Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/14/soylent_experiment/

Reg hack prepares to live off wondergloop Soylent

Our man puts eating people powder Food 2.0 to the test

By Jack Clark

Posted in Bootnotes, 14th June 2013 10:04 GMT

In the latest attempt by denizens of Silicon Valley to free themselves from the shackles of normal life, a startup has created a meal replacement substance named "Soylent", and this Reg hack is going to spend the next seven days trying to live entirely off the stuff.

Soylent Corporation launched in May with a funding campaign where geeks could pre-order batches of the food replacement gloop. The campaign made $130,000 in the first few hours and is now up to $582,053 with eight days to go.

Tech types on Twitter are abuzz with talk of Soylent – but aside from inventor Rob Rhinehart's claim to have been (mostly) living off the gunk for three months with no adverse effects, there aren't many documented testimonials we can find.

Enter El Reg. After some to'ing and fro'ing Soylent were kind enough to ship Vulture West a week-long supply of the stuff, so with a mild amount of trepidation we began our Soylent adventure on a muggy Thursday night in Oakland, California.

A day's worth of Soylent comes in a large baggie about the size of a respectable doorstopper bacon sandwich. It smells of malt and whey and has an appearance sure to arouse the attentions of PC Plod and chums, should they come across you with it.

Soylent baggie

Don't let the coppers catch you with any unprepared Soylent

One of these bags goes into 3 litres of water, leading to a pile of gloop that looks like a mixture of sick and custard that's been forgotten about.

Soylent unappetizing

During the mixing process it all goes a bit Van Gogh

After some vigorous stirring you should be left with a pale, beige liquid. A helpful letter which came with the batch of Soylent advised us that "if there are still some white clumps floating at the top, you can delete those or try to break them apart". Being lazy tough we just went ahead and drank it through a filter.

Soylent prepared

Nothing like what your Mother ever made - fresh Soylent

Like a margarita, Soylent should be served cold. We chilled ours down in the freezer, then put our feet up and had "dinner".

It tastes like a combination of artificial sugars, vanilla, stale chocolate, bananas, and the flavor you get in the back of your throat when you step into a new vehicle with cheap plastic seats. It leaves behind a thin, greasy residue that is cloying and caused us to swallow repeatedly.

Though very strange, it is not undrinkable. We find it overly sweet, but that could be pure personal preference. It sits fine in the stomach, and after some initial adjustment to the texture and flavor, we slurped down our dinner and carried on with our evening. An hour after drinking it, we had no hunger pains, and did indeed have the sensation of having had a meal.

We plan to put Soylent to the test over the next week. With the weekend on the horizon we're already mulling a Vodka-Soylent cocktail that we have tentatively named "Sodka". Helpfully, the people-mashers powder producers advised your correspondent on suitable Sodka ingredients:

We welcome input from our beloved commentards for how we can run this gloop through its paces. ®