Whether your goal is to live a healthy lifestyle or to live the kind of lifestyle that includes eating whatever you want, one thing never falters; groceries are expensive. Prepackaged food, fresh food, organic food – it’s all expensive. It almost costs more to buy ingredients to make a meal at home than it does to just go out and feed your entire family larger portions (without the after dinner cleanup). If you could save all the money you spend on groceries each month and still get the nutrients you need to survive, would you do it?
According to Rob Rhinehart, a 25-year-old entrepreneur from San Francisco, food is not a necessity. After he and two roommates began trying to work on a technology start up in their San Fran apartment, they realized they were going through their startup money too fast. They had to find a way to save money, which was impossible considering they already had no social life and rent was a necessity. Food, however, was expensive. They tried to cut costs as much as possible, but since you have to eat to live, they couldn’t do much more than live off Ramen noodles.
It was in 2012 that Rhinehart had an epiphany. You don’t actually need food to survive. You need some of the ingredients found in food to survive. After careful research, the Georgia Tech graduate – who studied electrical engineering – realized that food is an engineering issue, “You need amino acids and lipids, not milk itself. You need carbohydrates, not bread,” he said. It was then he decided to take time away from tech and research nutrients. He compiled his research into a list of 35 essential nutrients required to sustain life, ordered them online and blended them all together to create a shake.
He’s lived on this shake, which he calls Soylent, for over a year now, using it to supplement 90 percent of his meals. He’s healthier, fitter, has clearer skin, thicker hair and even whiter teeth because of it. He came up with the name Soylent from a Charleston Heston film, “Soylent Green,” from 1973. After a month of living off of Soylent, Rhinehart published a blog with his results. From there, he and his friends decided to forgo their tech dreams and market Soylent. They moved from San Fran to Los Angeles and received millions of dollars in funding to market Soylent.
Will Soylent Replace Food?
Many people are concerned that Soylent will replace food all together, wondering what this will do to date nights and Christmas dinners with the family. Rhinehart is quick to state that Soylent is not looking to replace to socialization and enjoyment of food, but rather the missed meals and forgotten nutrition people deal with. Soylent will not replace anything that you don’t want it to replace. It’s designed more for a quick breakfast or lunch, or even dinner when the kids all have different practices and games and activities at different times causing rushed evenings. It’s not meant to overtake Thanksgiving or a casual Sunday brunch. However, it is an interesting concept. Will you try Soylent?
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)