Is the end of food really here? According to some, the creation of the meal replacement drink Soylent indicates yes. As a Silicon Valley computer programmer, Robert Rhinehart often struggled to find the time to make his own meals while working. In 2013 the twenty-four year old engineered a powdered drink mix called Soylent to meet all of the nutritional requirements for an average adult, without the high cost, time commitment, and geographic constraints of preparing one's own meals. After he passed his own thirty-day all-Soylent dining plan, Rhinehart decided to lunch a Kickstarter campaign. The company made 3 million dollars in one month. Soylent has been villified as the "end of food" and praised as a first step in creating broader access to healthful, affordable nutrition. Here are ten facts about the product so you can make up your mind yourself.
1. Soylent recently introduced Soylent 2.0, which comes ready to drink in recyclable bottles. Soylent 1.0 is a powder that must be mixed with water.
2. Soylent is Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten Free, and made in the U.S.
3. According to the FDA, Soylent qualifies as a dietary supplement, rather than food. Under this categorization it does not have to be approved or inspected before going to market.
4. Each bottle of Soylent 2.0 is designed to contain one-fifth of all essential micronutrients.
5. Twelve bottles of Soylent 2.0 cost $29.
6. Algal oil is composes 50% of the meal's the fat content.
7. The company recently hired a flavor scientist.
8. Over 50% of the meal is made up of oat flour and maltodextrin (derived from corn).
9. Soylent Powder 1.5 contains 500 calories per serving.
10. It is unflavored due to Rhinehart's desire for customers to not get sick of tasting the same thing.