The Synthetic Diet Revolution

The diet of the future will be largely, if not completely, synthetic. Much as I wish it wasn’t I’m not convinced there’s any other option.

I hypothesized that the body doesn’t need food itself, merely the chemicals and elements it contains. So, I resolved to embark on an experiment. What if I consumed only the raw ingredients the body uses for energy? Would I be healthier or do we need all the other stuff that’s in traditional food? If it does work, what would it feel like to have a perfectly balanced diet? I just want to be in good health and spend as little time and money on food as possible.

I haven’t eaten a bite of food in 30 days, and it’s changed my life.


I urge you to read the whole piece. Your initial reaction is almost certainly one of danger - and with good reason - a phrase “I stopped eating” is typically followed with a tragic story of death and ill health.

But there’s something here. Some glimpse of a future that we’re not quite ready for yet. If your reaction to this synthetic diet is that it’s somehow “not complete” then I urge you to also take a long hard look at the long detailed ingredients list for the synthetic drink soylent and then compare it to the diets of the people around you.

 How healthy is the average western diet?

You see the uncomfortable truth is that most western foods are already engineered. But they’re engineered not for health, but for addiction:

But it’s not simply a matter of comparing Color 23 with Color 24. In the most complicated projects, Color 23 must be combined with Syrup 11 and Packaging 6, and on and on, in seemingly infinite combinations […] With production costs trimmed and profits coming in, the next question was how to expand the franchise, which they did by turning to one of the cardinal rules in processed food: When in doubt, add sugar.

Source: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

The soylent compound is almost certainly not complete and as such, likely damaging in the long run. But I strongly believe in Rob’s vision of a synthetic diet, optimized for health, over the existing vision for synthetic diets optimized for addiction. I hope that Rob doesn’t damage his health but I also hope that this form of experimentation leads to a change in thinking about diet.

I look around and see nothing but a society that’s addicted to sugar, crippled from obesity and ruled by the food they consume both mentally and physically. Which side of the synthetic diet revolution do you want to be on?


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