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SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Friday May 30 2014, @09:14AM   Printer-friendly
from the needs-a-spoonful-of-sugar? dept.

Some soylentils have an interest in the Soylent food product, which claims to be complete, scientifically-based nutrition. Now Farhad Manjoo at the New York Times has spent a week and a half living off of it, and found it disappointing:

I just spent more than a week experiencing Soylent, the most joyless new technology to hit the world since we first laid eyes on MS-DOS.

Read the rest at the NYT: The Soylent Revolution Will Not Be Pleasurable.

 
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by EvilJim on Friday May 30 2014, @09:39AM

    by EvilJim (2501) on Friday May 30 2014, @09:39AM (#49078) Journal

    It's not meant to be enjoyable, only simple, quick efficient and effective. users are free to dress it up with whatever additives they like, so to each his own.
    of course I haven't RTFA, just skimmed keywords in the summary, still stuck in the 'other site's ways... :)

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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by khchung on Friday May 30 2014, @09:50AM

    by khchung (457) on Friday May 30 2014, @09:50AM (#49080)

    I RTFA and you won't find any more substance in than the summary.

    Duh, a product designed for simplicity and efficiency isn't exciting, say what?

    Mr. Manjoo must be the kind of people that find technical documents boring, science papers lacking in flair, and financial reports in need of some spicing up. Next, he will complain about bottled water being too plain, and printing papers too white.

    For people who still thinks Manjoo is sincere in testing the product, note that he didn't try to mix in different flavorings into his Soylent, nor did he mention taking a break from Soylent and eat with friends when he craved for the dining experience. Both of which a normal Soylent customer would do when getting bored with eating Soylent.

    Duh! When you force yourself to keep doing one thing just so you can write an article to "report" on it, of course it would felt like a chore!

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by romlok on Friday May 30 2014, @10:06AM

      by romlok (1241) on Friday May 30 2014, @10:06AM (#49086)

      Are you sure you RTFA?

      note that he didn't try to mix in different flavorings into his Soylent

      FTFA, emphasis mine:

      Soylent's instructions suggested adding peanut butter, fruit, vanilla extract or other flavorings to the drink. I did, but still, Soylent tasted pretty much the same from day to day - like gritty, thinned-down pancake batter, inoffensive and dull.

      nor did he mention taking a break from Soylent and eat with friends when he craved for the dining experience

      FTFA:

      During the last week and a half, I consumed Soylent for most, but not all, of my meals. There were a couple of days when more than 90 percent of my calories came from the powder.

      • (Score: 2) by EvilJim on Friday May 30 2014, @10:32AM

        by EvilJim (2501) on Friday May 30 2014, @10:32AM (#49088) Journal

        yep, those instructions sound terrible, how about some good flavours? bet he didn't actually try fruit, that would likely be decent, even mixed with cement fruit is good.

        • (Score: 2) by Magic Oddball on Saturday May 31 2014, @08:00AM

          by Magic Oddball (3847) on Saturday May 31 2014, @08:00AM (#49492) Journal

          According to the article, fruit was on the 'recommended' list he tried: "peanut butter, fruit, vanilla extract or other flavorings."

          I had to take bland, thick 'liquid' nutrition (which is extremely close in ingredients to Soylent) as a kid, and can attest that flavoring it is extremely difficult at best; it tends to either be untouched by a flavoring, or become nasty, sometimes gag-inducingly so. If you were to mix original gritty Metamucil, oatmeal, Bisquick, and heavy (liquid) whipping cream together, you might get a good approximation of it just for the challenge. You might want to have a quick-acting nausea pill nearby, though... ;-)

          That said, Farhad Manjoo is such an ignorant, smug little twat that I stopped reading the tech section at the last two sites he wrote for. Given they both hired him just when they switched over to printing a lot of trollish clickbait (like that article) and ads disguised as reviews, his presence at the NYT is probably a very bad sign.

      • (Score: 2) by khchung on Friday May 30 2014, @11:21AM

        by khchung (457) on Friday May 30 2014, @11:21AM (#49095)

        Soylent's instructions suggested adding peanut butter, fruit, vanilla extract or other flavorings to the drink. I did, but still, Soylent tasted pretty much the same from day to day - like gritty, thinned-down pancake batter, inoffensive and dull.

        I honestly missed that, even though I can remember reading it when seeing it in your reply. I guess it must be the effect of reading a "but", which cause people to mentally write-off whatever was said before that (something I heard from almost every communication class).

        OTOH, how *could* it still taste "pretty much the same" if he tried to add different flavorings?

        However, the second part. Yes, I did notice he wasn't doing a All-Soylent test, but obviously he had set a quota for himself and forced himself to went through it, even through meals where he wanted something else. "Feel like a chore" was HIS words, how would any normal customer keep eating Soylent when feeling like going through a chore?

        • (Score: 2) by EvilJim on Friday May 30 2014, @10:04PM

          by EvilJim (2501) on Friday May 30 2014, @10:04PM (#49328) Journal

          hey, that's interesting about the 'but'...but...

    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday May 30 2014, @01:43PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Friday May 30 2014, @01:43PM (#49142) Homepage Journal

      Agreed. The "most joyless new technology to hit the world since we first laid eyes on MS-DOS" in his very first sentence really gave him away. DOS joyless? Compared to making spreadsheets by hand on paper, or typing with a typewriter? The man is either an idiot or... I don't know, maybe he just thinks his readers are morons, but that was sa really stupid sentence for him to write.

      This would be excellent for taking along on a camping or hiking trip in case of emergency.

      I do, however, take issue with its cost. Making breakfast costs me far less than $3. Hell, I used to get biscuit and gravy and a burrito at McDonalds every morning on my way to work, the cost was $2.16. A dozen frozen burgers or chicken breasts is less than $10 at WalMart.

      Unless you're comparing the price to a Whopper, large fries and coke, or to dining in a nice sit-down restaurant, that's a hell of a lot more money than I now spend on real food.

      It might sound like a bargain in New York City, where I understand everything is stupidly expensive.

      --
      Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Friday May 30 2014, @03:51PM

        by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 30 2014, @03:51PM (#49189) Journal

        That's what i like about the linux command line... it's a better DOS than DOS (although DR-DOS was a better DOS than MS-DOS).

        And rice cakes with peanut butter and honey is even cheaper for breakfast... mmmm... styrofoam.... (Homer drool)

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 2) by EvilJim on Friday May 30 2014, @10:10PM

        by EvilJim (2501) on Friday May 30 2014, @10:10PM (#49330) Journal

        ha, ms-dos joyless? maybe now, but back then, shit I was enthralled, never really got the hang of cp/m (or the version they used on Amstrads) and manually flicking switches or wiring up a programmed board, now that was joyless as it was unlikely to ever work right first time ;) my breakfast is far cheaper than that too, currently I'm doing a discount energy drink or two, 20-40c a day when bought in a pack of 24.

        • (Score: 1) by jmc23 on Saturday May 31 2014, @01:44AM

          by jmc23 (4142) on Saturday May 31 2014, @01:44AM (#49388)

          um, yeah, energy drink sounds real nutrional.

          2 eggs and potatoes, 50c.

          • (Score: 2) by EvilJim on Saturday May 31 2014, @07:27AM

            by EvilJim (2501) on Saturday May 31 2014, @07:27AM (#49484) Journal

            don't forget gas or electric cost :) I'm still trying to decide if it's more nutritional than the nothing I was having previously.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by zocalo on Friday May 30 2014, @09:58AM

    by zocalo (302) on Friday May 30 2014, @09:58AM (#49083)
    That has always been my understanding. Sure, you could live off the stuff if you wanted to, and some people probably will - at least for a time, but that's not the real market. It's going to be the military, disaster response teams, and the like that will be the main customers, followed by a long tail of private organizations and individuals that want something they can keep for emergencies or trips away from civilization. It won't matter how bland it tastes if the only alternative is starvation.
    --
    UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30 2014, @11:21AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30 2014, @11:21AM (#49096)

      It's going to be the military, disaster response teams, and the like that will be the main customers

      From the description of how soylent tastes (not just by NYTimes), I'd definitely prefer an MRE instead of soylent for what might be my last meal. Heck I'd take instant ramen instead of soylent.

      • (Score: 2) by nightsky30 on Friday May 30 2014, @11:42AM

        by nightsky30 (1818) on Friday May 30 2014, @11:42AM (#49103)

        They might taste better, and I think anyone would choose something different for their last meal, but you are getting vastly different nutrients in each of these meals. MREs are designed for high caloric intake, and instant ramen is cheap, loaded with sodium chloride, and designed for an early heart attack. Soylent is meant to fill a complete nutritional niche.

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30 2014, @12:03PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30 2014, @12:03PM (#49112)

          and instant ramen is cheap, loaded with sodium chloride, and designed for an early heart attack.

          While it may well cause an early heart attack, I strongly doubt that was a design goal.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30 2014, @01:45PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30 2014, @01:45PM (#49143)

            Whoooosh!

            • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday May 30 2014, @02:14PM

              by tangomargarine (667) on Friday May 30 2014, @02:14PM (#49154)

              Whoosh yourself. That was funny.

              --
              "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 2) by nightsky30 on Friday May 30 2014, @11:35AM

    by nightsky30 (1818) on Friday May 30 2014, @11:35AM (#49101)

    Strawberry jam and vanilla extract FOR THE WIN!!!

    Or maybe PB2 and coa coa powder...