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2014 can be the year you give up food forever

By Rachel Feltman
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Starting this February, you’ll be able to give up real food forever. A year after first blogging about Soylent, a bland shake filled with every micro- and macro-nutrient one needs to survive, Rob Rhinehart tells Motherboard that more than $2 million worth of the powder has been sold, and is almost ready to ship.

Over 20,000 people from all around the world are apparently waiting for the chance to drink the powdered meal replacement. The creator says the prepared shake tastes like a “sweet, succulent, hearty meal in a glass.” Gawker compares it less enthusiastically, but perhaps more accurately, to “the homemade nontoxic Play-Doh you made, and sometimes ate, as a kid. Slightly sweet and earthy with a strong yeasty aftertaste.”

But taste is not the selling point. Rhinehart’s pitch is this: independence from the financially taxing, time sucking, and sometimes even anxiety inducing act of choosing, buying, cooking, and eating food. In addition to the health benefits (losing weight is easy when you can just cut the amount of fat you add to your daily shakes), Rhinehart said he saved over $300 a month when he switched to a Soylent-only diet.

The final formula, which has been tweaked over the course of the last year—more sulfur was needed to meet daily requirements, for example—is also available online, so people can make their own.

Should you make the switch to futuristic non-food? Maybe save it for an occasional meal replacement, for now: Rhinehart points out that all of the individual ingredients of Soylent are definitely safe, and he’s done just fine living on it for extended periods, but doctors and nutritionists aren’t exactly tripping over themselves to recommend a full switch.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

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