In a blog post called "How I Stopped Eating Food," Rob Rhinehart describes how he created a food substitute that still provides the body with everything it needs to live healthily.
WARNING: This diet is untested and potentially dangerous. It hasn't been studied and Rhinehart is doing his own self-testing without a doctor's help.
At the time he wrote it, he had been subsisting on this stuff, which he named Soylent after the 1973 sci-fi film "Soylent Green," for 30 days. He's now gone two months without eating food in the conventional sense.
So how is this possible? He explained it to Vice:
"[W]e need vitamins and minerals. We need carbs, not bread. Amino acids, not milk. It's still fine to eat these whenever you want, but not everyone can afford them or has the desire to eat them."
Soylent consists of all the essential materials in our food without any of the extra "stuff." The recipe is an interesting read, consisting of varying measurements of carbohydrates, sodium, chloride, zinc, and many other basic food elements. One theory is that by going straight to the source and not having to break down food to extract these essential ingredients, your body saves energy and works more efficiently.
So why would anyone relegate himself to a single food source? Rhinehart explains his own reasoning:
"Not having to worry about food is fantastic. No groceries, dishes, deciding what to eat, no endless conversations weighing the relative merits of gluten-free, keto, paleo, or vegan. Power and water bills are lower. I save hours a day and hundreds of dollars a month. I feel liberated from a crushing amount of repetitive drudgery. Soylent might also be good for people having trouble managing their weight. I find it very easy to lose and gain precise amounts of weight by varying the proportions in my drink."
How does it taste? Rhinehart says, "It tastes very good. I haven't got tired of the taste in six weeks. It's a very 'complete' sensation, more sweet than anything."
The average American spends $604 per month on food. But given that Soylent only costs Rhinehart about $50 per month, he's very excited at the prospect of feeding people in developing countries.
Rhinehart has been running trials with volunteers in the San Francisco Bay area, but interest is so overwhelming that he just announced plans to do a Kickstarter project to get Soylent out to other people around the world interested in trying it. Remember: Rhinehart isn't a doctor or a nutritionist.
We talked to nutritionist Stella Metsovas to get her opinion on his diet experiment. Her opinion: "I see a red flag for a potential eating disorder."
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