It Has Come to Soylent

I was fascinated after reading an article in The New Yorker, so I ordered Soylent. No, its probably not The End of Food. While Soylent could replace food entirely, its creators say its more likely that it will replace those quick, bad meals with a complete and filling nutrition drink.  You’ve heard the phrase some people eat to live, and some people live to eat. Soylent was created by some techies in California who thought eating was taking up too much time and money. It seems to run about $4 a meal. Does it work? I don’t know.

About Eric Miller

Rick and I started this web magazine as The New Colonist back in 1999. I was in San Francisco, and he was in Los Angeles. We had a common interest in sustainability and city life. We're still at it. Today I am happy to have lived in both New York, San Francisco and Pittsburgh and to now reside in Dallas. Find more at


It still hasn’t arrived. You might compare them to smoothies, which disgust me, but plenty of people like them. I’ll let you know.

Damn fools. The time I spend eating comprises some of the most rewarding moments of the day. At six-foot-one and 160 pounds, I”m not a glutton either; but I do love the tastes and textures of a decent meal, the rhythm of plating, the kitchen smells, especially when I have the company of my wife, son, or friends. But even alone. If you have such an ill-arranged life that you have to rush through meals, then maybe it’s time for therapy or meditation or the like.

Whether I’ve punched a clock, run my own inventory-based business, or cobbled together consulting and journalism gigs, I’ve always had time for good meals. Cooking makes great meals cheap, but a great meal is worth paying for if you have the scratch.

What are those inventive techies saving time for? Watching more crap on TV or YouTube? Better watch out: next they’ll figure out that sex and love take far too much time away from slaving for The Man or burying your nose in some four-inch smartphone screen, and add saltpeter to the Soylent mix!

The original article mentions that they lived “mostly on ramen, corn dogs, and Costco frozen quesadillas,” so, along with many Ammuricans, they had no experience of food. They tried to remedy that with an all-junk-food diet. What clueless fools! It’s not hard to learn basics of cooking, or how to budget and shop–even without an app giving someone else, possibly every bit as clueless as these guys, control over your time.

The article points out that “the product is aimed at cubicle workers craving efficiency.” So the product’s aim is then to make you a more desperately dedicated drone. The equivalent of corn-fed cattle swelling up for the slaughterhouse.

“I think the best technology is the one that disappears,” he says–and in the case of Soylent, I fervently agree!

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