By: Bethany Richardson
Cooking for one’s self can be a time-consuming task, even if you are like me and generally enjoy being in the kitchen trying new recipes. I do my best to make the majority of my meals at home; planning quick and easy meals and taking shortcuts by doing prep work ahead of time help a great deal. However, there are certainly days when I just can’t muster up the energy to even make pasta and I inevitably pick food up (especially when there’s $.99 taco night at the fresh Mexican place just down the street).
Although this scenario is pretty common for many people, one man has taken his disdain for planning, preparing and even eating true meals completely to another level. Rob Rhinehart, a 24-year old software engineer, has begun making a “beverage” of sorts that, he claims, contains all the macro and micronutrients vital to living a healthy life. His drink, named Soylent, is a bland, beige mixture of ingredients such as oligosaccharides, olive and fish oils, sodium chloride, the 9 essential amino acids, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Rhinehart claims to really enjoy the beverage and states that he “doesn’t miss food”; however, he does admit to going out to eat on occasion with friends.
Rhinehart’s “ingredients” for soylent
As a food scientist, you might be shaking your head right about now, just as I was when I first read this article. Regardless of whether or not I am the cook- I absolutely love to eat. Many of my most important social interactions involve some sort of eating or drinking- from catching up with my boyfriend over our nightly dinner to having wedding cake and toasting with champagne to celebrate friends’ nuptials. Getting in the kitchen to make cookies can always make me feel better after a bad day. I love food so much that I’ve chosen to make a career out of it.
While I doubt many people would be willing to convert to this type of lifestyle, Rhinehart has actually attracted many followers- so much so that he is recruiting participants for an independent study on soylent. Although I personally think his diet is a little absurd for someone who has access to an abundant number of healthy and safe foods, I agree with his viewpoint that it might be a possible solution to starvation and malnutrition in developing countries. A registered dietician could certainly give a better analysis on the limitations of his diet, but it is likely he hasn’t considered potential issues with some aspects of this diet- such as bioavailabilty/absorption of the nutrients and whether or nor he is actually consuming the correct types/amounts of nutrients. If you would like to learn more about Rhinehart and his diet, he writes a blog “Mostly Harmless” and was also interviewed by Vice.
What do you think about his foodless lifestyle? Is is something you would ever try yourself?
Photo credit: http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/rob-rhinehart-no-longer-requires-food