My one-month supply (four weeks) of Soylent arrived on Friday, May 2, and it’s not people. Soylent is powdered food. And it’s likely cheaper and healthier than what you currently eat.
Soylent Servings: 1
Breakfast: Morningstar Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit
Dinner: Grilled cheese and fries
Soylent arrived partway through the day, and I went home for lunch to get started right away. The full month’s supply came as a single, rather large package. Cutting the straps holding it together revealed that the package was really just four boxes, each with a week’s worth of Soylent, wrapped with a piece of cardboard that holds them together as a single unit.
Within each box is a note from the CEO, Rob Rhinehart:
The powder you now behold is more than meets the eye. This mix of mass, energy, and information is the staple food of the future. Refined, robust, and efficient, Soylent is food that works. And it would not be here if not for you.
You are a vital member of the network that transformed Soylent from information to matter, from idea to flesh. Your contribution and support make you an integral part of Soylent, the structures of which are soon to become an integral part of you.
Remember every sip of Soylent is a tiny gratuity toward producing food ephemerally, toward reducing health disparity, toward answering questions about our food and ourselves that have gone unanswered for too long.
If you are what you eat, you may now consider yourself healthy and practical.
Thank you for ordering, and do stay in touch.
Robert Rhinehart | CEO of Soylent | firstname.lastname@example.org
Under the letter I found seven individual bags of Soylent, along with an extra piece of cardboard that I’m guessing is where the oil blend would be, had I not opted for the vegan version, which is the exact same thing, minus the oil blend (which contains fish oil).
Each bag of Soylent contains one day’s worth, or 3 servings/meals. The front of the bag contains the Soylent logo, as well as the beginning of the nutrition facts. The nutrition facts continue on to the back of the package, and almost all the way to the bottom. Under the nutrition facts are the three steps to mix soylent:
- Fill 2 liter pitcher with contents of pouch, filtered water, oil blend and ice. To avoid clumping, include oil blend only after water has been poured into pitcher. (Ice is optional but essential if Soylent is to be consumed immediately.)
- Seal the pitcher and shake for 60 seconds. Once mixed, water can be added for a thinner consistency, if desired.
- Store in fridge and consume within 2 days. Immediately dispose of any Soylent that you suspect to be rancid.
The Soylent powder looks very similar to pancake mix, and the smell reminds me a bit of NESQUIK powdered chocolate milk mixed with a vanilla milkshake. I poured one pouch into the pitcher provided in the starter kit and added water and ice. The water didn’t immediately mix with the Soylent, but instead just stayed on top of it. But sixty seconds of shaking later, I had my first batch of Soylent ready for consumption. It was the consistency of a thin smoothie (think Bolthouse Farms smoothies), with tiny pockets of powder that looked more like bubbles that wouldn’t burst.
I filled up my one-liter Nalgene two thirds of the way (one serving, 148 grams), opened my second bag of Soylent and added a serving and water to the pitcher (in case coworkers drank more than expected), and headed back to work with Nalgene and pitcher in hand.
My first batch of Soylent was a bit chalky and stuck to my teeth a little, but I think that may have been (mostly) my fault. First, I didn’t fill the pitcher to the top with water (as I should have). This was partially because the water doesn’t mix with the Soylent on contact, so there’s still some trapped air in the powder that takes up space. Second, the pitcher is too tall to fit completely vertically under my kitchen sink’s faucet, so it was literally impossible to fill it up right out of the tap. I could have just used the provided scoop to get the water to the top, but I didn’t. … Now I know to make sure to do that next time. I also used cold water and ice, which may have dissolved/absorbed less Soylent than warm or hot water would have done (I have a batch in the fridge mixed with hot water, so should have an update on this later).
Other than being a bit chalky, the taste wasn’t bad. It wasn’t amazing by any means, but it tastes good enough to want to drink more.
I brought the pitcher with the remaining two servings to work and offered it to my coworkers. The offer itself was met with intrigue, confusion, and/or a bit of disgust. Only about half of my coworkers would actually try it, but those that did didn’t hate it. One actually went back for seconds (didn’t have a full serving; they had already eaten lunch) and said it tasted “pretty good”. They also quipped later that they felt rather satisfied (hunger-wise).
At the end of the day, I could feel the Soylent inside of me. Not in an Alien sort of way, but it felt different. Maybe it was my previously terrible diet screaming in anguish as Soylent kicked its ass? Or maybe I’m just crazy.
Soylent Servings: 2
Dinner: Pizza, pizza, and more pizza
I woke up feeling refreshed. This sounds cliché, but I normally wake up as a zombie with a hangover. But today I felt awake. No headache. No crying pleas to go back to sleep. My body just wanted to be awake. Now, this could have just been due to the fact that I finally got a decent amount of sleep, or maybe that spring is finally here and the sun was up, but maybe, just maybe, Soylent is improving my sleep.
I normally don’t eat breakfast (I’m terrible, I know), but Soylent was calling my name (not for real, it’s not sentient). The first thing I noticed was that the mixture had settled a bit, into two layers: the bottom layer that looked like Soylent, and the top layer that looked a little like oil (but there was no oil blend added). There’s a chance this settling was due to adding too much water, but I’m not sure. I filled a glass with the powdered food from the future and drank away. Slowly. Because Soylent, at least my first batch, is not something that can be easily consumed quickly. I’m not sure if it’s the taste, the chalkiness, or the absurd amount of nutrition it packs into each gulp, but it isn’t a pleasant feeling to chug it.
This serving didn’t seem to be as chalky as the previous, but it still was a little bit.
I tried rinsing out the glass, and it turned out to be a little tricky. For the most part, fresh Soylent in a glass will rinse out, but some of the powder (again, this might just be due to me not mixing it properly the first time) likes to stick to the sides/corners. But a quick brush with your hand, a brush, or a cloth will clean it in a jiffy.
I got ready for the day, ran some errands, and headed back home. It was time for lunch. I filled my Nalgene with a serving of Soylent and went on with my day, drinking it a little bit at a time. I wasn’t disappointed.
I had some friends over that night and ordered pizza. But I wasn’t really hungry. That didn’t stop me from eating the greasy deliciousness, but I thought it was worth a mention. Soylent is filling. It’s filling enough so you’re not hungry, but not so filling that you regret eating so much. It probably also helps that Soylent has easy-to-measure servings. One serving is two scoops of Soylent and two scoops of water. Or, if you’re lazy like me, one serving is 2/3rds of a one-liter bottle, or ~666ml (must be evil food). That’s ~22.5 ounces for those poor people that don’t use the metric system or don’t own a Nalgene.
I ranted about Soylent to my friends on a couple different occasions that night, and encouraged them to try it. Again, only about half of them were willing to try it, but those that tried it also didn’t think it was terrible. All of them, however, noted the chalkiness. But I’ll stop mentioning that until my next batch, in case it was my fault.
So, all-in-all, I’m not disappointed by Soylent. It could be better, but it could have been a whole hell of a lot worse. I still have a little over 26 days of Soylent left, and I haven’t even begun to experiment with what I can mix in it. I’m pretty excited to see what concoctions I can come up with.