(possibly) Never eat again - Soylent shake

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insane polycounter
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TeriyakiStyle insane polycounter
This dudes creating a bare bones shake for programmers and computer geeks - inspired by science fiction - that replaces 2-3 meals a day:

matrix_food.png

I think I would go for it to replace a meal or two. Or give me a way to be in a virtual interface for multiple days without having to leave my VR pod. This is the future man... bio-paste.

Check out his entire blog there's some thorough breakdowns and pseudo-science he's approaching the problem with.

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  • nyx702
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    nyx702 Polycount Sponsor
    I have often wondered why this doesn't exists yet commercially. I know there are some weight loss liquid diets like MediFast but it's not really for a true "food" replacement.

    I am not sure if I could do it. I just really love food. I don't understand the people that can have food sitting in front of them and not eat it. I wish I didn't love it so much :(
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle insane polycounter
    Agreed - Nyx. For me it's that moment where I'm mid-grind. And I realize I'm hungry - I could snack (shit nutrition) I could shop and make good food (-time) order delivery (-time/quality) or go get fast food (-all dat)

    Currently I make a huge vat of soup to supplement - basically the same idea but I'm sure I'm not in the optimal space for nutrition.
  • GarageBay9
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    GarageBay9 polycounter lvl 7
    I've been on strict liquid diets for medical reasons.

    I'll pass.
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle insane polycounter
    What are they giving you Garagebay9? curious.
  • GarageBay9
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    GarageBay9 polycounter lvl 7
    Not on one currently, I've only had to do it twice so far, thankfully. Twice is enough.

    The first time, I had a chemical burn down my esophagus back when I was in high school (swallowed a pill capsule without water... dumb move).

    Was on a mixture of Ensure, very thin protein powder, prescription liquid vitamin supplements, and Gatorade for... eh, I guess about three weeks. Until I could swallow without screaming (muffled) in pain. Just to be able to swallow any of that (even water) I had to somehow swallow a dose of a specially mixed medication that was a combo anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, anesthetic, and part something else that created a slippery gel coat over the damaged area. I hated it.

    So, yeah, public service announcement, SWALLOW PILLS WITH A GIANT GLASS OF WATER!


    But you know what I remember most about all of that?

    How frakking amazing the steak I cooked after I healed up tasted. And how much I missed solid food.


    I like the research this guy is doing, though, there are lots of applications for compact nutrition like this and I want to see him perfect it. I wouldn't mind a freezable or just-add-water form I can stash away for emergencies like power outages or the occasional snowing-in we get. I won't drink my dinner voluntarily, but I darn well wouldn't mind having this on hand for when I don't get to choose.



    (The second time was intestinal issues, got exposed to potable water that, well, wasn't potable because of busted water mains)
  • Envart
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    Envart polycounter lvl 6
    I have approximately zero science background, but is his method an appropriate replacement for nutrients derived from vegetables and fruits? I talking way outside of my knowledge base, but isn't fiber required for digestion and health in general?
  • ScoobyDoofus
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    ScoobyDoofus Polycount Sponsor
    I read his blog as well about a week ago. I'm curious to see how this works out for him in the long term.
  • Steve Schulze
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    Steve Schulze polycounter lvl 12
    Where does he source his cadavers?
  • Lamont
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    Lamont polycounter lvl 8
    Jackablade wrote: »
    Where does he source his cadavers?
    Leftovers from various Med-Schools.
  • Paradan
    the microbial environment in your gut is like another digestive organ. it has evolved to break down chyme and the metabolic path from chewed-up food to absorbable nutrient passes through many substances. some of those are necessary for your gut bacteria to survive. so skipping the middle-man(microbe) and just drinking ready to go nutrients is like starving one of your own organs. generally not a good idea.
  • Ace-Angel
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    Ace-Angel polycounter lvl 6
    Walrus wrote: »
    I have approximately zero science background, but is his method an appropriate replacement for nutrients derived from vegetables and fruits? I talking way outside of my knowledge base, but isn't fiber required for digestion and health in general?
    It's the same idea behind Micro-sleeping, where instead of sleeping for 6-8 hours, you sleep several minutes between the waking hours throughout the day.

    It's functional, but after a while you start suffering from dementia, double sight, and a whole slew of other issues. There is a reason such techniques are 'fads' and used in certain prisons and not encouraged even by the most ruthless companies.

    I suppose it's the same with this 'diet'. It will be functional for when you want something on the run, but if someone is going to base their entire diet on liquid food a la Sci-Fi movies, without at least a single plate of solid food a day, then as you said, certain more 'required' needs will be out of the window.

    I remember when I was a kid and only had to eat Veggies for a while due to personal issues, and after almost a month later, was able to eat some more 'dairy' based goods, when I ate cheese, my stomach literally started burning on itself, and Taco Bell had nothing on my bathroom-ache.

    I guess you could always eat these if you want, seem like they might go hand in hand:
    Fatality-stop-eating-like-a-noob.png
  • Amsterdam Hilton Hotel
    cookin food owns man
  • Lazerus Reborn
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    Lazerus Reborn polycounter lvl 8
    The guy above has a face you want to smack. might be the irish or liverpool in me but dam.

    I enjoy cooking. It's nice to take a break now and then, hell i get my best ideas after cooking. Gives to time to analyse and break down everything you've been doing, giving you perspective of the whole project ect.

    Would not give up eating, he says as he's drinking a 1000 calorie protein, calcium and fiber drink/ ;')

    50360e001d41c8769e00002d.jpg
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle insane polycounter
    Paradan wrote: »
    the microbial environment in your gut is like another digestive organ. it has evolved to break down chyme and the metabolic path from chewed-up food to absorbable nutrient passes through many substances. some of those are necessary for your gut bacteria to survive. so skipping the middle-man(microbe) and just drinking ready to go nutrients is like starving one of your own organs. generally not a good idea.

    This is a great point - and I think in the next few years we'll see a larger understanding of this system come about due to research. Possibly discovering new "essentials" we should be eating for optimal health.

    Beneficial bacteria species is thought to be in the sub 1000 variety so I'm hopeful maintaining that flora becomes manageable.

    As a meal replacement, supplement I think his pursuits are worthy as a baseline.

    It's gotta be better than the current options of meal replacement. Like cheetos :poly142:
  • AlecMoody
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    AlecMoody interpolator
  • StephenVyas
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    StephenVyas polycounter lvl 12
    An interesting idea & I'm all for making a quick blend, if time is running short or if I need some extra protein.. but I could never imagine giving up food
    UNsSkK5.jpgfoodporn
  • TrevorJ
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    TrevorJ greentooth
    ^
    oh god i just woke up, i know what i'm making for breakfast, that looks amazing
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    Food is too much fun to give up. Replacing the amazing stuff my wife and I make with a shake slurry sounds pretty terrible.
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 12
    I assume one of the main ingredients based on the name (other than old people), is soy.

    Soy is actually not that good for you in large/longterm amounts.

    Also highly dubious he could discern easily when he had too much magnesium versus too little.
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle insane polycounter
    Unfermented soy - in excess can be bad for various reasons, such as lowering your testosterone levels.

    Deeper in the comments he said he used whey protein - but there's probably even more options to get those 9 aminos covered.

    I think he's monitoring his vitamin/mineral counts in his bloodwork.

    I'd love to have a product like this exist just to have around, it's a pain in the ass sometimes to stop working and go get food - so I hope he doesn't die :) 2 months and counting...
  • pior
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    pior ngon master
    If anything, there's always this :

    [ame=" Reed on Weber Cooks - Spaghetti - YouTube[/ame]
  • JamesWild
    Very interesting, as someone who has noticed the HUGE day to day difference diet changes make and who is largely dissastisfied with the current state of food (I have no idea what I'm eating, or what any of the dosens of additives are doing to me) as soon as this gets through good, solid testing I'm sold for life.
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    Not to be argumentative but ... if all you eat is processed foods then you can't really complain about being dis-satisified with the current state of food. Do you cook? Every major city has a farmers market and you can, with a little work, know exactly what is in the food you're eating.

    A soy shake slurry isn't the answer, IMO.
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle insane polycounter
    Yeah I don't promote this as a 100% replacement - but the concept is interesting - I know NASA and other space agencies have been working on the problem too.

    Pior - :) I'm going to choose to not trust that guys diet advice. And I don't really eat gluten haha
  • JamesWild
    Got to be better than eating animals that borderline live on antibiotics.
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    Farmers market. Get there. :)
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle insane polycounter
    Yeah, I'll second that - farmers markets are dope. You can get meat, eggs, fruits and veg obviously. Honey. Everything raised by the farmer you are buying from - Man... so good.
  • Amsterdam Hilton Hotel
    WarrenM wrote: »
    Farmers market. Get there. :)
    it's impossible not to do this the more you learn about food production and nutrition imo. CSAs are quite dope as well
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 12
    Unfermented soy - in excess can be bad for various reasons, such as lowering your testosterone levels.

    Deeper in the comments he said he used whey protein - but there's probably even more options to get those 9 aminos covered.

    I think he's monitoring his vitamin/mineral counts in his bloodwork.

    I'd love to have a product like this exist just to have around, it's a pain in the ass sometimes to stop working and go get food - so I hope he doesn't die :) 2 months and counting...

    Whey? Gross! :p He should look at insects. At least those aren't a byproduct.
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle insane polycounter
    haha, well meat is a byproduct of being a chicken so I don't mind some whey.
  • Hazardous
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    Hazardous polycounter lvl 9
    I'd be game to give this a try. I love eating food though. I wonder if its possible to go soylent and just eat socially or when you feel like a pizza etc, or whether that sudden change to solids will blow out your insides etc.
  • GarageBay9
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    GarageBay9 polycounter lvl 7
    haha, well meat is a byproduct of being a chicken

    Most awesome thing I've read all day.

    Do I need to pay you every time I quote that, or can I buy a one-time licensing fee? :)
  • Steve Schulze
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    Steve Schulze polycounter lvl 12
    Hazardous wrote: »
    I wonder if its possible to go soylent and just eat socially

    And there we have the unintentionally amusing quote of the day.
  • ikken
    Walrus wrote: »
    I have approximately zero science background, but is his method an appropriate replacement for nutrients derived from vegetables and fruits? I talking way outside of my knowledge base, but isn't fiber required for digestion and health in general?

    yep, you need solid fibers so your gastric systems worked well.
    there's a direct correlation between lack of solid fiber in the everyday diet and chances of winning an epic hemorrhoid in the longterm. (wikipedia has about enough shock content for anyone considering this as a serious food replacement.)
    it is sort of better than washing a burger down with a frappe, but a few months of liquid only dieting will do you no good.

    oXYnary wrote: »
    Also highly dubious he could discern easily when he had too much magnesium versus too little.
    large doses of magnesium act as a laxative, so he would actually get a clue soon enough, ugh
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle insane polycounter
    Garagebay9 - All yours :)

    Ikken - I don't see a meaningful difference between fiber added to the mixture (which it is) and fiber eaten from food sources. As far as the intestine is concerned it's all fiber.

    Is there a study or some evidence you have about liquid fiber vs. solid fiber?
  • ikken
    @ TeriyakiStyle
    there's no such thing as "liquid" fiber, there's soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
    you need both, but it's the latter one you need to keep your intestines working better

    Soluble fibers attract water and form a gel, which slows down digestion. Soluble fiber delays the emptying of your stomach and makes you feel full, which helps control weight. Slower stomach emptying may also affect blood sugar levels and have a beneficial effect on insulin sensitivity, which may help control diabetes. Soluble fibers can also help lower LDL (“bad”) blood cholesterol by interfering with the absorption of dietary cholesterol.
    Sources of soluble fiber: oatmeal, oat cereal, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, oat bran, strawberries, nuts, flaxseeds, beans, dried peas, blueberries, psyllium, cucumbers, celery, and carrots.

    Insoluble fibers are considered gut-healthy fiber because they have a laxative effect and add bulk to the diet, helping prevent constipation. These fibers do not dissolve in water, so they pass through the gastrointestinal tract relatively intact, and speed up the passage of food and waste through your gut. Insoluble fibers are mainly found in whole grains and vegetables.
    Sources of insoluble fiber: whole wheat, whole grains, wheat bran, corn bran, seeds, nuts, barley, couscous, brown rice, bulgur, zucchini, celery, broccoli, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, raisins, grapes, fruit, and root vegetable skins.
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle insane polycounter
    Ok cool. thx

    So if he added insoluble and soluble fiber to the mixture he'd be ok?
  • ikken
    he would be ok if he finished his day with a few guavas, or maybe apples, had a nice whole-grain toast with avocado spread, a cup of brown rice and a neat juicy steak once in while and wasnt such a clueless pressed nerd
    I'm currently reading the comments and like wtf, talk to your family doctor, you morons, or hire a dietitian, what the f is this:
    > I had a theory concerning the hunger levels of the women and went back to check to make sure. For women, catering to the reproductive needs is especially important (folic acid, higher doses of iron, etc) and it may not hurt to double check to see what's needed for mens' reproductive needs. As it is right now, I don't actually remember if they *do* have reproductive needs, which may be why the men have better results than women.

    you had a theory, omg hands down. women need higher levels of iron because they lose a ton of it every month during periods. you would assume they would know that themselves, but here comes one:
    I think this is a great point. Every time I go to the doc I hear I need to get more iron, and I've been taking a mulitvitamin just for it. Perhaps even checking out the ingredients and amounts on a women's multivitamin vs. a men's may show some differences in what we need.
    like wtf, is it so hard to get a three month pack of iron chelate and check you blood levels later? no, she gets a multivitamin, where that iron effectively never gets absorbed bc it's tossed together with zinc, calcium, iodine and magnesium, and they neutralize each others b4 she knows it

    wtf

    I mean, it's clear he's trying to get a small business selling this crap. kirstey alley did same thing, at least she bothered doing her research and provided some credible medical advice alongside.

    long story short, if you don't have time to cook, find a healthy deli/take out/salad bar/sushi joint nearby
    if you're interested in this for geek-factor, don't even bother
    it is exactly what it is, it's pseudo science, and it looks even more retarded than weight loss through intravenous only feeding, etc-etc-etc
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle insane polycounter
    Ok, obviously good food sources are always going to be best.

    But I'm still interested in a meal replacement I could be confident in - the fact there's even this strong of response tells you there's a demand. maybe NASA will get it done.

    Saying it's impossible or to not to even bother isn't really an argument.
  • ikken
    Saying it's impossible or to not to even bother isn't really an argument.

    how many things you c in sci fi are impossible to replicate irl?

    it is totally possible to make a human pedigree kind of meals. if you need a temporary meal replacement, there're about enough sport shakes/nutritive drinks that would suffice as a single ration alternative - provided you follow it with some rill food afterwards.

    I have no idea what is nasa doing about it, but unless you're off to open space for next half of year, I don't see why would you ever prefer homogenic catfood over anything available around. and nobody said that nasa meal packs would be cheaper than eating out - I would assume, the research part would add up to the final price tag quite a lot.

    it doesn't sound good at a lot of levels, especially, given the amount of hyped infants who are drooling over there, and the lack of actual medical research that goes into this exact product.
  • AlexLeighton
    GarageBay9 wrote: »
    I've been on strict liquid diets for medical reasons.

    I'll pass.

    At one point during elementary school, I had such severe anxiety that I would throw up anything solid I ate before or during school, so I was having to sip boost for 2 meals a day.. Eventually it just starts to taste like nothing.

    I look forward to meals, I enjoy cooking, I even enjoy shopping for ingredients and figuring out what new things I can make. I couldn't imagine not eating.
  • Skillmister
    Hazardous wrote: »
    I'd be game to give this a try. I love eating food though. I wonder if its possible to go soylent and just eat socially or when you feel like a pizza etc, or whether that sudden change to solids will blow out your insides etc.

    I think that's kind of the point. However i highly doubt your body will be trouble free when you do eat those real meals.
  • xXm0RpH3usXx
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    xXm0RpH3usXx polycounter lvl 6
    just because of the farmers market hint: so we had a scandal over here, not two weeks ago, where some farmer bought normal eggs and put a "bio egg seal" on it.
    also we had a lot of horse meat like in everything (from done lasagna, to actual minced meat you could buy)
    i wouldnt trust your local farmers market, too. america is at war, a lot of people are poor, a lot of people cant afford the prices, what should the farmer do? either he throws away stuff or he cheats somewhere to save money...

    i say, combine this paste with a 3d printer and i will never ever leave my house again :D
    (no, not really, having a good lunch is way too important for me, the quote before my post says it very well)
  • leslievdb
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    leslievdb polycounter lvl 9
    Why on earth would you want this bland shake instead of real food.
    I do get that making a good meal takes time and not everyone has that but i`d be more willing to eat something that looks tasty but i know isn`t as good for me than make a shake my primary nutrition.
  • ScoobyDoofus
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    ScoobyDoofus Polycount Sponsor
    People who know me, know that I ask a lot of weird hypothetical questions. For years, one of which has been:

    "If you could have a machine that analyzed your body, and prepared a mix of perfect nutrients that would fuel your body and maximize your health/lifespan, but wouldn't be normal or especially tasty food anymore, would you use/drink/eat it?"

    Most people answer "no" or "I don't know". There were a surprisingly very few/almost no positive respondents. Granted, my pool of participants have been exclusively 1st world Americans & Europeans who live in a society of plenty.

    I feel people romanticize food and place too much emphasis on the pleasure of eating, rather than its function. I'd wager that my hypothetical would find a lot more positive response in places where food (or just food diversity) is less plentiful, and this is a cultural bias.
  • nyx702
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    nyx702 Polycount Sponsor
    This is going to sound kinda of weird... but I wonder how often he poops? If he has very little waste from these shakes I wonder if it's like once a month and hard as concrete.
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle insane polycounter
    Has everyone seen Soylent Green? Classic movie.

    ScoobyDoofus - To add to your point there's "food graveyards" in many urban areas. The options for nutrition are either too far away or overpriced. Also people lack education in what is nutritive/harmful.

    If this product could be made and priced around 3$ a meal people interested in being healthier could afford to do so. At least once or twice a day.

    If the government got involved it really would be like soylent green haha.

    nyx702 - I'm sure he would poop less, whether or not that would starve his gut fauna or not is something that might happen given time. Then he'll be stuck on his own baby food for life.
  • GarageBay9
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    GarageBay9 polycounter lvl 7
    People who know me, know that I ask a lot of weird hypothetical questions. For years, one of which has been:

    "If you could have a machine that analyzed your body, and prepared a mix of perfect nutrients that would fuel your body and maximize your health/lifespan, but wouldn't be normal or especially tasty food anymore, would you use/drink/eat it?"

    Most people answer "no" or "I don't know". There were a surprisingly very few/almost no positive respondents. Granted, my pool of participants have been exclusively 1st world Americans & Europeans who live in a society of plenty.

    I feel people romanticize food and place too much emphasis on the pleasure of eating, rather than its function. I'd wager that my hypothetical would find a lot more positive response in places where food (or just food diversity) is less plentiful, and this is a cultural bias.

    Eating and dining is one of the most fundamentally common threads of human experience, and in every society where there has been a surplus of food, art and craftsmanship has emerged in the creation of meals. It's even done so in some societies that DIDN'T have a surplus, in the form of ritually prepared foods or ritual meals.

    Don't be too quick to discount the importance to people of the actual experience of food, besides just the nutrition. :)
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 12
    If this product could be made and priced around 3$ a meal people interested in being healthier could afford to do so. At least once or twice a day.

    $3 a meal is still too high, it's competing with unhealthy meal options that are 99 cents or less - which is the big problem with food deserts.
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle insane polycounter
    ok.. sure. 50 cents then - or free, paid for with your SNAP card. 3$ is reasonable for people not living on assistance.
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