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back to article Anti-food startup Soylent pours sugar daddies' $1.5m into its gloopy mix

Soylent, the geek-run startup that aims to defeat food by replacing all meals with a pint and a half of beige gloop, has slurped down $1.5m in filthy valley lucre. The funding was announced on Monday and will give the controversial upstart the ability to do some hiring, perhaps fund a medical trial, and investigate the …

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WTF?

"..., especially about derriere-related deletions, ..."

W-wha? I think this went over my head, or under the bow, or something. Are you saying you didn't 'poop' the whole week?

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you won't need to poop anymore

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From some of the accounts I've read, quite the opposite is true for the first few days...

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WTF?

Soylent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Surely a spoof.

"Soylent Green is people!"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green

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Anonymous Coward

raise ..

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_(food_substitute)‎

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Re: Soylent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But free-range organic hand-reared people

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Anonymous Coward

where's PT when you need him ..

'... replacing all meals with a pint and a half of beige gloop ...'

So basically they're selling baby formula to adults. No wonder all they could scrape up was 1.5 mill .. In the valley that's chump change.

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Re: where's PT when you need him ..

What I'd like to know is the difference between this and any of the ten million meal replacement shakes on the market?

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Re: where's PT when you need him ..

What I'd like to know is the difference between this and any of the ten million meal replacement shakes on the market?

Quite a lot of those aren't gluten-free. Or use lactose-free whey for the protein source. Apparently Soylent's inventor wants to make a vegan (so therefore entirely milk-protein-free) version too, which would be one more advantage over a large percentage of the huge amount of milk-plus-minerals food supplements or replacements out there.

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Re: where's PT when you need him ..

"What I'd like to know is the difference between this and any of the ten million meal replacement shakes on the market?"

The difference is a secret ingredient. You'll never guess.

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Re: where's PT when you need him ..

"The difference is a secret ingredient. You'll never guess."

Well the stuff is high protein and the owner is a bit of a tosser........

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You're having a larf

This has to be a joke. Surely no-one is going to put their hard earned pennies into this.

How long do people think this company is going to be around? And in any case, who wants to eat gloop for the rest of their life?

I have an unbeatable deal on London Bridge (or any other bridge for that matter) for those of you looking for an alternative investment ...

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Re: You're having a larf

You do realize someone just gave them 150,000,000 million pennies... That's quite a few pennies, even for the very wealthy.

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Re: You're having a larf

Knowing various people who have different digestive disorders, I can tell you that there is a whole pile of money waiting for the person who can improve on that particular mousetrap.

If it's a choice of beige slop going in one end, or a suspension of half-digested food and thin brown liquid coming violently out of the other, I know what I would choose.

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Re: You're having a larf

You don't have to eat it for the rest of your life. It can be used as a more properly nutritional occasional meal replacement (think just keeping a few in your desk drawer while working an overnight), excellent for camping, have a few stashed in your vehicle as emergency rations. Not to mention potential sales for hospital/medical uses when people can't have solids.

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Re: You're having a larf

"You don't have to eat it for the rest of your life. It can be used as a more properly nutritional occasional meal replacement (think just keeping a few in your desk drawer while working an overnight), excellent for camping, have a few stashed in your vehicle as emergency rations. Not to mention potential sales for hospital/medical uses when people can't have solids."

Uh aren't you just describing jelly babies?

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Anonymous Coward

If they can get a good daily allowance of everything i'd buy it, currently it's random amounts of minerals and vitamins some 200% or 2000% over RDA.

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GBE

It's not that it's "new"...

It's that is so incredibly sad somebody is asking for VC money to help enable people that have such a serious addiction that it interferes with their ability to feed themselves. Perhaps they should get psychological help instead of buying some sort of gloop that prevents them from having to log out of WoW for a few minutes per day in order to eat.

Eating (or even _preparing_) real food just isn't that difficult or time consuming...

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Re: It's not that it's "new"...

Blizzard already tried to help these people.....

http://www.wowwiki.com/Pandaren_Xpress

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Re: It's not that it's "new"...

"Eating (or even _preparing_) real food just isn't that difficult or time consuming..."

I work a night job. I have no easy access to a microwave or refrigerator, and no replacement available to let me leave the building for breaks/lunch. Zero options for delivery food after midnight. Sandwiches and yogurt get really dull, really quick. This looks decent enough to use a couple nights a week.

A buddy of mine is a Boy Scout troop master. They're pretty darned interested to see how this stuff pans out to take along on all day hikes, especially when conditions don't allow for cooking fires.

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Re: It's not that it's "new"...

Would be ideal for ultralightweight backpacking....

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I could see this perhaps working if it is marketed as a breakfast substitute.

5+ minutes more in bed is always a plus in my book. And breakfast is the most important meal of the day they say, so I'm fairly that single piece of bread isn't quite optimal.

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Anonymous Coward

"People are uncomfortable"

Yes, but when they remove their skeletons from the mix Soylent will become rather more palatable...

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Flavour, texture, visual appeal.

I prefer my food to have all three, so Soylent isn't for me.

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Re: Flavour, texture, visual appeal.

If in doubt, add chili. The british way.

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Food Lobby

It doesn't sound remotely interesting to me, personally, but I'm quite interested to see how they'll deal with the traditional food industry lobby. The food lobby is the single most powerful of all the lobbyist sectors and don't have a history of playing nice. Now that Soylent have enough money to move towards a real product they'll be getting attention from those who would rather this didn't catch on.

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Potential

Fact: plenty of people already eat liquid meals - be they protein shakes or diet shakes or meal replacements like Sustagen.

If they manage to create a truly viable meal replacement that fills a useful niche or improves upon existing offerings then there will be buyers. There might even be government contracts.

Putting aside the obvious barriers, there are huge benefits in such products. One of the most obvious is that, as the food is homogeneous, it is easy to regulate calorie intake without having to worry about not getting enough X or Y. Moreover, and automated system could combine different pastes/powders to tailor individual meals easily.

Expand the idea a bit and you have programmable meals. Sure, the FORM of the meal would not be to everyone's liking but if the component parts (protein, carb, fats, minerals, vitamins, etc...) could be made sufficiently tasteless, you could (in time) have meals that are built to exact specifications - calorific intake, portion size, nutritional content and your choice of taste.

I'm not saying it would replace a bacon sarnie or a pie any time soon but I can most certainly see potential for perfect nutritional meals requiring zero prep and taking minimum space. It might sound a bit sci-fi but it seems like the perfect idea for at least initial and emergency food for something like Elon Musk's dream of a permanent colony on Mars.

On the other hand, work in some antibiotics and a carefully regulated cocktail of medication and you could just drip-feed it to the newly-subjugated human race : )

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Im very interested in this...

Out here in the desert we are quite well catered and the camp staff do try their best to spice things up, but chicken and rice (and the variations) three times a day sucks the life out of you by the 14th day.

My general routine is that by the 20th day I get down to only eating one meal in a 24 hour period and I'm still expected to work for 12 hours solid before getting my 12 hours off to shower/sleep (assuming nothing is broken and i need to stay up to help fix it etc.)

I know its unhealthy and that's why i need Soylent. so that for the 28 days while I'm at work I have an option to maintain my weight while performing the tasks that i get paid for.

Once I'm home its proper food (and booze).

Job = Drilling Engineer. Location = Saudi

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Re: Im very interested in this...

It seems to me that by the second or third day of Soylent I'd be begging for chicken and rice again.

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Re: Im very interested in this...

Spot on - there are numerous professions where 'keeping your strength up' is both of paramount importance (due to the nature of the work) and, unfortunately, somewhat challenging (due to location and/or shift rotations).

Such meals are a perfect solution and anyone who manages to improve on existing offerings stands to make suitable, as they say, 'bank'. (I, like the author, can attest to the general inadequacy of current meal replacements, as issued by hospitals.)

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Anonymous Coward

I think one of the obvious applications is disaster relief. The ability to just cart in truckloads of this stuff + water to keep a large group of people properly nourished for a short period of time will be of great interest to some large NGOs etc.

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$1.5m?

Soylent's people is in the green!

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Re: $1.5m?

POTD

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Not another b%^&*$d Herbalife

Getting a bit fed up of the morons on my FB Page offering to sell me some gloop that "helped my last customer lose 10 pounds in a week!".

Yes, eating that gloop would probably give me dysentery as well.....

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Re: Not another b%^&*$d Herbalife

Not to try an manage your 'social' life, but it sounds to me as if you could benefit from a reexamination of your 'friends' online. Just saying...

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Anonymous Coward

"I'm mostly living off Soylent" the company's founder told El Reg on Monday

So its being run by Jessie from The Fast Show!

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Too damn bizzare

See title.

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> "Soylent comes in a dry powder form that you can mix with water for each serving. It requires no heating, and has an extended shelf life."

Dry powder means low volume and weight as well. I'd buy two crates.

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Pirate

Uh-oh

I see the first side-effect of a long-term, all-soylent diet: megalomania...

"I certainly enjoy mortal food,"

Yes, I'm certain the new god Rhinehart sometimes tires of sipping ambrosia and banging virgins, and decends from his lofty perch on Mount Incontinentia to chow down with us mere humans... perhaps eat an apple or a suckling pig.

"This is something new and a lot of people are very uncomfortable,"

Probably takes the colon a while to acclimate to the gloop that's running through it. Then the uncomfortableness will go away.

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Organic approach for Soylent

Congrats Rob and the Soylent team!

We were inspired by Soylent earlier this year before Soylent was a company and organized Soylent Bar in Restaurant day here in Helsinki city, Finland. We offered over 200 cups of Soylent variations during the day. It was a great buzz: http://theambro.com/soylent-bar.jpg

In the spirit of Soylent, we created Ambro, organic optimized nutrition powder that contains everything your body needs, from whole foods ingredients. We share the same underlying vision. People can approach food from two different angles: recreational eating and getting over the hunger as optimally and quick as possible. We just opened our pre-order beta two days ago.

http://theambro.com/

Cheers,

- Mikko

Co-founder at Ambro

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Re: Organic approach for Soylent

hopefully it doesn't contain unnecessary junk and drugs like "soylent" does. are these ethical/vegan vitamins e.g. what is the source of vitamin D/B12?, what sort of additives if any there are, binders, etc. (there are many "organic" additives which are quite toxic but still used wholesale in food industry)

quick, low maintenance, clean and healthy fuel is what i'm looking for this biological machinery called body :) (currently using vitamin supplements from uk's own viridian nutrition)

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