Soylent: Should engineers really be drinking this?

Protein shakes are not novelties. For decades, they have been successfully marketed as supplements and even meal replacements. The latter has become more popular in the last year due to the release of Soylent. Briefly, a dude was tired of trying (and failing) to find time to eat nutritiously as well as save money. He wanted to create a drinkable meal so he wouldn’t have to worry about hunger or nutrition. Fast forward to him raising $3 million and sparking an interest from many of those in the tech and start up space. Why? Well, think about the demands on engineers and start-up employees: time is money and all other priorities are thrown out of the window. The main argument for Soylent is that it’s an easy solution that requires almost no mental exertion. How often do we find ourselves waiting until we are hangry and making poor food choices at the last minute? Every. single. day!

So should people be drinking Soylent? Even if I could possible wrap my head around the argument that it might be better than junk food, I can’t endorse such a lazy excuse to drink your food. Here are important reasons why you should never resort to Soylent:

(1) You’re chewing less.

If you’d like, I can mama-bird feed you instead. Just let me chew some food and spit into your open mouth! Are you ready? Chewing helps to maintain important muscles in our mouth! Also, don’t you miss texture?

(2) You’re eliminating the joy of “breaking bread” with others at mealtime.

To whittle the importance of eating food down to a fuel mechanism to stave off hunger is an insult to the social component of eating. There are very few joys greater than enjoying a meal with close friends and family. Take that away and we’ll just be like the Borg.

(3) You’re actually not practicing any healthier habits.

You’re trading one shitty habit for a less shitty one. Instead of junk, I’m going to drink a synthetic beverage. Lifelong healthy habits involve work, practice, and effort.

(4) Real food is delicious.

For the love of God. No. Wait. Correction: for the love of FOOD!

People are lazy. Tack on the growing industry of “accessible and convenient luxury” (see: Instacart, Google express, Munchery, Grubhub, Caviar, Lyft, or Uber) and we’ve become even lazier. But I’d gladly order from a food delivery service than drink that goopy goop. The irony of it all is that Soylent creator wants to elevate the role food plays. He wants it to be art. But instead, he’s lowered the bar of eating. Gurl, if you want art, go look at a painting. Food is meant to be eaten. The future of food is having better food, not fake food.

Bye, Soylent!

Thomas Ngo RD.


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