I'm sorry i am not putting this in the weight loss collection even though it's somewhat related but I'd rather get more breadth about this from others.
I've been told by at least 3 friends in this week alone that I should try Soylent. For those not on the know, Soylent is a drink powder that is supposed to contain everything you need to live off of. In essence, total food replacement. It's goals are both ambitious and outrageous; To help solve world hunger by a cheap substance (I believe the cost is around $4 a person a day), to decrease our footprint & waste on the earth, and to increase productivity by making eating as simple as mixing a quick drink then returning to work without the preparation. Soylent, from a cursory glance, seems to accomplish all of it's goals.
I first heard about Soylent a year and a half ago. Things were still being refined to a higher degree than they were today. People were eager to test it and everyone that I read about who had tried it did indeed verify it was livable from. Though these tests are only short term. The longest I read about was for a month.
Now here's where I flip the table a bit, and keep in mind I have NOT had Soylent myself (I may try it if my diet sends me plummeting back to square one). Soylent is really experimental. It's primarily artificially generated and plant bases. There are vitamins science just can't fully replicate, they don't act like the ones in nature. Look at B complex for example.
Nutritional sciences are constantly evolving and we have no idea what exactly our bodies actually need. We just have a general idea. In fact, everyone's needs are different too. Soylent's claim to have everything an adult needs is erroneous because every person has a variety of nutritional needs and genetic predispositions. Surely you can supplement for this to some degree after getting blood panels and seeing deficiencies.
But none of these reasons is the biggest problem I have with it... My biggest issue with Soylent is that sucks away the pleasure of eating. It purposefully has a bland, neutral taste so you can continue about your daily routine of drinking pancake battered gruel day in and day out without interruption. It's as cruel to eating as female circumcision is to sex. It's like being a Vulcan from star trek. It's so extreme it's practically unforgivable to me in this regard. In fact, everyone who stopped their Soylent diets in the reports I read dove head first into their food vices when their experiment ended.
So why is deriving pleasure from food so important to me? Food plays a bigger role than all the reports and stories want. For me, food is more than sustenance; it's stabilization, pleasure, antidepressant, and indulgent. If I did not have food, I would likely be dead from depression. Food has been my biggest friend since I was a child. It never judged. It sat there, ready to accept its fate and cheer me up by providing the tantalizing tastes of macaroni and cheese with hot dogs. With very few friends, and even fewer that actually understood me. Without the food to stabilize my mood i'd likely be awash with drugs, relegated to therapy and likely dead. It views food as a chore, a task that gets in the way. It couldn't be farther from the truth for me. It's a necessity.
The articles read that as time went on, the subjects eventually stopped caring about the food around them until they stopped their experiments on themselves. I can see this for a bit; on my diet, I've relegated myself to very low intake but I crave things like pizza and tacos and fried mushrooms. Knowing I'll eventually rehab myself to the point I can eat them again is the only thing keeping me going. If that wasn't the case, I truly feel I'd be better off dead.
My last problem with Soylent is that it markets itself to do away with the chore of eating. This is probably too
increase efficiency which let's corporations squeeze just that little bit more out of employees. I can see super focused people like startups taking a decent advantage of this attribute but places where there's pressure to perform, I can see this becoming the norm, raising the bar just that much higher so you can increase the companies profits. It's then poised to become the norm with both corporate and peer pressure aiming to remove the last ounce of pleasure and distraction from the daily grind.
Will I try Soylent? Probably eventually once more studies are done. Maybe for a month. I'm really willing to give most anything a shot though it seems to have double the caloric intake I'm eating now so I'll likely gain a lot of weight on it. I fully suspect I'll hate it and will likely end up on the hospital though.
In the end, Soylent doesn't take into account people eating for mental sanity and that is a huge problem to me. The entire philosophy behind it is dangerous and upsetting to me but still I am desperate to get a grip on my weight issues. Maybe I'm doomed to live like this forever, reliant on food yet in a never ending epic battle for my health. Maybe I'm the odd one and no one else views Soylent like I do. Time will tell I suppose...