soylent
Soylent.me

We’ve all been there: You’re exhausted and starving, but you don’t wanna cook. For some, that means making nachos from stale chips and spray cheez. But for a growing online community, it means a glass of homemade Soylent.

If you’re behind on liquid-food trends, Soylent is the people-free creation of Rob Rhinehart, a software engineer (of course) who wanted to make a nutritious, inexpensive meal replacement powder. “Rhinehart says he’s lived off Soylent for months,” writes The Verge. It’s been touted as everything from a fast, cheap, and easy way to feed yourself to (get your side-eye ready) a solution to world hunger.

So of course Rhinehart amassed a following. DIY Soylent is a new subsection of the official Soylent site, where fans can peruse and customize more than 400 Soylent recipes. (People are making their own because the official, crowdfunded Soylent doesn’t ship until December.) According to The Verge, as many as 800 people have joined the DIY Soylent community since this summer.

What’s in a fan-created Soylent recipe? Zach Alexander (whom The Verge profiles and, full disclosure, I dated) uses 10 common ingredients, including oat flour, soy protein, olive oil, and brown sugar. Supposedly the thing even tastes good.

If you’re skeptical, you’re not alone. Rhinehart’s fully aware of his haters. As he told Vice:

Interestingly, a lot of academics, nutritionists, MDs and biologists have contacted me and been very optimistic — it’s the organic foodies who call me nasty things …

Some people seem very invested in the idea of the sanctity of nature, natural food and some idyllic view of farming, so find this idea very offensive. I don’t think that’s an evidence-based viewpoint.

I’m not gonna call Rhinehart “nasty things,” and I know farming is backbreaking, unromantic work. (Plus, having the time and ingredients to cook a tasty, healthy meal are two luxuries not everybody has.)

But there’s also something sad about drinking a powdered meal replacement smoothie. I’m pretty sure the French would hate it, for one thing. It takes all the sensuality out of eating. I’m not saying Soylent should be organic or we should all move to France (wait, that IS what I’m saying!) — it’s just depressing to me personally to think about a joyless, futuristic liquid meal.

But hey, if you’re going to eat future-goo, at least you’re making it at home.

h/t Matt Dudek