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Production Soylent v1.4 · 2:37pm Mar 20th, 2015

Longtime readers may recall that back in 2013 (good lord where does the time go) I started doing a DIY version of Rob Rhinehart's meal replacement smoothie mix. I've kept up with it on and off, typically using it as a breakfast and lunch on weekdays at work.

A few weeks ago, the Soylent team announced that in the latest version of the official production blend, they had worked out how to incorporate the fat content directly in the powder, removing the need to add separate oil to the mix. They also rebalanced the powder ingredients, removing most of the artificial sweetener and all of the artificial flavor they'd needed to use in earlier versions to mask the bitterness of the vitamins/supplements in the mix, making the flavor profile as neutral as possible.

I decided I had to get in on that, and put in an order. They also recently secured a bunch of investor funding to increase their manufacturing capacity and apparently put it to use right away -- it took less than two weeks for me to get my order, even though their website still said 4-5 months (now it says 4 weeks).

I mixed up my first pitcher last night. Tried it as soon as it was chilled and wasn't that impressed with it -- pretty gritty -- but this morning, after an overnight soak in the fridge, it was much more pleasant. Did some quick experimenting with flavoring and really liked honey plus powdered peanut butter, and cocoa powder plus powdered peanut butter is a pretty close second.

All in all I'm pretty happy with it. I'll be even happier once they get the cost down further.

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Comments ( 16 )

I guess it may be a bit early, but how do you think the official blend compares to that DIY version you linked? In terms of cost, taste, prep time, etc. I suppose.

How much is it per day right now?

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I like it a lot more, enough that I never want to deal with mixing my own blend again, even with the cost increase over the DIY blend (I think that official Soylent will cost me a little under twice as much as my DIY blend on a per-calorie basis). Convenience is certainly a factor here, as well as the somewhat smoother mouthfeel and the knowledge that the blend has actually been vetted by professionals rather than hacked together by some dude (me) and a spreadsheet based on advice from internet strangers.

Depends on how much you buy, whether or not you do a monthly subscription, and of course, how much you eat.

I did a one-time one-week purchase to get my foot in the door; that's seven 2000-calorie bags of Soylent. It was $85. However, that "one-week" purchase will last me more like two weeks; I don't eat 2000 calories a day, and I'm not doing 100% Soylent. I suspect that I'll end up with a monthly subscription for "two weeks" of Soylent, which would actually last me four weeks, for $130. This works out to $2.32 per 500-calorie meal, or $4.64 per day if I have Soylent for breakfast and lunch.

Interesting. $85 strikes me as being a similar amount to what I can spend for the same calorie load at a local grocery store. How does this compare to contemporary food, and in what kind of situation would be this be beneficial? If they knock down the price a bit, I might give it a shot.

Also, you should write more :X

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How does this compare to contemporary food, and in what kind of situation would be this be beneficial?

It requires literally no time or effort whatsoever: you dump water and powder in a big enough container, shake it up, and drink it (either over ice or after letting it chill overnight). Unlike (most?) other no-effort food, it's "healthy" -- which here means "nutritionally complete as far as impartial medical/nutrition studies have shown." I find myself with next to no time available now that I'm back in school on top of work, so not having to cook is awesome, and not falling back on junk/fast food is awesomer.

Also, I wrote two chapters of PONY Legacy this week. I really, really want to force myself to write the rest of it, let it sit for a month or two, then revise the whole thing in one go and publish one chapter a week. BUT I WASN'T GONNA TELL ANYONE UNTIL I GOT MORE WORK ON IT DONE SO WAY TO GO


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...Man, that was disappointing.

I did the home made stuff for a while and I did enjoy not having to wash up quite so much on weekdays. It also tasted much nicer than you'd think however I went off it because I found that if you didn't wash the shaker up really quickly it ended up smelling absolutely foul. I suspect this is because the stuff was perfect nutritional agar for all sort of bacteria. Does the manufactured stuff have this problem?

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I'm sure it does, though I'm only 24 hours into my first batch. I had the same thing happen to my DIY stuff if I left it over a weekend, haha.

I don't know in detail how this works out nutritionally, but you can have cheap, good-tasting, easy-to-make, nutritious meals if you alternate between

eat raw: peanuts, milk, freshly-made tofu, if you can get it, but you probably can't
frozen: spinach, peas (heat, don't cook), corn, lima beans, burritos
cook in microwave: oatmeal, eggs, chicken livers
cook in the oven in big batches: chicken or beef, lentils

More expensive, but more convenient and maybe still less expensive than soylent, is kefir.

Where do you get powdered peanut butter?

Also, the one thing you have to be careful of with things like this is the vitamins and minerals can come from unsafe sources. For example, artificially made BETA carotine(sp) cause cancer where the real stuff healps prevent it and is completly safe. They discovered this in the middle of a drug trial to see if large amounts of BETA carotine helped reduce smokers risk of cancer. Becaus it was just a vitamine that is known to be completly safe they didn't do any preliminary studies.

They figured out they messed up when half way through the tests every single participant started developing cancer. I mean almost %100 of participants got cancer and many died within a few months. But that was with excessive dosses, above %1000 daily recomended value.

They are having other issues with diatary supliments made in China having things like excessive lead content in them, or being made poorly and not actually providing nutrition. Remember, a lot of vitamines get destroyed by simple things like heat or oxygen. Vitamine C becoming useless when being exposed to even moderate amounts of oxygen. So when you eat industrialized things like this be careful about where the vitamines and minerals come from.

The thing I liked about the DIY post was hat everything came from cheap REAL food as opposed to unknown chemicals dumped into a bin.

That said, a lot of stuff is completly safe like salts. Deionized is better but pretty much all that matters is if it's sodium, potassium, or chlorine (which is used by the body as salt).

If they've gotten their production up then I think I'll give it a shot. Provided you let me know where you found peanute butter powder :rainbowkiss:

I figure I can store a lot easily at work.

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But that's boringgg

Source for the artificial/natural beta-Carotene claim? I looked around briefly and only found a reference that said artificial beta-Carotene has no effects, while natural beta-Carotene can heal "premalignant gastric lesions." The thing with smokers is unrelated to the natural/artificial issue, and I'm not a smoker and don't overdose on beta-Carotene, so... don't care!

My local grocery store actually stocks powdered peanut butter next to the regular peanut butter. It's called PB2; if your grocery doesn't have it, Amazon does (but word on the street is, if you go through Amazon, you should get the vacuum-sealed version).

2898583 PB2 isn't just powdered peanut butter. It's powdered peanut butter with the fat removed.

According to a man I knew who lived in Berlin after World War 2, the US Army decided that people could live indefinitely on nothing but peanut butter, and so during the Berlin airlift, they gave them nothing but peanut butter.

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That's true. Makes it perfect for a low-caloric-impact flavoring for Soylent, since Soylent already has fat.

I knew that peanut butter was popular in soldiers' rations for being a stable source of calories and protein, but I'd never heard that! Too funny. I probably would have gotten tired of it after a while...

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