonder Food, Not So Wonderful


Just at the close of 2015, I was “voluntold” to try out Soylent, the meal replacement beverage. That’s a pretty common occurrence around SSD. Anything that is faddish or sketch; I’m the Guinea pig. Soylent is a powder that is mixed in water, which is formulated to be nutritionally complete; a single bag provides 2000 calories for a full day’s use. It also shares a name with the subject of that classic 1970s dystopian flic. While its referred to as a “wonder food” the taste was anything but wonderful.

My first taste was like eating liquidized paper, as in, it tasted like printer paper smells, with a creamy consistency. As I kept trying it, I kind of… ‘got used to it’, but there was never a point where I found it completely palatable. For me, the taste shifted from “liquidized paper” to “liquid bread” as I kept drinking it, which was better, but also still pretty disconcerting. I realize there are people who have transitioned completely to Soylent for their day-to-day nutrition, but for me, it’s a last resort option.

The clip below summarizes my feelings about Soylent completely:

– Tactical Fanboy


40 Responses to “Soylent The Wonder Food, Not So Wonderful”

  1. z0phi3l says:

    Why is this retarded fad still a thing?
    Someone should tell these idiots that this is not a good idea whatsoever and eating an MRE is a better alternative to this crap

    • Jimmy Changa says:

      An edible substance created and beta tested on willing humans, designed to meet all dietary needs, created with input from biologists, chemists, doctors, nutritionists, with the goal of creating the most nutritious lowest production cost food source is retarded? Maybe it does t fit your first world tastes but if its perfected it could change the face of the global hunger problems. Food access is used as a powerful weapon in developing countries, its taxed and regulated by corrupt governments and used to subjugate and control starving people. Maybe you should check your neanderthal reactions before you hop on line and prove to the internet how shortsighted you are. No I dont work for soylent, yes I have tried it (exclusively for about 5 months) results, weight loss, muscle gain energy, oh and its ten bucks a day for all your food and no dishes. Pretty retarded.

      • JR says:

        Soylent, unless it can be made directly by the oppressed people you mention, will never cure the issues you bring up. Anything imported is easier to control in the manner you mention.

        • Lcon says:

          If it’s named Soylent? Shouldn’t it be made from the Oppressed people?

          • Greg says:

            It was only the Green variety of the Soylent product that was made from Oppressed People. I’d say we’ve got a little time before that happens.

            • This Guy says:

              But the green variety was more nutritious and palatable than the yellow and red (and presumably “white”). Sounds like the key to flavor is the oppressed people element..

          • Jimmy Changa says:

            too gamey

        • Telos says:

          Actually the company shares their recipes and many, many people have sourced the ingredients to make their own Soylent. So yes, it could be made by the oppressed people.

        • Jimmy Changa says:

          Its intent and origin was to be a crowdfunded, collective research project to use First World technology, science, and knowledge to create a practical, functional replacement for the future. Its open sourced, nothing is a *proprietary blend, and its working. Its not a corporation looking to change the worlds diets to goop and slime while subjugating its people through controlling the food supply. If one naysayer took 10 minutes to actually research this stuff they would see its potential. Armchair critics should probably stick to the old 9mm vs 45 debate (although science has shut that down also).

      • straps says:

        Just so ya’ know, access to FOOD has never been an issue.

        Getting clean WATER to those in need has always been the thing.

        • Jimmy Changa says:

          Access to Food has never been an issue? I’m sure there are about 795 million people in the world that would disagree with you. I guess no improvements or advancements in inexpensive, nutritious, food replacements should be explored? Only focus on water and it will all work out?

          Just so ya’know!!!!
          you still starve to death or die from malnutrition related diseases with plenty of clean water. Focusing on a complete solution is probably alot smarter than just airdropping some fiji water.

          The irrational fear against GMO’s in developing countries is crippling the third world. Look up Golden Rice, a GM rice strain that would have halved the rates of Vitamin deficiency caused blindness…stalled and derailed by First World protesters who couldn’t give a shit about blind babies in India they just want to push their own agenda. So again, how is technology improving nutrition retarded?

          • NP says:

            Sometimes the lack of intelligence of SSD readers makes me question my decision to continue reading it altogether (or at least the comments section).

            Thanks for the accurate and logical rhetoric, Jimmy.

  2. Dellis says:

    Are we running out of Chik-Fil-A ?? Serious damnit, someone tell me what’s up?

    There’s no more chicken is there? We fricken ate them all!!

    Does this come in flavors, like Gummi Bear?

  3. SShink says:

    Diaper change, please.

  4. Dutch K says:

    I thought it would be Green…………

  5. John says:

    Yes this is a retarded idea. Why? Because it has been tried many times before, and guess what. Humans need food. Shocking I know, but true.

    I remember when MetRx first came out in the early 90s. That’s exactly how it was marketed. Scott Connelly MD invented it to be “nutritionally complete”. You wouldn’t need to eat real food while on MetRx.

    Yet here we are 20 years later and people are still eating food. And no one uses MetRx to the exclusion of real food. It’s a supplement.

    There may be short periods of time where people will live off of a nutritional drink, but it won’t be long. Humans need food physically and psychologically. Nothing will replace it.

    • K says:

      Which is actually awesome, we can work our way back to pre H. Erectus and void the whole fire for cooking/brain developmental period.

      Not to mention is completely soy based, every guy would like a set of boobs and a good cry once in a while


    • AbnMedOps says:

      Didn’t Bridget Fonda offer Robert DeNiro a MetRx in “Jackie Brown”? He declined that, but did take her up on the next offer..

    • Telos says:

      That’s a common and slightly misguided criticism. It is a prefect replacement for meals. That is, you can have Soylent breakfast, lunch, snack and then come home to a nice pot roast or something for dinner. Or the other way around if you’re more of a breakfast person. You’ll get better nutrition than 90% of Americans currently get (because no, the McGriddle is not actually healthy) and save money. And when you’re craving a steak, head to your favorite steak place with the money you saved! 🙂

    • NP says:

      Because science and technology can’t change over the course of TWO DECADES….


  6. Strike-Hold says:

    Did you try mixing in some Tabasco sauce?

  7. Thomas 67 says:

    If the taste is lackluster time after time – then you need to be able to add flavor powders such as cinnamon or banana to mix things up. Maybe a selection of breakfast flavors and another selection of ‘lunch’ flavor shots for a savory taste. Well drinking beef jerky flavor might be quite gross … so a selection of more or less sweet flavor mixes.

    • P.J. says:

      I’d assume it could be mixed to different consistencies as well which could help create variety.

  8. kemp says:

    It’s really not much different from medical products like Ensure or those meal replacement shakes you can get at the mall. Yes, you can live on it. Yes, you will quite literally shit bricks.

    What’s dumb about this is that it’s essentially food for intubated patients remarketed for people who don’t see the value in sitting down for a nice and flavorful homecooked meal.

  9. wazza says:

    But is Soylent made from people ? Like in Soylent Green .

  10. Red Pill Ethics says:

    Soylent user here. The taste is kinda like oatmeal for most people – mostly neutral with an aftertaste of grain/oats. The taste (or tastelessness) is deliberate. The reasoning goes, the stronger the taste the faster you’ll get sick of eating it; which is why you can drink plain water everyday and never say “I’m sick of the taste of water” (with the exception of the water around Lejeune).

    I’m pretty sure the reason why SSD is reviewing it is as a lightweight potentially higher performing replacement for MREs. It’s been commented here before but it’s basically powdered medical food. It’s a contentious topic in the nutrition community but according to everything we know about recommended daily intake, FDA/Dep. of Health style, you can live off of it for months at a time (if not indefinitely) and be fine. Many Soylent users have done just that.

    The early versions had issues with nasty shits but those kinks have more or less been worked out in the most recent formulations. For some people it takes some time to adjust but the fiber content is mid-range enough enough that most people aren’t shitting bricks or liquid. At the very least it’s never caused by the kind of abdominal stress that some MREs have. End scatalogical talk.

    Personally when I’m in the field (which nowadays just means camping/hiking) or doing marathon code writing sessions, I like it. Pound for calorie it’s lighter and more convenient than MREs and I don’t really get sick of it. I’m not excited for it when I eat it for long periods at a time but I’ve never given it the same kind of stank eye that I’ve given MREs after the 10th bag. And for guys who spend weeks or months at a time down range I think that’s exactly why it’s valuable – weight, convenience, and sustainability (if not excitability) of palate.

    • Red Pill Ethics says:

      For some people it takes some time to adjust but the fiber content is mid-range enough enough that most people aren’t shitting bricks or liquid. At the very least it’s never caused by the kind of abdominal stress that some MREs have. End scatalogical talk.


      For some people it takes some time to adjust but the fiber content is mid-range *enough that most people aren’t shitting bricks or liquid. At the very least it’s never caused *me the kind of abdominal stress that some MREs have. End scatalogical talk.

      • Dellis says:

        I would guess an all liquid diet would not be sustainable for long periods, I am no doctor so I am only questioning here, but do we not release certain digestive aids when we begin to “chew” food? I believe our brains sense we are eating via our chewing, our noddle tells our digestive system “Hey, foods comin! Get ready to digest” and this helps in digestion and then moving those nutrients, from the Double Stuff Oreo’s, into out body system.

        With straight liquid it would seem health concerns may arise (digestive speaking) in the long run, but again I am not a doc.

        • Red Pill Ethics says:

          I think that comes down to the shit test. If your passing mostly liquid then sure, I’d be willing to bet that your digestive tract isnt getting the workout it needs to not atrophy. If you’re having normal shits then I think your fine. A doctor/nutritionist could confirm that but in the longest stretch that I’ve eaten it exclusively, 2.5 weeks on the most recent formulation, I didn’t have any abdominal issue or weird stool. To add to that there are lots of Soylent users that have gone months without issues. Soylent has a pretty active user forum (I’m not into enough to be a member) where people discuss their experienced with the current formula and offer feedback about possible tweaks. To my knowledge, nobody has ever had an issue with intestinal atrophy.

  11. Joe says:

    Arguments about food vs supplements aside…is it so damn hard to just put some kind of flavoring in it??

    • John says:

      I think they leave it unflavored so that people don’t get sick of the flavor. (For instance, if you were consuming something chocolate flavored for every meal, you would pretty quickly get sick of chocolate flavor.) There has been discussion of adding SKUs that have flavoring in them, I believe…or, at the very least flavor packs with the product so it can be added.

      There are a bunch of message board postings and other resources around on how to flavor your Soylent, though. Powdered peanut butter (PB2), chocolate, vanilla, and instant coffee are all popular, among hundreds of others.

    • Jimmy Changa says:

      Its been mentioned before but the flavor profile “seems” to change depending on the time of day, how many calories expended. I’ve done 5 months straight, I have a horrible sweet tooth, mornings was all about sugar (low from not eating all night right). With soylent, it tastes sweeter in the morning, pretty bland for lunch, and slightly salty at dinner (hold the jokes). I have never been a big foodie, I hate dishes, the grocery store, spending an hour cooking just to scarf it in 10 minutes.

      More than all that though is cost, and calories. It works out to less than 10 bucks a day, not too bad. Also, its a solid, consistent calorie count. Want to cut weight, cut portions of Soylent or calculate your calorie deficit with exercise, no bullshit points or bars or pills. Want to gain? double your intake and add protein shakes. clean calories and regulated intake couldnt be easier, but it still tastes like wet cardboard.

  12. swiss says:

    I went though whatever a months worth of it is supposed to be, in under a year. I found vodka, Kahlua, or irish cream helped. Guess I should have tried Tabasco, but mine was the kickstarter version, with a light vanilla flavor. I usually added some liquid caffeine to my morning blend as well as booze. Taste is pretty boring, nutritionally its questionable, but for folks not burning 5000 cal a day rucking, or folks to lazy to count cals it’s an alternative.

  13. Ranger Rick says:

    Detective Frank Thorn and Solomon “Sol” Roth knew the truth: “Soylent Green is people!”