Starving Dietitian

Ms. Information


There’s a saying that goes “Without misinformation, we’d hardly have any at all.” This holds doubly true in the field of nutrition.

It seems like every day another fortune is made based on lies, myths, and half-truths.The newest one is a failure of colossal proportions.

I’m hesitant to even discuss the company for fear of unintentionally driving people to search for it. But here it is, the company goes by the name Soylent.


Marketing genius’ right? Naming a product after a fake food made of ground up humans.

The product in question? A “complete” nutritional do-it-yourself diet replacement powder.

There’s a lot of buzz words that should be setting off alarms right about now.

No worries, I’m sure the creator has an extensive background in… electrical engineering and computer science? My stomach’s starting to twist.

At least I could look past some pretty gaping flaws when he was testing on himself. Then he went and started a crowdstarter to sell it nationwide.

Relax, I tell myself, I’m sure he’s done plenty of safety studies. Then straight from his page I read “We have been testing Soylent on ourselves for several months and the data shows it to have a positive nutritional benefit.”

The alarms are so loud now I can barely hear myself think.

Aside from the fact that complete nutritional formulas already exist and are used both orally and for tube feedings, this guy has no idea how the gut changes on a prolonged liquid diet. Even if he can tolerate his DIY formula he’s recommending healthy and at-risk individuals replace their entire diet with an untested product.

Sometimes the things that “catch on” in nutrition really truly baffle me. Complete nutritional products have been sold for decades in powder, shake, liquid, loaf, and just about any form you could imagine. Which one catches media attention? The one made at home by someone with no medical, biochemical, or nutritional background.

Watching this unfold is like watching an accident in slow motion.

car-accident I can see the issues heading his way, the lawsuits, the federal fines, the complete failure of his product, but I can’t look away. All it takes is one person living off this stuff and developing cancer, or becoming malnourished, or simply developing some peculiar disease to send the company spiraling toward failure.

My advice is to watch what happens when someone tries to distill nutrition into a plus and minus game. I guarantee you’ll see it more than once in your lifetime and the outcome is almost always the same, painful.

Be good to each other.

-J. Iufer


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