The experimental procedures are fairly simple. I built a spreadsheet comparing ingredients to the FDA daily recommended intake, then bought those ingredients, then measured them out, then put them in a bowl of water, then ate them. And also ate nothing else the whole day.
Before beginning, my goal is to find a cheap, easy, and nutritionally complete food source. I have already discussed the upsides.
I anticipate, for downsides, that I may miss whole foods, especially with regaurds to taste. I can, of course, experiment with flavoring as the project continues, but if it tastes bad overall, I am in a spot of trouble. Additionally, there is the risk, which I am almost certainly under-counting, that I have missed some key ingredient and will suffer a nutritional deficit.
Finally, this should go without saying, but I am not any kind of expert. Do your homework before going Soylent, and if you have a bad experience, that's what you get for taking nutritional advice from the internet. If you live in a state or nation where nutritional advice requires a license, come move to Texas, and in the meantime consider this blog to be an active protest against speech and occupational tyranny.
I began by ordering the things on the spreadsheet above. When they arrived I sorted everything and took a picture:
|Not pictured: Supplemental Multivitamin|
With all the dry ingredients it looked like this
This video may or may not workWhich, if you can't tell, is a bit too runny to eat with a spoon and not runny enough to drink, leaving me with a middle-mush. Then I sat down to write this.
Then I took a bite. The taste is not nearly as bad as feared, and tastes rather like frosted wheaties. Honestly, it doesn't really need flavoring, though I will eventually be experimenting with assorted spices. The texture leaves quite a bit to be desired, so I will be experimenting with the Jello this evening.
There will be an update on hunger and feelings with tomorrow's Soylent update, but overall today has been a qualified success. The concoction is clearly edible, if a bit too sweet, and a third of the way down the bowl I am already getting feelings of satiation. If I can get it to a drinkable consistency, filling two 1L thermoses a day and then consuming them slowly, one at work and one at home, may be the optimum route, though it is a departure from the Single Tiny Food Cube ideal.
EVENING UPDATE: So, less successful than I had hoped. The problem is the wheat bran, which is substantially less dense than I had anticipated. 300g is about four cups, comes out to two completely full bowls which is, frankly, more material than I eat on a normal diet. Plus the fact that bran is terribly abrasive in the throat and I never could figure out how to prepare it in a way that would make it convenient to eat. I even tried baking it with honey in an attempt to get a "granola-bar" effect, but I think the amount of honey necessary would overwhelm the amount of bran. Also tried making a suspension in Jello, but the amount of gelatin required to suspend that much material was prohibitive. I found that I was making a less tasty, more complicated form of oatmeal.
So I have cut wheat bran out entirely. I may return to it later (After all, I have the better part of 20lbs sitting in a cabinet now), but for tomorrow I will move to a recipe closer to Rhinehart's original formula. I still haven't reached the desired level of calories per volume (the main problem in getting the overall volume to a manageable level), and I am hesitant to add more olive oil.