Meal replacement test day two: Good-bye food, hello Soylent

CCTV News

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I’m on my second day eating nothing but the meal replacement drink Soylent. I am a big dude—190 centimeters (6 feet 2 inches) tall and about 100 kg (220.5 pounds) – and I eat a lot. My biggest concern with Soylent is that I would be hungry but so far that just hasn’t been the case.

READ MORE ABOUT JIM SPELLMAN’S SOYLENT EXPERIMENT

I woke up this morning and had a cup of coffee and a cold glass of Soylent. No bacon sizzling in the pan. No ding of the toaster announcing my bagel is ready. So I downed my Soylent and used the time I saved to play guitar. That’s a pretty fair trade off.

So what exactly is Soylent? Let’s start with what it is not. It is not made of people, though the product gets its name from the 1973 sci-fi film Soylent Green.

According to the company’s website it is an “engineered staple food” made from oat flour, rice protein and a long list of other ingredients that when mixed with water makes “a convenient, nutritious and affordable meal that is better for our health and the environment.”

Before starting my Soylent week I checked in with Hope Warshaw, a registered dietician. She thinks Soylent is probably safe, especially if it is just a part of a diet, but there isn’t enough research to understand to understand the long term implications of a Soylent-only diet.

“If you are eating this as your sole source of nutrition day after day after day, you are getting the same purified non-whole-food nutrients and what we know is that we really don’t know all of the potential other nutrients and phytochemicals and micro nutrients that are in our whole foods,” Warshaw said.

While I haven’t been hungry, I certainly have been thinking about food. At a midday meeting I was tempted by these chocolate chip cookies.

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And my coworker Rasheed’s salad looked awesome!

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It is strange to not have my day loosely organized around eating. When I’ll eat, and where I will go for lunch, and what I will make when I go home. I suspect boredom might be a bigger factor than hunger.

The Soylent folks suggest adding berries or peanut butter to the bland tasting drink so I may give that a try tomorrow.

Once again let me know if you have any questions send them to Jim.Spellman@cctv-america.com and I’ll try to answer them.

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    Pedantry: Actually Soylent gets its name from Harry Harrison’s novel “Make Room, Make Room,” which was also the source material for the movie, but which contains no cannibalism. The Soylent in the book was a cheap government staple food made of soybeans and lentils, just as its name implies, nothing sneaky. Rosa Labs’ Soylent has no lentils and, until the bottled 2.0 comes out next month, has had virtually no soy. (The main protein in 2.0 will be soy-derived.)