The Internet is currently abuzz about Soylent, Rob Rhinehart's nutritional concoction that he claims could mean that you'll never have to eat food again. It's a repulsive notion to some, but the extraordinarily successful Soylent crowdfunding campaign points to thousands of people who are fascinated by Rhinehart's brand of food hacking. But is Soylent really a viable replacement for real food?
Soylent first pinged our radar a few months back, when Rhinehart posted about his personal quest to create a nutritionally complete beverage that was inexpensive and eliminated the need for cooking and cleaning. It got us talking about single-source diets, and the possibility that some sort of "kibble for people" might be available in the future. Rhinehart decided he'd try to make that future now, however, assembling a startup team an launching a crowdfunding campaign to mass-produce Soylent. As of this posting, the Soylent campaign has attracted more than 3,400 backers for a total of more than $410,000. More than 1,000 backers have pledged $230 for a one-month supply of Soylent. Eighteen have pledged $680 apiece for a three-month supply. Other curious single-source foodies are trying to mix their own Soylent, sharing their formulas and experiences on the Soylent Discourse board or hanging out on the /r/soylent subreddit. Rhinehart stopped in at the Gawker offices to offer our sister blog a taste test. (I work on the other side of the country and didn't partake in the taste test, so I can't speak to Soylent's lack of flavor.)