Think back to a sci-fi prediction of "the future," in which we fly spaceships to work and eat pills instead of food. Fast forward to 2016, and we have bevy of engineers and tech startup employees subsisting on a milky beverage called Soylent.
What is Soylent? If you haven't heard of it, don't worry — we hadn't either. But, as a startup itself, Soylent is wildly popular among the tech industry here in San Francisco . . . perhaps this will illustrate it for you: Soylent is to the tech crowd what Starbucks is to college girls.
Since we're fans of trying all things nutrition, we wanted to see what the fuss was all about. The box showed up, filled with sleekly packaged, all-white bottles sporting a minimalist design. Was this the food of the future? Or a new protein shake? Or an alternative to our protein powders? Let's find out!
The beige, somewhat viscous drink is as neutral in color as it is in taste, yet packs enough nutrients to sustain you for an entire meal (or at least, that's what it says). It's got 20 percent daily value in what looks like EVERY vitamin and mineral (see the nutrition facts, below), a seemingly infinite shelf life, and what appears to be the makings of astronaut food. So what did our colleagues have to say?
Of note: this was perhaps one of our most popular taste tests. Our engineering department abandoned their computers for a Soylent break, while curious editors came to try the mysterious new product; our colleagues were really enticed by the concept. And as per usual, the results were all over the map; some would drink this as a meal, others would cry if subjected to that same experience. But each response was hilariously descriptive and generally positive, with many saying it tastes like a thick soy milk ("cereal milk" was another popular descriptor), and that would make a great smoothie base. Here's the unfiltered, unedited feedback:
"I wasn't expecting something great, so I was impressed."
"If I was on a desert island, I would survive on this, but I wouldn't choose it."
"Tastes like a mix of CoffeeMate and leftover oatmeal milk."
"Tastes like the milk at the bottom of a bowl of Cheerios." [This sentiment was echoed several times]
"Not horrible — kinda tastes like baby formula or Ensure."
"Tastes like baby formula and the idea of it really saddens me."
"Tastes like a milkshake without sugar."
"I would drink this after my workouts with protein powder, or as a creamer in my coffee."
"My taste buds fell asleep after drinking this."
"I like that it's not sweet . . . lack of green/bland color worries me. But I'd drink it in a pinch!"
"Love the consistency. Would definitely make a meal out of it."
"Emergency earthquake food?!" // "Would put in my earthquake kit."
"Would have in a smoothie, but not by itself unless I wanna cry."