It lasts for years without refrigeration, preparing it is as easy as measuring out your daily dose and mixing it with water
There’s a romance to food. It’s one of life’s great sensory and social pleasures. But a lot of us don’t eat healthily, and a lot of us don’t enjoy the process of preparing food, especially when we’re eating alone. Furthermore, the way we eat today is incredibly wasteful throughout the entire production and consumption process, to the point where it actively damages our bodies and our planet. Enter Soylent: a food engineered to efficiently deliver 100 percent of the healthy body’s needs with minimal waste, junk food-beating convenience and a very low cost, or, as the inventors put it, “creating an efficient form of fuel for humanity for the first time in history.” Food has always been sexy, and this sounds about as exciting as artificial insemination. But when you check out the details, this ambitious plan actually makes a lot of sense.
This is a tough project to look at objectively, because food ranks alongside sex and sleep as one of the great pleasures of life. The subtle dance of flavor and texture, the mystery of the exotic, the social ritual of the shared meal that has glued families, tribes, friends and clans together for hundreds of thousands of years.
But if you can look past the romance and think about food rationally, there are some pretty significant problems with the way we eat in the developed world. For starters, it’s wasteful. If two things cost the same and one is bigger, we’ll go for the bigger one, all else being equal. American restaurant serving sizes have taken this to its logical conclusion. The result is either overeating or perfectly good food going in the bin, not to mention the packaging waste of all that extra food.
Secondly, a lot of us aren’t very good at it. I’d be fascinated to know what percentage of the population genuinely eats well, according to what the body needs, as opposed to overdoing it on the sugars, or salts, or carbs, or fats, or simply leaving out important nutrients because we felt like eating something else that day.
Thirdly, and more broadly speaking, there are supply chain issues. Steak, many people agree, is very tasty. But the land, water, feed and emissions cost of producing it is massive. As we have noted before, the calorie yield of a piece of meat is typically around one fifth of the calorie yield of the grain you’ve fed to raise that cow. Every time I eat a steak, I’m effectively throwing away four times that amount of calories. So I’m prepared to go along with Rob Rhinehart when he says there’s got to be a better way.
via Gizmag – Loz Blain
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