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May 17, 2014 07:47 PM

Has a tech entrepreneur come up with a product to replace our meals?

A somewhat interesting article in the New Yorker. I do not know about anyone else, but this would never be popular with my family or friends.

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  1. Meh, I'll pass.

    Sticking with my 1970's stash of MREs and swizzle shots of Ensure.

    1. I know a raw food vegan who would jump all over this. He subsists all through the workday on green or grey shakes he whips up in a VitaMix, pulverizing fruits, seaweed powder, greens and goodness knows what else.

      Myself, I'm with ipse. I'll keep eating pizza and lamb kebabs, tyvm.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mcsheridan

        My adorable sister, who has some food disorder issues, periodically goes on the raw shake full of kale and seaweed diet. Which, you know, is probably kind of healthy for short periods, but when it goes on too long she starts looking like an insect, all knobby bones and heart attack.

      2. This is fascinating. Thanks for posting it.

        1. Real food made from real ingredients, please.

          <stage whisper> Soylent Green is made of PEOPLE

          1 Reply
          1. re: sunshine842

            The day this starts really replacing food is the day I follow Sol Roth (Edward G. Robinson).

          2. This was the money quote, for me:

            “Most of people’s meals are forgotten,” (Soylent inventor Rhinehart) told me. He imagines that, in the future, “we’ll see a separation between our meals for utility and function, and our meals for experience and socialization.”

            Meal replacements wouldn't be my choice, but If you regard eating as an unnecessary waste of time and resources (both financial and intellectual), then I think this is a better idea than mindlessly ingesting the cheapest, easiest-to-acquire food you can find. Certainly better than subsisting for weeks at a time on sloe gin fizzes, poptarts and brie.*

            *I know of at least one person who has done this.**

            **Okay, it was me.

            9 Replies
            1. re: small h

              that quote is horribly sad to me, and I hope (pray, even) that we never become such mindless robots that food and companionship become irrelevant.

              Pop tarts, sloe gin fizzes, and brie are neither cheap nor particularly easy to acquire, either, and I'd question considering Pop Tarts and sloe gin fizzes to truly be "food".

              1. re: sunshine842

                I don't think you understood the quote. He's drawing a distinction between meals for fuel and meals for companionship, and saying that he doesn't think he should have to expend the same energy on both.

                You misread me, also, re the poptarts. I meant that a nutritious meal replacement would have been better than what I ended up eating.

                1. re: small h

                  no, I understood the quote perfectly well. I find it horribly, horribly sad.

                  But you *chose* the pop mentioned, they're neither cheap nor more easily-obtained than any other source of "food" (using the term loosely) -- if you were somewhere that sold Pop Tarts, you were somewhere that sold something more nutritious and quite possibly cheaper.

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    Oh, ok. I find mining disasters horribly, horribly sad. I find tech entrepreneurs who choose to eat differently than I do thought-provoking.

                    1. re: small h

                      Mining disasters are way beyond sad.

                      I find the attitude of "what the hell, let's chug this cocktail of artificial shit because we can't be bothered to buy and consume actual food" to be really, really sad -- regardless of who utters the concept.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        Some days I go grab a sandwich from the place across the street and bring it back to my desk, where I eat alone while staring at the monitor. The time I spent walking across the street -- especially when it's cold and snowy -- is wasted. The food is not particularly good. And it's not enjoyed in the company of others.

                        Why wouldn't I replace all of that with a quick trip to the kitchenette? Maybe I could spend the saved time with my family later that evening, eating real food.

                        Still really, really sad?

                        1. re: davis_sq_pro


                          because when you eat a sandwich you don't enjoy all by yourself, you're only a half a notch better than slurping down some slurry of artificial stuff.

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            "because when you eat a sandwich you don't enjoy all by yourself, you're only a half a notch better than slurping down some slurry of artificial stuff."

                            If I don't enjoy it by myself then why am I only a half notch "better?" I take it from your prior posts that "better" to you means "real" food consumed in the company of others. If consumption in the company of others ("don't enjoy all by yourself") is only a half notch better, then it seems you agree that when in front of my computer I should be drinking slurry and not wasting time with a sandwich?

                            1. re: davis_sq_pro

                              I'm a veteran of Herbalife, SlimFast, and more than a few other "slurry" meal-replacement diets -- about as close as you can get to having an eating disorder without actually having one.

                              No, I absolutely wouldn't ever agree that anyone should ever consume slurry unless the situation was so desperate that it was the only viable alternative.

                              I ended up sick, malnourished, and worse off than if I'd just learned to live with the weight. Drinking sludge shouldn't ever be a substitute for real food for normal people.