Free Your Stomach, and the Rest Will Follow

This post has been edited to add the Daily Prompt for today, coincidentally enough:

Daily Post at WordPress.com

If you could get all the nutrition you needed in a day with a pill — no worrying about what to eat, no food preparation — would you do it?

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Nope, still tastes like semen.

Maybe it will taste better with a slice of lemon in it.

I have to wonder if Rob Rhinehart, the man behind the “food of the future,” Soylent, has the same attitude about sex as he does about food. According to the software engineer/food hater, food (or maybe more precisely, shopping and cooking) is a “hassle” which can be avoided by limiting your diet to his creation, Soylent.  What is Soylent, you ask?  Here’s an explanation from the crowdfunding website  for the powdered drink mix that promises to “Free Your Body.”

What if you never had to worry about food again?

For many people, on many occasions, food is a hassle, especially when trying to eat well. Suppose we had a default meal that was the nutritional equivalent of water: cheap, healthy, convenient and ubiquitous. Soylent will be personalized for different body types and customizable based on individual goals. It allows one to enjoy the health benefits of a well balanced diet with less effort and cost.

Rhinehart has managed to find enough people that need to be liberated from food that he’s managed to raise nearly half a million dollars, though I won’t be donating to the cause, especially after reading the review of the product over on Gawker, which says the drink looks like semen and tastes “like the homemade nontoxic Play-Doh you made, and sometimes ate, as a kid.”

There’s a lot of high minded talk over on the funding website about solving world hunger with Soylent, as though Rhinehart is the first person to have ever thought of creating a nutritional drink mix that could be easily transported and stored in areas of the world where food and refrigeration are unreliable.  The problem with these sorts of drink mixes, which is readily apparent to anyone who has ever seriously worked on hunger and food scarcity issues, is that water is not “cheap, healthy, convenient and ubiquitous” in these same parts of the world, and without clean water, drink mixes are just so much dust.

It also tastes better than Moroccan food

This tastes better than Soylent.

But here in the First World, where clean water is just a turn of the tap away, there is something that appeals to me about never having to cook or clean or go grocery shopping again.  I could just order a case of Soylent to be delivered every couple of weeks or so, and stir up four glasses of it for dinner every night.  No more answering that annoying “What’s for dinner?” question, or cajoling my toddler to try “just a bite.”  No more cleaning tomato sauce splatters from the cooktop, or washing by hand that expensive set of German knives, or waiting impatiently for my cheeseburger-loving husband to find something, anything, he will eat off the menu of the new Moroccan restauraunt I dragged him too.

Since Rhinehart has taken the drudgery out of food preparation, I hope he will now turn his considerable talents toward liberating us from other tiresome household tasks.  If Monsanto can create some sort of mutant wheat which will probably make us grow gills or thirst for human blood if we eat it, why can’t we create a type of grass that will stop growing once it reaches a few inches of height?  And why don’t we have real stain and stink resistant clothing yet?  And why can’t we make it so my husband doesn’t hassle me for sex when the finale of Orphan Black is about to come on?

Royalty free stock photos including the images in this post can be found at Stock.XCHNG.

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24 thoughts on “Free Your Stomach, and the Rest Will Follow

  1. Elyse says:

    This isn’t the real name of a real product, I hope. Looking at the Facebook page you linked to, I didn’t see anybody saying “Weren’t you alive in 1973? They made a movie about stuff like that.”

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    • Karen says:

      It is the name of a real product. I believe the movie is the reason he chose the name for the product (in fact I’m sure of it), and the reason why he and his product have received all this attention, since his idea is not original. Or even good. Anyway, I doubt if Gawker or vice.com would be writing about the drink if he named it “Yucky Powdered Drink Mix.”
      And I’m sure the donations to his business endeavor all come from a bunch of science fiction nerds. And it saddens me that half a million dollars is going to this guy and his friends that he’s named officers of his “company” rather than somewhere (anywhere) more deserving. I guess the donors want to show off the packet of powder they’re sent for their donation and scream “It’s made of people!”

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  2. Madame Weebles says:

    I can see the benefit if you live in a famine-riddled country. But otherwise I’ll give Soylent a pass. I wonder if he had to pay royalties to the producers of Soylent Green for that name?

    Meanwhile, I can’t help thinking Rob Rhinehart is a big buzzkill, and probably sucks in bed.

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    • Karen says:

      I’m betting he views foreplay as a “hassle” too.

      You can’t usually copyright/trademark single words in the English language (otherwise I’d ™ them all, and you’d all have to pay me every time you spoke!) so he’s probably safe.

      This is probably TMI, but I’ll share anyway: I slept with my now-husband after he cooked me dinner (chicken fettucini al fredo) on our second date. I don’t think he would have gotten to second base if he’d served me a nice tall glass of Soylent.

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      • Dagny says:

        Grim man Mr Rhinehart. Totally missing the point of existence. Do you think he suffers from existential angst? I should be surprised if he was at this rate. Poor man.

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        • Karen says:

          I think he probably just doesn’t enjoy food, and I wish a scientist would put his taste buds under a microscope so we can see if he is different somehow, which I suspect he is.

          Or he could just be a clever young man who hit upon a shocking name for a rather mundane product and managed to find his way (somehow) to $500,0000 bank balance.

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  3. Clever Girl says:

    I once lived on beer for a whole month and never felt better in my life!

    We should make all the executives at Monsanto drink Soylent for a year. Let’s use them as lab rats.

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    • Karen says:

      Only beer for a whole month? Were you being held captive by some crazed craft brewer who was making you sample his concoctions?

      😉

      I never really acquired a taste for alcohol, though I do drink socially (only on account of a grown woman looks silly sipping Mountain Dew at a swanky dinner party), so I can’t fathom drinking beer two days in a row, let alone an entire month!

      I guess I should be worried about Genetically Modified Organisms (i.e. Monsanto’s Frankenwheat, and –SPOILER ALERT!– Sara, Alison, and Cosima on Orphan Black) but I’m not sure exactly what I’m supposed to be afraid of, unless, you know, it’s gills or that thirst for human blood thing.

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  4. stillstrange says:

    Sounds great if it is natural.. for people who are going through issues and just not hungry. But, how the heck could it be made to different peoples needs? I am gluten-free? They have one? Plus, 4 glasses a pop? That’s to much of anything for a meal.

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  5. Toby says:

    The name comes from the book “Make Room! Make Room!” Which the movie was based on. In the book Soylent was wafers made of soya and lentils. A little bit of research on the part of the author, namely reading Rob’s original blog posts, would bring that to light immediately. In all my reading, no one legitimately interested in Soylent is interested in bragging about eating people. In fact, no one who cares about what Soylent stands for (like the thousands of funders) is even bothered by such a shallow connection.

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    • Karen says:

      If it’s a shallow connection, then why didn’t Rob name it “New Future Drink” or “Razzamatazz” or whatever? He chose the name, because of the connection to the infamous science fiction movie in order to attract attention to his product. It’s worked for him. He’s got lots and lots of donations.

      This post, if you read it, was not about the name of the drink, or being bothered by the name of the drink. Rather it was about viewing eating and food as “drudgery.” Naming his product “Soylent” was a brilliant bit of marketing, and my hat is off to Rhinehart for thinking to use the name.

      The only one talking about eating people in this post is Charlton Heston.

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