Renegade Health Radio: Is Soylent the Food of the Future?

Monday Apr 21, 2014 | BY |
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Soylent; Is This The “Future of Food?”

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Is Soylent the Food of the Future?

    • Why you’ll probably hear about this new product that calls itself the
      “future of food.”
    • The one REAL food you could probably live on (and which takes no time to
      prepare).
    • Why they’ll never make a shake that contains everything the body needs.
    • The real future of nutrition…how to get as much nutrition as you can in no time!
    • My exact recipe for the very best, most nutritious green smoothie that I
      eat EVERY day.
    • What Frederic and I eat when we travel and spend time at airports.

TRANSCRIPT

Kevin: Renegade Health Radio. This is Kevin Gianni and Frederic Patenaude.

Fredric: Hey, Kevin. Hi, everybody.

Kevin: [sings] “It’s podcast. It’s podcast time.”

Fredric: Good. That’s an obscure reference for the listeners. I’m not sure they’ll totally get that.

Kevin: If you get that reference, post it on our blog, www.renegade.health.com, on this particular podcast post, and if we see it there we’ll send you something special. How about that?

Fredric: So they get a gift if they know what is the…can you do it again?

Kevin: Oh man. This is going to hit the bloopers. “It’s podcast –” Oh I did a key change. “It’s podcast time.”

Fredric: Yeah, I think you went in the minor key or something.

Kevin: Yeah. I definitely went up in the key change. I don’t know if I went a full note or what. What’s going on? What are we talking about today?

Fredric: I kind of had an interesting topic, something I’ve heard about recently and maybe some of you guys have already heard about this. But you know, you live in…pretty close to Silicon Valley, Kevin, so there’s all these crazy startups and it’s always interesting to see what new startup is becoming hot right now. And there’s this new company called Soylent. There’s this guy, this young guy—Rob Rinehart—and he was obsessed with this idea of having a food that is made by science, essentially. So a powder that takes care of all of your needs so you don’t have to worry about food. And he sees it in a very kind of futuristic kind of way.

You know, I don’t know if you guys have seen the movie, “The Matrix.” Hopefully you have, but not too many times. In the movie…do you remember, Kevin? There’s like this part where, you know, Keanu Reeves is like fed for the first time, whatever they eat outside of the matrix, and then the black guy is like, “It’s a complete mixture of amino acids and it takes care of all your nutritional needs.” And I’m thinking at that time, you know there’s…yes, amino acids, but there’s a lot more than amino acids for proper nutrition.

Anyway, these meal replacement things have been popular for a while. But the difference with Soylent is…which doesn’t contain any soy, which is kind of weird, but—

Kevin: That’s weird.

Fredric: Yeah.

Kevin: Did it start with soy, maybe?

Fredric: I don’t know. It’s a weird kind of scientific name, almost. But these products have been marketed mostly in the weight loss department. So this is kind of the first… somebody is coming up with the idea of selling a product to young, busy guys, so that they can save time and not have to worry about eating. And having sort of a long-term view where they could export this product to, let’s say, countries that have famines and so on. And it would solve the entire problem.

And almost sees it…in one of the videos that I saw, like, he almost sees it in a very utopian way, where you get your running water, and then you get your running Soylent. So you can take care of your body’s food needs at any time, because society is providing it for you, or something.

But anyhow, it’s a powder that you mix it with water…of course, I haven’t tasted it, but from the videos and so on, it doesn’t look like it’s super tasty? But like…apparently taste is the last of their concerns. But I’m sure it tastes decent enough to those of us who’ve tried all kinds of plant protein powders. So it’s made with rice protein and fats and maltodextrin and all kinds of stuff that essentially takes care of all of your basic nutritional needs, or all of your known nutritional needs, at least.

So the guy, Rob, the CEO of this company…and it’s really a startup, I need to emphasize that. So they—

Kevin: Yes, so it hasn’t…the idea has not taken off yet, ladies and gentlemen!

Fredric: They’ve raised 2 million dollars on one of those Kickstarter campaigns out of the goal of only $100,000. So it was pretty popular for one of those campaigns. And I think you are going to hear about this. I think it’s going to be successful. That’s my gut feeling, because it’s fulfilling a niche that really no one else has tapped in this sort of marketing kind of way. And hopefully they’ll make the product taste better and so on.

Apparently, it is vegan except for some fish oil or something that’s being used in some of their formulations. So it’s a startup. And the guy Rob Rinehart lived on it for 30 days or three months just to prove a point, so other journalists have done the same. And of course you can live on this stuff, right?

But it kind of prompted me to think about…my reaction was like, hey, we already have something like that, and it’s called a green smoothie, right? You own a Vitamix, you make a smoothie. But since I’ve been thinking about this lately, I’m not so sure, because I’ve been making a lot of green smoothies lately. And it is a lot of work in the sense that you have to shop for the food and then you have to cut it and then you have to discard all the peels, and it takes a certain level of preparation. Not the same as preparing a gourmet meal, but it takes some time. So this is something like, for people really don’t want to spend any time for some of their meals, at least, if not many and many meals.

I can imagine a lot of guys working in Silicon Valley trying to crank 100 hours a week just living on this stuff, because they…it’s easy and it’s probably a lot healthier than living on pizza and so on.

Kevin: Yeah, pizza, caffeine, beer, all these other things that maybe that young professional dude is actually eating. I mean, I think one of the biggest questions here, kind of in the Renegade Health world of diet and eating and figuring out what works for you. The biggest question for me is…and the biggest theory or kind of principle that I work on is that, yeah, you can eat whatever you want, but does it actually stand up to the sniff test, you know? Can you actually prove that what you are eating, using science, is actually going to be healthy for you?

So for instance…look, I don’t…you can eat the vegan diet, and if you’re healthy, and your blood tests—and that’s the kind of like the marker that I like to use—and if your blood tests are cool and all your…your iron is great and your cholesterol is great and your folate—or your folate would be great if you are eating a vegan diet because that comes a lot from leafy greens—and all your markers are fantastic, your hormones are fantastic, then you know what? You continue on the vegan diet until it starts to show that things aren’t working for you.

And I feel the same with the Paleo diet, or I feel the same way with the raw food diet. And Fred and I talk about raw food diets and sometimes we’ve had our…sometimes we might talk negatively about them long-term, because we’ve had our own experiences, but in the short-term or medium-term, maybe they’re actually really beneficial for some people. But how do you know?

Well, you use your blood test. So I would want to know…you know, I would want to talk to Rob, and maybe we can get Rob on the podcast one day. But I’d like to talk to Rob and say, “All right, Rob, you know you did this for three months. Anyone can do any diet for three months, besides the breatharian diet, and…maybe not a water fast…and come out okay.” And so for me, that’s not enough evidence for me to say, “All right, let’s go Soylent for a year and see what happens,” because I would want to know what’s going on with someone’s blood for a longer period of time.

And granted, you know, this stuff will probably come out in the market, and it will probably be used by enough people to actually have some sort of sample data. And then we look at it. And then we say, “All right, well maybe as a guy who doesn’t like to go and prepare food that much and would rather just have it put in front of me and drink it no matter what it takes like. That sounds somewhat reasonable. How about that?

Fredric: Exactly. It would be cool to get raw…because he seemed like a very Cartesian kind of, totally outside of the hippy movement kind of guy. Just thinking in terms of science fiction, almost. Like, yeah, we can create a food from science, and it’s going to be better than a food from nature if we know enough about it, because other things that we create are obviously better. I mean, modes of transportation, communication, and so on, then what we’d get in nature. So he has very kind of utopian kind of mindset and way of looking at things.

Kevin: But then we start to argue, you know, doesn’t nature know best for us, anyway? Then it gets into this…what’s better? Is science better or nature better? I mean, a lot of people think that…you know, a lot of people in the science world think that altering the genes of plants and animals to make these kind of Frankenstein foods, or “Franken foods,” as some people call them—GMO—is better than what nature had provided already. And I tend to agree that nature does provide what we need. And we just need to get back to our own true nature to be able to determine what’s good for us, and maybe not use science in terms of a fully formed food based on our assumptions of what’s working, when we might not even understand our physiologies as completely as we think we do.

Fredric: So Kevin, what’s your Soylen preparation like, if you were to put together a liquid drink, not too complicated, what would it contain? Like, what is like the one food that you’d say, you know, you could live on this for quite a while.

Kevin: Yeah. I mean…so definitely it would have some sort of omega-3, whether it’s plant-based or fish oil. So for DHA and EPA. So that’s definitely something that would need to be in there, because that’s something that everyone…you know, not everyone, but a lot of people are deficient in. You know, there’s a lot of data from our omega-3 test, the omega test, that shows that people are deficient. Even myself. I was deficient, and I thought I was getting enough omega-3s. And ironically, Fred was not deficient, and wasn’t really actively taking any omega-3s, right? So I mean it’s just kind of a weird. You know, that probably goes back to genetics.

So for me…then another, maybe an amino-acid-based source of protein. So again, this could be plant, or this could be an animal-based protein. But definitely some sort of amino-acid-based, complete amino acid profile. A lot of the proteins out there, the plant-based proteins, are coming up with a pretty good amino acid profile. So these are…you know, they are coming up with…by blending pea and rice and a few other ones, are coming up pretty good. Just make sure you listen to one of our past podcasts about heavy metal contamination in rice protein. Not all rice proteins have heavy metal contamination, but some do, so you want to check that out. You can also check out www.labs.naturalnews.com.

And then definitely, you know, a whole spectrum of micronutrients. So absorbable minerals, plant, you know, plant powders that actually have some of the micronutrients already in them. Antioxidants. All that sorts of stuff. I mean, I haven’t really fully thought about this, but I’m sure there’s some more—

Fredric: What’s your energy source like? Calories, you know?

Kevin: Well, that’s true. You need your calories. So where does…you know, does it come from sugar? Does it come from some sort of green powder or fat? It’s really interesting. I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know. So how…how many calories…so if you drink three Soylent shakes, do you know how many calories you’d get?

Fredric: I must say the information is pretty scarce on what’s actually in this stuff, because it’s not out yet, right? So people have committed to buying it, but they are…not many people have it. So I’ve looked up the ingredients. It looks like…I would imagine that it covers your basic 2000-calories a day needs. So maybe, I would say 500 calories per shake, from what I saw. You know, it’s a combination of sugars and fats for calories, essentially. There’s like some olive oil or something like that that they use. I don’t know, exactly, how it all works out, but—

Kevin: You’re not making it that much more appealing!

Fredric: I don’t know. That was the original formula. I’m not sure exactly what’s in it. But obviously, I mean, the problem you’d come…the problem with making those foods is getting enough calories. And I mean, I know everybody saw like old movies where they come up with this idea of like, in the future, you’re going to take a pill and it’s going to cover all your nutritional needs. But there’s just no way, I mean, a pill can contain not only all the micronutrients, but all the calories you need. I mean, the most concentrated form of energy for a human being is oil. And that’s what…well it’s 150 or 120 per tablespoon. So I mean, you need like—

Kevin: Per gram? Per gram of oil it’s nine calories.

Fredric: Yes, yes, but…so you need like, you need like 12-15 tablespoons of olive oil to meet your basic needs for energy for most people, right? So that’s…I mean, think about it.

So if food…I mean, we need to eat food. We need to eat a certain amount of food for energy. And anybody who’s tried to live on a raw food diet or just smoothies, you realize, I mean, it takes a lot of produce to get you through the day. Like smoothie with a few fruits and some kale or whatever, is pretty far in your stomach by the time you reach lunch, right? So it’s just a question of calories.

So I think it’s the problem with those…with finding a food like that, is that, how you are going to concentrate it enough without using like a huge amount of fat and simple sugars? Because that’s probably what they are using, simple sugars. So it’s a backup solution. And you know what? Pretty much anything is better than the standard American diet. So I wouldn’t be surprised if people did actually do pretty well on this compared to a standard American diet.

Kevin: That’s true, very true. What I think was really valuable though, that you brought up earlier, is the fact that if you know, if this is like a time-saving thing. I mean, yeah, green smoothie isn’t as time saving, but man, is a green smoothie a time saver. And liquid nutrition, I think, is really where it’s at in terms of getting as much nutrition as you can in a shorter period of time.

And so for instance, I’ll tell you. My green smoothie is pretty much the same every day. So you know, you guys are going to look at me and be like, “Wow, don’t you get bored with that?” Well no, not really. I just make it and I just do it. But my green smoothie every morning is either romaine lettuce or spinach. I put like a whole head of romaine lettuce with…a nice big old head of romaine lettuce. Sometimes I’ll switch up. Sometimes I’ll get red leaf lettuce or, you know, sometimes I’ll get green lettuce. Whatever is in the grocery store. Whichever is on special and organic, or at the farmer’s market.

And so I pop it in there. And then I take two scoops of protein, a pea-based protein. I use The Sun Warrior protein, the Warrior blend. And then I put, you know, about half a bag to a full bag, depending on the sweetness of the fruit, maybe a bag and a half. And I’ll pick between…and usually I’ll either use frozen or fresh fruit, all organic. And then I’ll blend that up. And then I drink 32 to 40 ounces of that just in a couple of minutes, and then it’s done.

If I was to sit down and eat all that lettuce and all the fruit, because I’ve done it before, and Fred, you have too. If I was to sit down and eat that and chew it and fletcherise it, you know, there’s like 30-40 chews per bite, it would take 45-50 minutes to get that all down. And to have it down in three minutes and then I’m off to brush my teeth and floss them and then, like we mentioned the last podcast, I’ll brush my teeth, floss them, and then head off to work. I am golden!

And then even with juices, you know, we’ll do…so we do a smoothie every morning. And then with juices…we actually have our nanny, we’ve taught her how to make this green juice that has romaine and then it has celery and has cucumber and it has phenol, it has a little bit of apple and a little bit of parsley and kale. And so we kind of just rotate through some of these ingredients. Again, to think about how much produce is in that juice container! And again, remember, drinking juice is on top of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. I hope we all understand that. But to think about the amount of nutrition that’s in that 32 to 48 ounce juice is pretty intense. And man, you just drink it down.

I can come home from work and the juice is in the fridge and I drink down the whole thing and that’s 32 ounces of green juice, of plant nutrition, right there available at my fingertips. I mean, it’s so easy and it’s such an easy way…obviously, it’s easier when someone makes it for you…but it’s so easy to get that into your body and not have to think about it anymore, and just know that you have your bases covered.

Fredric: And the smoothie you mentioned is…I mean, that’s a serious smoothie, right? I mean, in terms of like an entire head of lettuce. And you told me about the lettuce, because I was more like, using like spinach and so on. And so you told me, “Hey, I put an entire head of lettuce in my green smoothie.” So I started doing it recently.

And I put different fruits. Like you…like, I have been using mangoes, I’ve been using…sometimes I use bananas, or I love ripe pears and so on. And fresh strawberries. Anyway, I throw the water or almond milk, sometimes protein powder, sometimes, or sometimes not. But then when you blend in a Vitamix, when you blend that entire head of lettuce, I mean, it is obliterated in so little time. I look at it and I’m like, “What? It’s already gone and processed and everything?” By the time I pour it in a mason jar, I mean, that’s pretty concentrated, right? And like you said, like, sitting down to an entire head of a romaine lettuce, and I can drink like two of those in a day, right? So you’re getting your greens. I mean, you are definitely getting your four to five vegetables a day.

Kevin: Yeah. And get this, all you parents or grandparents out there. So today what I did was, I made my smoothie. And I have the juice in the fridge. I didn’t feel like drinking the juice in the morning. So instead of using water, I just poured the juice in the smoothie, blended it up. Hudson love smoothies. He calls them “booties,” which is kind of funny, but he loves these smoothies. And so I gave him about…he had about ten ounces of smoothie made out of lettuce, all this fruit, a little bit of great protein powder, and full on green juice. And he loved it.

Fredric: Kids love it. Everybody loves green smoothies. I mean, not everybody, but you can get used to the idea much better than Soylent, I think. I mean, it is a time saving tool. I mean, not only do you save time by eating all this stuff in a concentrated form, but also, I think it gives you more energy, because your body is not using up that energy digesting and so on.

So I think it’s a great tool during the day. At some point, I think most people later in the day want to sit down to an actual meal where they have to chew and maybe feel drowsy at the end. But during the day, I mean, it’s an incredible productivity, just energizing, tool.

Kevin: You know what else is interesting, too? It’s a great travel thing, too, because airports are now starting to have Jamba Juices in them. So there’s a few airports that I know of that have these Jamba Juices. One is the Las Vegas airport, I believe in the C gate, and then Denver Airport—I believe also in the C gate—and so like, if you can kind of…and again Jamba Juice isn’t organic, but what Jamba Juice started to do is, they actually have like more of the green smoothie type thing.

Used to be…you’d go to Jamba Juice and you’d have to navigate the menu. And you’d have to be like, “All right, well I want this berry smoothie, but I don’t want you to put yogurt in it. I want you to put either water…or if they’re like, we don’t put water, then can you put orange juice in there or something instead of using yogurt or milk or anything like that?” But now Jamba Juice has got a little bit hip to this, and now they are actually doing green smoothies.

So it’s actually a good travel tool to like, think about, you know, if you know, if you are going to be in a connecting flight or you’re going to be an airport, to think about where you’re going to be at, and can you find a Jamba Juice that will make you a smoothie? I wouldn’t get it at any other smoothie place, because a lot of these are like these machines that just like, it’s almost just like, you know, switch out the margarita mix with, who knows what? And all the sugary syrup stuff.

But Jamba Juice, again, it’s not tier-1 option. Obviously, tier-1 option would be at your house or at the health food shop that makes this stuff. And even Whole Foods can make some good smoothies now. Some of the places around the country will make smoothies for you.

But it’s another travel tool that I use. So when I was walking…when I was traveling to Orlando, I had to stop over in Las Vegas. And I was walking through the C gate, and I just knew that that Jamba Juice would be right there. And I didn’t know that they now had moved into this like green smoothie type model. And I was so thrilled because I didn’t want to have to go to the girl and just be like, “Okay, so I’m a crazy health guy. Here are all the things that I want in my smoothie. I’m going to make you inconvenienced, but it’s what I want and let’s deal with it,” kind of conversation, which usually happens. You guys have had it before. And it just went…I was like “Ooo, that one works.” And it was perfect.

Fredric: That’s good when you can find it. Otherwise, I mean, I don’t know about you, but I often buy the super expensive cups of fruit and whole bananas. And people…it’s funny, because a lot of people into health foods, they’re like, “There’s nothing to eat in an airport. A banana is a dollar.” Well think about it. Like, you can buy a few pieces of fruit for a lot less than pretty much anything else that’s being sold as a meal in an airport. So you’re coming ahead. I mean, it’s obviously overpriced because you are in an airport. But everything is overpriced. So I kind of…you know, if you just shift your thinking and you realize, you know, I can allow a $15 budget to buy a bunch of fruits and a salad or something like that while I’m traveling, and I’m coming ahead, because you know, I’ll be healthier. Everything will be easier. And I mean, it’s not a lot of money if you think about it compared to sitting down to a restaurant and ordering like a burger and fries, right?

Kevin: Yeah. And fruits are so good for traveling, particularly high antioxidant fruits, but also just high water content fruits, because you are going on a plane. You are going up to 35-, 36-, 37,000 feet. You are in this space that’s extremely dehydrating. And if you can eat some high water fruits, high water content fruits—we usually bring some oranges or some tangerines or things like that, even apples. Bananas are great. They are not the best in terms of like, your travel [crosstalk] induced constipation, you know. But as you…because usually what happens to a lot of people who travel, they’ll get constipated. And so if you can eat some high-water-rich vegetables, or not vegetables…well if you bring vegetables, too, you can bring celery and some other things if you want. But fruits, you know, when you get down and land and you get to the hotel, you have a higher chance of not having to deal with the travel type constipation.

Fredric: And on that note, I think our show is over.

Kevin: Adios.

Fredric: www.renegadehealth.com. Check out the old podcasts as well, and our wealth of contents. So thank you so much, and please leave a review on iTunes.

Kevin: Bye.

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

41 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. M Hope says:

    FYI-The word Soylent is from the 1973 sci-fi movie, Soylent Green.

    Storyline
    In 2022, Earth is overpopulated and totally polluted; the natural resources have been exhausted and the nourishment of the population is provided by Soylent Industries, a company that makes a food consisting of plankton from the oceans. In New York, when Soylent’s member of the board William R. Simonson is murdered apparently by a burglar at the Chelsea Towers West where he lives, efficient Detective Thorn is assigned to investigate the case with his partner Solomon “Sol” Roth. Thorn comes to the fancy apartment and meets Simonson’s bodyguard Tab Fielding and the “furniture” (woman that is rented together with the flat) Shirl and the detective concludes that the executive was not victim of burglary but executed. Further, he finds that the Governor Santini and other powerful men want to disrupt and end Thorn’s investigation.

    But Thorn continues his work and discovers a bizarre and disturbing secret of the ingredient used to manufacture Soylent Green.

    Talk about population control!!!!If you actually watch the film and find out what is IN this concoction, you will NEVER buy this, even if it has nothing to do with the movie plot!!!

    Check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green

  2. Amy says:

    I disagree that Soylent is an ideal food for a human body. It’s not proven to be gluten free – they are “testing” it. It is currently undergoing testing and modification. It is not a natural food that occurs in nature in this form, therefore is not an “ideal food” for a human body. Ideal foods for human bodies are what nature creates. Period. Not manufactured chemicals. Soylent contains “powdered starch, rice and pea protein, olive oil, and raw chemical powders.”

    Eat whole natural foods, your body, brain and well being will thank you! <3

  3. Patricia Jensen says:

    Soylent! No fiber, no fun. Sharing time and food with family and friends, after a few years of removing over processed foods, using a basically plant based diet, is still so important. I am 79, still active and no prescription
    drugs and a growing knowledge of the benefits of organic, local, seasonal food and the horrors of GMO, factory
    farms. Do not give up the work against the organizations that put dollars ahead of our welfare.

  4. A Schere says:

    Its business time- flight of the conchords! love it

  5. Claire says:

    I have a question about the smoothie recipe you gave on this podcast – I have always heard that we need some healthy fat when we have greens to help upsorb certain nutrients better. I have been putting either Hemp seeds, or Flax, or chia, and i also put your Ceylon cinamon powder, and a colostrum powder that David Wolf sells. I also put Raw coconut flakes in and sometimes coconut milk that i have made from org powder and water, but ususally i put in coconut water.

    For me, if i put protein powder in (I have used Sun Warrior, Mercola whey powder, Garden of life raw protein, etc. I am still VERY hungry in 20 mins and have to eat more of something else.
    I usually just make the smoothie and then soft boil some org Free range eggs (my next door neighbor sells me some) to go with it, so i can last until the next meal
    OR
    I have the smoothie and in an hour eat sometihng else.

    What are your thoughts about fats in the green smoothie?

    btw – I was a raw foodist for about 3 years until I started being soooo hungry all the time and blood sugar issues. My raw diet helped to cause receding gum issues, teeth issues, like i have heard you talk about and you are the first former 100 % raw guy that has revealed such important info. My daughter also started having problems as well, and I don’t seem to have enough HCL acid to digest things like i used to and more foods seem to bother me if i eat them. Just wanted to thank you for speaking out!

    I really believe that we should always evaluate our health and our lifestyle like you say and get the tests. I really believed I was doing the best thing for my body and I LOVE fresh raw food! My hormones were out of whack and my vitaminn D levels were critically low when i got tested when i was 100% raw. I now use muscle testing to help, although i know it is not an exact science, i have become very skilled in that area and can find underlying imbalances that cause symtoms and can also clear emotions that can start the imbalances to begin with.
    I enjoy your articles!!!

  6. David Ross says:

    The argument that nature provides or can provide “what’ we need” seems amiable enough but I think it has 2 important problems. The first is that it’s not necessary for nature to do anything optimally, rather it need only be good enough to provide compatibility among organisms and their environment. In fact, more broadly, you could argue that only things that are compatible with one another can exist at all but no more than that is necessary – compatibility is sufficient. The 2nd problem is that, regardless of nature’s ability to achieve optimality, there’s no reason to think that nature is arranged to support the long-term health and longevity of the individual biological organism. For example, if the overwhelming pressure is for species survival, long-lived organisms probably don’t add much value (adults only need to survive long enough to produce children and raise them to an age where they can produce children themselves). In fact, you could argue that for species survival, far more important is a rapid turn-over of generations to take advantage of genetic diversity for adjusting to environmental change (maintaining compatibility). In general, the notion that the natural world is our best reference seems overly narrow to me.

    • David Ross says:

      Kevin or Frederic, if you have time, please respond to this post. I’ve been a committed raw foodist for 20+ years but it seems to me that the community as a whole tends to not give enough scrutiny to widely held beliefs like the wisdom of nature. You, on the other hand, have been bolder in this respect so I wonder what you have to say about the questions I raised here.

    • David, I tend tow agree with you. The natural health movement in general, especially hygienists and raw foodists, tend to idealize the “appeal to nature.” Generally speaking, it’s true that “natural is better” — but there are plenty of exceptions. I have a very evolutionist way of looking at things. I believe it’s the most scientific approach that makes the most sense. Nature has no specific goal. Things happen because of selective pressure. I subscribe more to the theory of the “selfish gene” as brought forth by Richard Dawkins as opposed to the concept that natural selection favors the survival of the species as a whole. I think that Dawkins was right on the money on that one. It’s the genes themselves that have selective pressure on them. The species in itself is almost irrelevant in that process.

      Bottom line is we should do what’s been proven to work. For example, a low fat, whole foods vegan diet is not necessarily “natural.” But it will help prevent cancer and heart disease more than any other nutritional approach.

      • David Ross says:

        Frederic, thank you for responding. If Dawkins is right that evolution is gene-centered, it’s almost certain that survival of the gene will be promoted at the expense of the organism. This would mean, as you suggest, that the appeal to nature principle, though perhaps a good starting point, must be incomplete at best. If our goals are longevity and long-term health, we have to be smart enough to understand our own interests. As you wrote, our thinking about nutrition and the like should be evidence-based where possible. It should also allow for the possibility that what we see in nature may not provide the best results (the use of milk products is a good example – ruling them out simply because no other adult animals in the wild apparently use their own species milk nor the milk of another species is wrongheaded).

        By the way, I tend to favor an evolutionary model where genes don’t play a causal role, rather they reflect what works and what doesn’t, or in other terms, where they record compatibilities. In this view, genes are not selfish, even metaphorically.

  7. Ralph in Ventura says:

    I don’t like the fact that you mix fruit with the rest of that stuff, fruit should be eaten by itself before the rest of your meal, with the exception of apples and lemons which mix well with most food. I also don’t like the fact that you just drink down your smoothies with out chewing them well.I have two green smoothies daily but I always try and chew them well to get the digestion started in my mouth before swallowing.

    Ralph

  8. Debra says:

    Hi Guys,
    Ok, I’ll spoil the plot for those whose don’t have time to dig up the old movie “Soylent Green”. –Soylent Green is made of PEOPLE!!!–Charelton Heston’s famous final words. For those of my generation who remember this shocking movie–What a STUPID name for this product!!

  9. Heather says:

    Seriously? Are they seriously calling it SOYLENT? Have you guys not seen (or at least heard of) the old science fiction movie called Soylent Green … they were eating PEOPLE! Ewww. And this was the best name these people can come up with … no way.

  10. Kathy says:

    “Soylent Green” movie from the early 70′s. Beware!

  11. Chris says:

    It sounds like the sci fi movie from back in the 60′s to me…. Soylent Green, watch it sometime and be horrified….

  12. susan says:

    Yes! It is one of the best movies I have ever seen, and considering how MonSatan is doing its best to contaminate everything and ruin all real food so we have to buy every patented thing from them, it was an extremely precognitive plot. People were separated from nature, no longer allowed to live in the country or even experience what nature was like–they were crammed in dirty, ugly cities. The soylent was not desirable to anyone–they were constantly joking about it sarcastically. It came in 4 colors and was in a cracker form, and they would riot over it because it was all there was, and it was rationed and sometimes in short supply. The “rich” people, like the one who was murdered, would have one or two “delicacies” in their fridges that were impossible to come by–an extremely wilted, white iceberg head, a rotting piece of brownish icky meat…You gotta sea this movie, guys, it was so well done. Soylent was what the Scientific powers-powers-that-be formulated for everyone and that was all there was for the masses–dry crackers of red, green or yellow. No joy or pleasure in eating, tasting, no intimate relation with the moisture of the food hydrating you and yielding to you its vitamins or minerals in different textures, aromas, styles. So before you talk much more about this product, please see that movie first to give you a perspective. The fact that they named it that way really gives me the creeps, and does’t seem awfully clever, but perhaps they do it tongue in cheek and assume we don”t have a cultural memory beyond the last fortnight or two, so they can toy with us that way and we are none the wiser, unfortunately. Well, thanks for your talks, and, See that movie!!!!

    • Debra says:

      Wow, good memory Susan–I don’t remember about the different colors–do you recall what that signified?-Like flavors or something? What remains most vivid to me was how the people voluntarily submitted themselves to euthanasia by going to those little rooms where they chose their music & scenery to die by. I think I will have to see this movie again–Wonder if Netflix has it.

  13. Nieves says:

    I am sure you are aware that if you bring your own vegetables and fruits to the airport, they will have to pass by the check out point, doesn’t this give radiation to the food?

  14. Darryl Warren says:

    Whooooa! Hold on a minute. My initial sniff test is to look at the calcium source and this stuff is Calcium Carbonate. To everything I’ve read and heard, Calcium Carbonate is rock which can be one of the building blocks in clogged arteries.

    Your comments about being better than the SAD diet, I totally agree with. However, I not quite ready to be an advocate of this “Stuff”.

    The other side of this, is all of the rationalization that we humans spin so well, will have many folks using Way Too Much of this just because of the convenience factor.

    My vote: 2 thumbs down

  15. DJ says:

    There was a movie many years ago called Soylent Green- perhaps he got the name from that- a bit scarry

  16. Jay says:

    Hi there! For one, this does contain soy. Says so very clearly on the back of the Soylent label. Soy is not necessarily bad, although if it isn’t marked as organic, it is most likely GMO, since 90% of the U.S. soybean crop is GMO – read Monsanto and Round-Up, the latter of which has incidentally began to show up in the breast milk of nursing mothers.

    Beyond that, it contains artificial flavor, sucralose, and a blend of synthetic minerals and vitamins. On top of that is also contains fish and canola oils, which are questionable for many reasons at best if good quality, and contaminated with industrial pollutants and pesticides in the case of the latter, if not. So I don’t really see how anyone can be healthy on this stuff.

    Blood test markers after a year might show some things, but cancer can take many years or decades to develop, so even with “acceptable” blood markers, I don’t know if this should qualify as food. Would you be healthier eating this than Micky Ds and Pizza Hut, along with all the other processed foods most people throw down their gullets? Perhaps, but then again I am sure for you guys, that’s certainly not your benchmark for healthy eating.

  17. Lyndia Storey says:

    I am surprised that you do not mention Spirulina. I have personally fasted with it for over 80 days…. and have acquaintances who lived on it for more than a year. (we all got healthier) Of course, now that 70% of what is available in the US is from China, we need to be very careful about what we take and where it comes from. I buy a super quality brand from New Phoenix Rising who call it BioLumina…. and it is Quantum Infused for an extra boost…..

  18. Henrik says:

    First you tell people to avoid rice protein as well as any chinese produce AT ALL COST(!) and that you should not mess with food and isolate nutrients. Two weeks later you think Soylent seems like a reasonable alternative for busy young people and that science based mixtures of isolated nutrients (like rice protein) seems like a pretty good idea.

    Are you really that indecisive or is it all just a matter of driving traffic to the site?

    Don’t mean to be all negative, but i’d hate to see Renegade Health become just another sensationalistic crap site like Natural News.

    • Did you actually listen to the podcast? Where exactly did we endorse Soylent…?

      • Henrik says:

        I just think it’s a pretty big step from “AVOID AT ALL COST” and “don’t buy anything from China” to saying that you’d probably do pretty well on it and that anything is better than SAD.

        I do like the fact that you keep an open mind and aren’t dogmatic about stuff, and I do understand that you need to make people curious enough to open the emails, but I just think it can be done more responsibly and without the unfounded sensationalism. That’s the approach that attracted me to the show way back and I’d hate to see that go.

        I admire your honesty about the fact that you are using fluoride by the way. Even though I think you are nuts for doing so. ;)

  19. Chris Califano says:

    “Soylent” ? By far the worst name for a “food” product… based on the sci fi movie called Soylent Green.

    On a dif note aside, Are not any of you amused by how most people interested in “health” refer to blood tests, and various other “sniff tests” as well as “studies” and “research” to determine the health-value of a food, or supplement? This is not a solid foundation to build upon if you want to truly learn anything!

    With so much conflicting information for the newbie, and most of the “information” being largely driven by financial gain, the best and only way to discover once and for all how “healthy” any food plan is… is to simply TRY IT for a long enough period of time. YOUR health markers such as 1) how you feel when you rise in the morning, 2) how often you suffer any health problems no matter how minor (should be zero), including undue “fatigue” , and 3) your physical performance, should be your starting point for figuring out what is the best diet or “product’ (it will become glaringly obvious that no packaged or refined product that produce any good results, unless one uses it as a VERY temporary stepping-stone up from a terrible diet.

    We all have to eat well if we want to enjoy life and health. There are no shortcuts other than making this process more efficient within itself.

  20. Saro says:

    I am pretty sure you did not endorse the product – which I think is very wise… I am an avid VitaMix blender guy who uses that little contraption for anyting from green veggie smoothies to fruit protein smoothies to delicious soups to yada yada yada… And for the little work it does take to prep the stuff to be used, I prefer it to a powdered substitute – if nothing else except the awesome flavor combinations that you can come up with… Notwithstanding, I think these silicon workaholics may benefit from such a product if they do in fact work that hard… However, for a typical urbanite, I am very opposed to processed powders. That is my two cents for whatever it is worth…

  21. Col Sky Godfrey says:

    I like the tone of this informative podcast. And am here to add my own 10 cents worth.

    And that is to say it is not only about food and nutrition… but also it’s about the color of nature!

    … the colour of nature is the colour of the rainbow… And fresh raw foods accentuates this.

    Any user of product that destroys the integrity of colour is blinding themselves to the natural beauty of living foods…

    Browns are okay only when they are blended rainbows… ha ha…

    I’d rather a days worth of smoothies from the authors of this podcast… than a years supply of Soylent…

    Nice pod cast lads…

  22. jack says:

    Soylent, as in Soylent Green? !!! Are you kidding me? Is this an April Fools gag? And with all the call to eat natural, why would anyone be interested in a science-based concoction such as Soylent? Really makes me wonder about true interests (money) of the so-called health-fitness-food gurus….

    JackL

  23. Claire Candow says:

    Who has not dreamed of putting together a mixture of all the nutrients needed to be at our optimal health. I can see it at a supplement level. To be used once daily either in protein shake or smoothies. I assume the cost of soylent will be quite steep that only the athletes will be using on a regular basis. In all diets, the human being needs textures, smells and tastes to allow you to live on it for any length of time. Variety of food allows us to get the nutrients we need to thrive.

  24. Nancy says:

    I know what’s in it..Solent Green is PEOPLE!

  25. Marilyn says:

    Thanks for the discussion. I think for now I will stick with the “REAL FOOD.” I just got a NutriBullet to take when we travel in the RV, along with 2 extra large cups. Always easy to find fruit and veggies. However, I will be researching this stuff, as well as other “protein powders” or other things to find what works best for me.

  26. Michelle says:

    I get the reference! It’s Business time by Flight of the conchords. :)

  27. Catherine says:

    I agree with the previous poster. For those of us who’ve been around long enough to remember that movie, the name is a HUGE turn-off. I would never eat anything named Soylent. Surely this guy must know about the movie, because how else would he come up with the name? If, knowing about that movie, he named his product after it anyway, sorry, but I do not trust his formula, and I would not touch it with a ten-foot pole!

    • Catherine says:

      Oops! I’m used to comment boards where the most recent post is at the top. By “previous poster” I meant the one at the top, the first poster.

  28. Maria says:

    I thought I’d ask if anybody here has heard about torula, or a similar product, “genuine brewers yeast”? I don’t think both products are the same. I used to purchase that cheesy tasting nutritional yeast until I came upon many trusted sources telling me that this type of yeast is not very healthy to consume on a regular basis.

    In a health food store, I happened to find this genuine brewers yeast I read about, and it claims to contain “…all the essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals and trace elements…” all in a tablespoon. It also claims that “…vitamin B12, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, manganese and chromium…” are “…naturally occurring…”

    This yeast is not cheesy tasting, but I am a bit apprehensive to sprinkle more than a few pinches on my food. I wonder what they make it out of. I should do more research, and I will, but just thought I’d ask to see if anybody has heard of this product? (The kind I purchased is from “Twinlab.”)

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