In the above short film, Brian Merchant documents his month-long abstinence from food as a beta tester for Soylent, a liquid food substitute:
After I got back to New York, I didn’t lust after food. I didn’t go hungry, and I didn’t curse Soylent. I was still anxious, sure, as I missed lunch hours and dinner dates and nights out drinking. I found that my new Soylent-fueled body wasn’t well-equipped for drinking. I’d get dizzy, a little ill, but not exactly drunk, if I downed more than two or three drinks. Long, intensive physical activity seemed an undue strain, and I started to lose weight.
A few of the packets were infested with mold, but that didn’t bother me; I was a beta tester after all, and the packaging hadn’t been finalized yet. It’d gotten punctured en route somehow, and moisture had got in—which did highlight its vulnerability to mold, an important point given that [Soylent creator] Rob [Rhinehart] touts its non-spoiling benefits as a solution to sending nutritious food to far-flung places.
Yet I felt fine—even good. Some days I was downright grateful I was on Soylent; a packed day with deadlines, interviews, and edits to finish blew by seamlessly, and I never had to leave my desk. Those days, I embraced Soylent wholeheartedly.
Soylent has a new liquid-food competitor in Ambro:
“Soylent’s goal is to be synthetic and affordable,” argues [Ambro co-founder Mikko] Ikola[.] “Ambro is organic and premium”. … Ambro has a very different customer target to Soylent: the busy entrepreneur, the overworked employee, the constantly moving field rep and the conscious healthy eater. “It is about getting over hunger five minutes before your meeting, but doing it in a way which completes all your nutritional needs,” says Ikola.