Not that it has anything to do with anything I usually blog about here on Mizz Information, but if you’re looking for a super weird/interesting read, I’ve got one for you. The other day, while hanging out at the library during lunch, I sat down and read the New Yorker, which I don’t think I’ve ever done before. This article about a young tech startup guy who decided that cooking and/or buying food is just a waste of time so he invented a food replacement is super long and just really disturbing but fascinating. Basically this dude thought of food as “a large burden” both in terms of cost and the fact that procuring it/making it/eating it just takes way too much time, so he binge read a bunch of information about what a person actually requires, nutrition-wise, to live, then set out to create a liquid that could replace all food, forever. He bought a bunch of nutrients off the internet, mixed them up with water, lived off it for 30 days, blogged about the experience, and–BAM–attracted $1.5m in seed funding to manufacture this novel substance. Because suddenly it’s obvious that the whole world will be happy to just get over the burden of food and instead ingest a tan, goopy liquid that looks like semen and tastes like “watered-down pancake batter” or “homemade nontoxic Play-Doh”?
So just like that, the whole world’s food crisis is solved—all thanks to a guy who also thinks washing clothes is a waste of time so instead he just throws them in the freezer for a few hours to get rid of the odor.
I don’t know what it is about the article that drives me crazy, but it just sticks in my craw for some reason. Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t get why this would even be a thing, since nutrition supplements already exist and most people consider food to be a social thing and a pleasure, not a burden. In fact, Soylent sounds pretty much like the liquid version of Nutraloaf, a food substitute that’s given to prisoners as punishment. Maybe it’s because I know from my days working for a clinical nutrition society how, for some people, not being able to eat is an actual medical necessity and it’s no picnic. The whole thing just seems so arrogant to me, I guess, and just stupid–it feels like the equivalent of giving soccer kids trophies for trying. Like, this guy makes an at-home version of something already available as Ensure, blogs about it, and within a few hours, raises over $200,000 via a crowdfunding campaign and goes on to attract $1.5m in seed funding. Look how much more time you’ll have for other activities, he exclaims! I feel like a million bucks after living off Soylent for a month, and can even run faster!
Honestly, there are so many more things in this world that could use $1.5m of funding–cancer research, foundations struggling to raise money for really good causes–but this guy who faux-invents the “future of food” is more deserving of those funds? I don’t get it. Yet, here I am, still thinking about it three days after reading the article…so who knows. Just goes to show what a weird Pied Piper world we live in–if the hip kids are doing it, it must be worthy.