I came across an article on the New Yorker website that talks about a new food product called Soylent, as well as the founders of the product. Soylent, in short, is somewhat of a meal replacement, or as one of the founders put it, an “over-all food substitute.” The general idea is that food as it is now is inefficient due to time, cost and complexity, and the Soylent drink eliminates many of those problems by combining many vitamins and minerals into a glass for each meal. Just add water.
The drink concept essentially came from the founders mixing several ingredients (mostly supplements) in a blender that together contained 35 nutrients essential for human life, and adding water. Apparently, this has now turned into a up and coming business that has people curious, has investors looking, and also has even attracted the attention of the US Space Program.
It is definitely true that our food system has a lot of problems. Meat production has a big detrimental impact on the earth because of methane gas and water consumption, among other things. The rise of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) plants is producing concern because of how little is known of the possibility of bad health effects. Vegetables and fruits in general are often heavily sprayed with pesticides that do cause bodily harm. I will not even go into the gluten issues, processed foods, high sugar and salt products, and so on.
However, is it truly possible to create a product from bottles of supplements that will provide everything that the body needs to survive and to thrive? A healthy food diet normally consists of raw and cooked foods, with the general understanding that raw, or ‘live’, foods contain higher levels of nutrients since they have not been heated or processed. Supplements are not alive, and while they can have nutrients as well, will those nutrients be as easily assimilated by the body as the nutrients from real food?
Another thing to consider is that we as humans are as much a part of the natural world as the other plants and animals that we live around; we are just much more intelligent than they are. It just so happens that many of these things around us that we have eaten for food provide very good nutrition for our bodies. It is as if they were truly made for us to eat (I believe they were). Another part of the New Yorker article quotes a doctor’s concern about the fact that ‘real’ food contains phytonutrients, most of which most scientists have yet to discover. I am sure it is a lot more than 35.
Perhaps this drink can be another supplement that can be used as a here-and-there meal replacement. Overall food replacement might be pushing it quite a bit. There is a lot more to food and to the way our bodies work than 35 nutrients from a combo of food supplements. As I said in this post, there are other more natural and intuitive ways of reducing our footprint on this world.
But hey, please read the article for yourself and form your own opinion. Just thought you should know.
What do you think? Comment below!