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But what will we eat?

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Food stuffs. Agriculture. Nutrition.

Yum! "Soylent" liquid diet full of coder nootropics!

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    Bruce Sterling

    *Nice job there, using “Soylent Green” from the cannibal dystopia movie as his eye-catching diegetic prototype.

    *I’m used to fad diets out of California. This is one of a long series. It’s got nifty new terms like “scale up” and “lost revenue,” however, so that makes it lots more modern.


    Silicon Valley And The Reinvention Of Food

    Friday, May 3rd, 2013

    Fake meats have been around for years, but a new crop of Bay Area startups backed by tech investors think they can make meat substitutes good enough to compete with the real deal. Beyond Meat — backed by Twitter founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone via their company Obvious Corp — created an eerily accurate chicken substitute, for example.

    But the most ambitious project is Rob Rhinehart‘s cheekily named “Soylent,” an attempt to replace food entirely with a liquid shake that has all the protein, fat, carbohydrates and micronutrients you need. The only ingredients recognizable as food are salt and olive oil. He claims to have lived exclusively on the stuff for a month. He says he has started eating real food again, but two months later he still gets 92 percent of his meals from Soylent.

    Rhinehart makes an unlikely food scientist. He’s an engineer fresh off a stint at a Y Combinator-backed networking startup called Level RF that never exited stealth mode. He says he doesn’t have a background in chemistry. “Formally no more than an undergraduate level, but I am a huge proponent of self-study, online courses, and textbooks,” he says.

    He decided to create Soylent because he was tired of spending so much time and money on food. “It takes me about five minutes to portion out all the ingredients at this point,” he says. “Without water it keeps for years so I could make it far in advance to save this time.”

    He’s still working out the kinks. For example, he recently posted that he had run into some trouble with sulfur deficiency. Next Rhinehart is looking to do controlled experiments with a much larger sample base. “I have spoken to no biologist that doubts the feasibility of this,” he says.

    But mainstream dietitians remain skeptical. (…)

    Rhinehart’s defense is that people who don’t eat well are probably already missing important nutrients. But he admits it needs more testing. He’s already selling the mix to several people, and is seeking funding. “I need funding to scale up production and conduct more controlled testing,” he says. “I have received orders of magnitude more requests than I can possibly fulfill, which is lost revenue.”

    There are already many meal replacement shakes on the market, but Rhinehart plans to offer cheaper, customizable products. “An athlete would need a lot of protein, an elderly woman doesn’t need many calories, and a coder or engineer type could elect to have nootropics included, if desired,” he says…

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