The New Yorker says, "I thought you would be interested in Lizzie Widdicombe's piece in this week's issue of The New Yorker, in which she meets the founder of Soylent, a synthetic meal replacement, and—in part, by subsisting on it herself—looks at how it could someday revolutionize humanity’s approach to food."
In the May 12, 2014, issue of The New Yorker, in “The End of Food” (p. 28), Lizzie Widdicombe meets the founder of Soylent, a synthetic meal replacement, and—in part, by subsisting on it herself—looks at how it could someday revolutionize humanity’s approach to food. In 2012, a young Bay Area entrepreneur named Rob Rhinehart and his roommates were living off the last remaining funding for a failed technology startup. In a bid to save money, Rhinehart attempted various inexpensive—and unsustainable—diets. Having begun to see food itself as an engineering problem, he “took a break from experimenting with software,” Widdicombe writes, compiled a list of nutrients required for survival, ordered them from the Internet—mostly in powder or pill form—and poured everything into a blender, with some water. “The result, a slurry of chemicals, looked like gooey lemonade,” Widdicombe writes. He called the mixture Soylent, a term borrowed from a science-fiction novel from the nineteen-sixties. Rhinehart started living on it and shared his findings in a blog post called “How I Stopped Eating Food,” in which he championed the physical effects (clearer skin, thicker hair) and noted that his food costs had dropped from four hundred and seventy dollars a month to fifty. The positive response that the post received convinced Rhinehart and his roommates to enter the synthetic-food business. “Last week, the first thirty thousand units of commercially made Soylent were shipped out to customers across America,” Widdicombe writes. In addition to crowd-funding money, its production was financed by Silicon Valley venture capitalists. Widdicombe writes that, in her own experience, Soylent kept her satiated, though it did point out how much of our time revolves around food. “U.S. military and space programs have asked to run trials on Soylent, for possible future use,” Widdicombe writes. Rhinehart, who has been living almost entirely on Soylent for more than a year, hopes to figure out how to source all of Soylent’s ingredients—carbohydrates, protein, lipids—from algae. “Then we won’t need farms,” he says, adding that a Soylent-producing “superorganism” would eliminate the need for factories, too. To help a village full of malnourished people, Rhinehart tells Widdicombe, “you could just drop a shipping container” full of Soylent-producing algae. “It would take the sun’s energy and water and air, and produce food.” Then all we’d have to do is fix the world’s housing problem, “and people could be free.”
See sample pages from this book at Wink. Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden by Niki Jabbour, illustrations by Anne Smith, Elayne Sears and Mary Ellen Carsley Storey Publishing 2014, 272 pages, 8 x 10 x 0.8 inches (softcover) $15 Buy a copy on Amazon Fittingly, the […]
From Jonathan Marcus’s YouTube: water… frozen reverse spherification (calcium alginate membrane)… flour… egg… panko… 375ºF peanut oil A dozen of these were prepared for and given away at the Stupid Shit No One Needs and Terrible Ideas Hackathon 2.0 …
If you want to add some real firepower to your programming repertoire, learn Java–one of the most adaptable, widely-used programming platforms around. You can easily do that with this Ultimate Java bundle, now just $69 in the Boing Boing Store.Across 14 lectures and 117 hours of content, the educators at online academy eduCBA will walk you through […]
Every company wants to harness the power of social media, but few understand how to make that happen. Be one of those select few with this Social Media Marketing Course & Certification package, now just $29 in the Boing Boing Store.Over 12 modules of course material, you’ll learn what it takes to increase a brand’s […]
If you’ve got a killer app idea, but don’t have the technical expertise to pull it off, get a crash course in all things app development with the Comprehensive Android Development Bundle, now over 90% off in the Boing Boing Store. Across 83 hours of training, you’ll learn to develop for the world’s most popular mobile OS, mastering […]