back to article Soylent days and soylent nights

Green beans, chilli con carne, fresh mackerel, olives, zucchini, pork belly stuffed with chilli and garlic – these are some of the things we've been thinking of during our self-imposed Soylent diet. Clearly, we're not the right market for the stuff. We embarked on our medically dubious disruptive experiment to subsist entirely …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obviously, you need to combine....

    Obviously, you need to combine the Soylent with the alcohol - that way the taste won't bother you as much.

    (said as a lifelong teetotaler due to not liking the "taste" (mouthfeel) of alcohol - but one who says "If you want to imbibe, go ahead!").

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Obviously, you need to combine....

      > Imagine "lunch" as a warm, wheat-coloured oily liquid that has grainy stuff in it that sticks in the back of your throat, and you're there.

      They still make Watneys Red Barrel ?

  2. andreas koch
    Thumb Down

    . . . Chromium . . .

    That did it.

    I'm not playing.

    1. Piro

      Re: . . . Chromium . . .

      1. andreas koch

        @ Piro - Re: . . . Chromium . . .


        My post was referring to the identically named, Google-developed web browser. This was to create a humorous effect by relating the topically non-relevant but in this forum prevalent definition to this article and showing a strong, albeit artificially fabricated and untrue, dislike for any possible connotation of the word itself.

        1. Great Bu

          Re: @ Piro - . . . Chromium . . .

          Doesn't seem to have any Firefoxium or Safarium in it either....(and thankfully none of the highly toxic InternetExplodium either)

          1. Euripides Pants

            Re: @ Piro - . . . Chromium . . .

            No Operarium or Dilloium either.

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: . . . Chromium . . .

        Chromium deficiency is a PROPOSED deficiency - proposed by the chromium marketing board no doubt!

    2. SirWired 1

      Re: . . . Chromium . . .

      Well, in a tepid defense of this crud, trace minerals like Chromium are likely present in the "natural-ish" ingredients of the mix, like the whey, maltodextrin, or oat powder.

      Just because it's not in the list doesn't mean it's not present... I mean, I don't take a multi-vitamin, and nothing I've ever eaten lists Chromium in the ingredient list, yet I'm still alive.

      Really, I'd be most worried about the lack of iodine; there's a reason it's added to salt... I don't think any of the listed ingredients have it in adequate amounts.

  3. lee harvey osmond

    not a balanced diet

    Entirely lacking in eg uranium mine tailings

    1. Monkey Bob

      Re: not a balanced diet

      Uranium mill tailings you mean :) Best ingredients list ever that, & top book, thanks for the flashback.

      "Water, blackstrap molasses, imported habanero peppers, salt, garlic, ginger, tomato puree, axle grease, real hickory smoke, snuff, butts of clove cigarettes, Guiness Stout fermentation dregs, uranium mill tailings, muffler cores, monosodium glutamate, nitrates, nitrites, nitrotes and nitrutes, nutrites, natrotes, powdered pork nose hairs, dynamite, activated charcoal, match-heads, used pipe cleaners, tar, nicotine, single-malt whiskey, smoked beef lymph nodes, autumn leaves, red fuming nitric acid, bituminous coal, fallout, printer's ink, laundry starch, drain cleaner, blue chrysotile asbestos, carrageenan, BHA, BHT, and natural flavorings."

      1. Steven Holmquist

        Re: not a balanced diet

        "Water, blackstrap molasses, imported habanero peppers, salt, garlic, ginger, tomato puree, axle grease, real hickory smoke, snuff, butts of clove cigarettes, Guiness Stout fermentation dregs, uranium mill tailings, muffler cores, monosodium glutamate, nitrates, nitrites, nitrotes and nitrutes, nutrites, natrotes, powdered pork nose hairs, dynamite, activated charcoal, match-heads, used pipe cleaners, tar, nicotine, single-malt whiskey, smoked beef lymph nodes, autumn leaves, red fuming nitric acid, bituminous coal, fallout, printer's ink, laundry starch, drain cleaner, blue chrysotile asbestos, carrageenan, BHA, BHT, and natural flavorings."

        Isn't that the recipe for most American Beer?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: not a balanced diet

          I thought it was just ditch water and piss.

          (Honestly though, there are some truly great American brews to be had these days, the micro-brewing scene is very much alive in many parts of the country).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not gloopy

    Soylent Green was a thin flat square 2"x2" in a dark green plasticky finish.

    It was eaten as a biscuit and was definitely not a gloopy, gloppy mess.

    It was said to have been made from plankton, but was actually made from the remains of euthanised people. The green colouring was to disguise where it came from.

    Laboratory animal tests on Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 have revealed signs of causing cancer, CSPI informs. Yellow 5 also caused mutations, an indication of possible carcinogenicity, in six of 11 tests.

    Soylent Green is a copyright name so watch that space.


      Re: Not gloopy

      Soylent also came in other colors besides Green.

    2. Eddy Ito

      Re: Not gloopy

      "Sebastian Brosig asked for detailed reports from the other end."

      Ok this "not gloopy" bizness, are you talking about the gozinta or the gozouta? On a side note I have it on good authority that color depends a lot on bile production and how long it stays in your system. Think of it like a traffic light, green slips right on through, yellow gets delayed a bit and red, let's hope you had beets last night.

    3. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Not gloopy

      Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6...

      What are those in real money? Nobody else uses those monikers for the compounds.

      'E' numbers are more widely used and less confused with others, even better is the common name of the compound.

      The FD&C "Yellow 5" is also known as Food Yellow 4, E102...

      Or better, Tartrazine. It is associated with hyperactivity and at higher doses, random heart attacks.

  5. knarf
    IT Angle


    Can it be made into pancakes rather than a drink ?

  6. Matt Bucknall

    'pork belly stuffed with chilli and garlic'

    I require more information on this subject.

  7. A. Coatsworth

    Is this brave hack drinking or eating something else besides this thing?

    If not, does it really satisfies the hunger? I would have though that drinking a glass of whatever would do f*ck-all to keep the person from starving.

    <--- I'd prefer THIS liquid diet, thank you very much

    1. JackClark

      Soylent all the way

      Mr Coatsworth - my daily diet consists of Soylent for breakfast, Soylent for lunch, and Soylent for dinner. Along with this, I've been having coffee every now and then, and on the weekends lashings of beer/spirits/dubious alcoholic concoctions.

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      Liquid diets

      A study a few years back addressed the "drinking water staves off hunger" myth (which we all knew was untrue from experience anyway) and showed that the stomach can detect the difference between "empty" water and food. They then went on to investigate the quantity of solid matter that needs to be suspended in the water for the body to detect it as food, and determined a very fast shelf between the body's distinction between "food" and "not food". As I recall it, the conclusion was that having meals bulked out with water (thick sauces and soups, stews ets) would trigger a "full" response in fewer calories than equivalent meals with a lower water content, but thin soups, soft drinks etc would supply calories but would not be recognised as "food" and would therefore not reduce your appetite.

      Hence also why posh restaurants prefer thin soups and consommées as starters, and potato soup is a lunchtime pub meal.

      I have had meal-replacement shakes a couple of times in the past (not on diet grounds, but instead due to having dental work carried out shortly before lunchtime and not being able to chew) and the solid content is definitely enough to trigger the "full" response. From the description of this crud, it sounds solid enough by miles....

  8. SirWired 1

    How does one "add" Chloride... and Sodium? Really?

    I expect the ingredient list was meant to say Sodium Chloride and Potassium Chloride. Chloride alone is an ion and isn't something you can just put in a baggie. And it's rather unlikely he added metallic sodium or potassium to the mix, given their bothersome tendency to react when exposed to air. (And more so if you get the stuff wet.)

    Certainly both Sodium Chloride and Potassium Chloride are rather common and well-understood food additives. (As a side-note, I hope there's some other source of Potassium in there, because it's going to be right nasty stuff if the only Potassium source is Potassium Chloride.)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: How does one "add" Chloride... and Sodium? Really?

      Quite easy to add Sodium to something... and rather spectacular if you drop a big lump of the stuff in a beaker of water.

  9. Gary Bickford

    Taking a hint from Gin & Tonic ...

    Tonic was, IIRC, originally developed as a palatable way of taking quinine, which helped the Brits in India and elsewhere deal with malaria. Adding gin made tonic more palatable. So, perhaps the solution to the general blech of Soylent would be to add the proper alcoholic additive. I've always assumed that the famed mythical Ambrosia was basically a tasty nutrient-filled concoction with enough alcohol (and perhaps other mood-modifiers) to give one's environment that pleasant pinkish glow of happiness.

    1. JeevesMkII

      Re: Taking a hint from Gin & Tonic ...

      What with it being gloopy and oatmeal like, I can only think the proper alcoholic additive is mead. Sounds almost appealing.

    2. MrDamage

      Re: Taking a hint from Gin & Tonic ...

      Why not make it absinthe?

      High alcohol content, combined with the thujone from the wormwood, would not only make it more palatable, but the thujone and green colouring could actually make you believe you were eating true Soylent Green.

  10. Stevie Silver badge


    Not as nice as food? Big surprise.

    I had a pal back in the last century while I was at the University of Global Warming who spent all his vacation earning good money, then on first day of term -1 would blow the entire stash on some piece of outrageous Hi-Fi gear (the as-used-on-stage-by Phil Manzanera Revox tape deck stands out in my memory).

    The result was that he would have approximately 85p to last him ten weeks, and that had to cover beer as well as food.

    He would deal with this extreme cash shortage by consuming only a soy-based product intended to pad out minced beef. Naturally, he could not afford any beef.

    After three years of this he graduated with a degree in Environmental Sciences and thanks to his diet he looked the part. Seldom have I been that close to someone so obviously dealing first-hand with hard radiation or toxic waste (to judge by the complexion, hair and so forth).

    This whole experiment is madness of the first order.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    "if it's not chilled, it's utterly disgusting"

    Sounds like Australian beer.

    1. Cpt Blue Bear

      Re: "if it's not chilled, it's utterly disgusting"

      Ironic given the Wattney's [SHUDDER] Red Barrel comment above...

      1. Eddy Ito

        Re: "if it's not chilled, it's utterly disgusting"

        "Ironic given the Wattney's [SHUDDER] Red Barrel comment above..."

        I'm guessing the book will called 'The Red Barrel of Courage'.

    2. Resound

      Re: "if it's not chilled, it's utterly disgusting"

      That's what you get for being silly enough to drink the stuff we export. Beer manufatured by Carlton United Breweries really isn't intended for internal use.

    3. hungee

      Re: "if it's not chilled, it's utterly disgusting"

      If you are talking about fosters then you should know that it is made in Britain. So you can blame the UK for that one.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "if it's not chilled, it's utterly disgusting"

      A country's beer being disrespected, and it's not the US?


  12. Stevie Silver badge


    [G&T] Met a bloke once, friend of my dad, who was in Burma during WWII, and whose unit had run out of quinine. He was the only man to not go down with Malaria, and it drove the doctor mad trying to figure out why. Until demob day, when they ran into each other and doc saw dad's friend munching on a lemon. Turns out the one thing they had in abundance over there was lemons, and dad's friend ate 'em like others eat apples (if they like apples *a lot*).

    The doc opined that the reason he had not been infected was that his sweat was so acidic the mossies wouldn't come near him.

    1. Cpt Blue Bear
      Thumb Up

      Re: Bah!

      I grew up in New Guinea, back when it was spelt that way and the only thing standing between you and a (short) lifetime of sweating and farting was a little yellow quinine pill. I can still taste the bastards thirty five years later. For a decade or so after we moved to less malarial climes I didn't get bitten by mosquitoes - my theory is that quinine has sod all effect on a the actual malaria beasties but it makes your blood taste so foul that the mozzies won't touch you.

      Another G&T? Don't mind if I do - Fever Tree and Cadenhead Old Raj for preference.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        Malaria is for wimps.

        You should try Dengue - just like malaria but the fever cycle is four times as fast, and if you're *really* lucky you can get the variety that dissolves all your insides, too.

        I was losing 4kg a day when I caught it in an outbreak in Rio a few years back.

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Bah!

          "I was losing 4kg a day when I caught [Dengue] in an outbreak in Rio a few years back."

          Pah! Y' soft Jessie! You want real discomfort, what you need is a bout of Chronic Recurring Pancreatitis!

          Not only do you feel like you are being repeatedly stabbed by someone with the attention to detail of a Hanibal Lecter, not only is the pain mitigation done with Demerol - which is addictive and doesn't actually stop the pain, it only makes your brain forget to care about it for the moment - but the doctors will never believe you didn't get your Pancreatitis from long-term chronic alcoholism and will keep hoving into view with gleeful expressions as they run a pool on when you will begin the DTs.

          And they will keep asking about your drinking habits and won't believe your answers because the most well-known fact about alcoholics is their propensity for lying about their drinking habits.

          So to recap: Not curable, wait-it-out "treatment" regimen, drugs that addle one's wits but do nothing in the way of pain mitigation and earns you a reputation as an alky even though your wife made you quit drinking years before.

          Then, when they let you out of hospital and you go to work, shuffling through Pennsylvania Station during the Democratic National Congress, a couple of hundred police officers will eye your zombie-like mein, your pallid, jaundiced complexion, your needle tracks ascending both arms and your prominent phlebitis from the intravenous feeding rig you've been subjected to for a fortnight in entirely the wrong light and label you as a habitual abuser of narcotics instead of a victim of genetics and Mars bars.

          Dengue fever? Luxury!

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      Re: Bah!

      I spent yesterday visiting a research orchard and sampling multiple varieties of citrus fruit. By the end of it, I smelt more like a fruit than an animal, but that was more down to the juice and the oils -- and not just because of the juice running down my fingers: when you tear open a citrus fruit, you generate lots of aerosols from the oils in the skin, and if you burst a segment (rather than eating it whole), you aerosolise juice, too. Spend long enough in a mist of lemon aerosols, and the mozzies probably can't smell you at all....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Feet, stones, pounds...

    I'm afraid I don't understand medieval measuring units. What do those numbers mean in modern ElReg units? (or at the very least in the now outdated SI units...)

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Feet, stones, pounds...

      I've weighed 255 pounds for a while. I probably need to get rid of that 8-bit scale.

      1. Captain Save-a-ho

        Re: Feet, stones, pounds...

        That's funny. I just assumed my hex scale hated me since it labeled me FF for Fat Fuck.

      2. Eddy Ito

        Re: Feet, stones, pounds...

        @Gene Cash

        You bastard! You owe me half this icon and the one to the right of it.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Feet, stones, pounds...

      Indeed: how do elephants fare with this muck?

  14. ArmyCrow

    It's no wonder...

    That they invented suicide booths in the world of Soylent Green. The only surprise it that, with a diet of this type, they weren't standard fittings in every kitchen.

    'What's for dinner tonight, honey?'

    'I'll just take a look in the suicide booth, dear.'

  15. Eddy Ito

    Vulture West?

    "By Jack Clark in San Francisco"

    "That's 175 pounds to you statesiders—Ed."

    The only conclusion being that the San Francisco office is actually located in one of the San Franciscos not in the U.S. Is it Tlaxcala, Mexico or El Petén, Guatemala? How about Putumayo Colombia? I have a friend who retired near San Francisco de Dos Ríos District in Costa Rica, should I ask him to drop in for a pint?

  16. skeptical i

    But does it blend?

    Toss in blender with a shot of Frangelico + whatever other medicine the doctor ordered, add ice, liquefy for a bit, et voila -- frozen mudslide that's good(-ish) for you. Surprised they have ginseng and ginkgo in the ingredients, nice bonus.

    <-- might not work with beer, so plan on a side dish

  17. Kaltern

    "The gloop's ingredients include carbohydrates, protein, fat, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, chloride, fiber, calcium, iron, phosphorous, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, panthothenic acid, lycopene, omega-3 fatty acids, ginseng, gingko biloba,lutein, alpha carotene, and vanadium."

    Soo no flavour then? At least it's marginally better than a Pot Noodle - it passes on the soya protein bits...

    Besides, this sounds like those 1-a-day multivitamins in shake form...

  18. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    No one cares

    Of all the pseudo-science projects you could get involved with this is both the least interesting and the least amusing.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. breakfast

        Re: No one cares

        Not wanting to go on about faddish diets, but lately I've been trying the very faddish five two diet where you just cut down to one relatively small meal two days per week and eat normally the rest of the time. I find it *way* easier to not eat at all some of the time than it is to eat less the whole time. I don't know if I'm getting much lighter yet, but it feels like a diet I can persist with and when you approach that one meal, especially if it is dinner, you actually feel genuinely hungry. In my privileged western lifestyle where high energy and tasty food is usually available if I want it, that is quite unusual and no bad thing.

    2. Killraven

      Re: No one cares

      It's hardly "pseudo-" and there is quite a body of interested people. As on overnight-shift worker with no cooking facilities available, I'm interested. I have a dozen friends that are avid hunters; a couple that do extended hikes and camping trips with the Boy Scouts; as well a a few general fitness/sporting nuts who are interested in a nutritionally-balanced product that won't interfere with evening activities, yet will provide a quick & healthy caloric burst.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    My evening food intake usually consists of a smoothie

    200 ml water (ice)

    200ml whole milk

    200gm fresh yoghurt

    30gm scoop whey protein

    1 banana (and/or other fruit, strawberries are in season at the moment)

    1 breakfast wheat biscuit

    Blend, thin with water. It makes about 1 litre, is tasty (strawberry flavour yoghurt and whey protein) and filling - I don't need anything else to eat. I do this most days after I go to the gym. I sometimes add a spoon of peanut butter and/or chocolate flavouring.

    Of course, I consider a bacon roll an essential part of a healthy diet (two rashers, wholemeal roll, no spread, brown sauce). Also filling, which is half the battle.

    1. pepper

      Thanks for the recipe, sounds lovely and worth a shot!

  20. Colin Millar

    I wouldn't feed it to a rat

    (Not even a stainless steel one)

  21. Suricou Raven


    That's one of the most micro of micro-nutrients. They even remembered the obscure one.

    You need very little of it.

  22. Euripides Pants

    out-gassing more

    Jack Clark, I hereby dub you Captain Windypants.

  23. Lord Raa

    As Professor Nebulous once said

    "I used to enjoy Soylent Beige myself, until I learned to my horror that it was made from soya beans."

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