8. The grit
The texture of Soylent 2.0, the premixed meal replacement is odd to say the least. It is best described as a liquid that is literally chock-full of powered solids. Each person will react differently to the texture. For some people, it will instantly trigger the gag reflex as if they accidently drank some water with sand it in. For others, it will cause a conflicting sensation of needing a drink.
It’s expensive considering all other points here. At over $3 a bottle, one could eat a healthy homemade meal and save money. Someone could even eat a few dollar menu items and be at the same cost per meal.
The company has been battling mold from the beginning. In a Vice interview, they claimed that some products they bought on amazon were out of date. Now with Soylent 2.0, they claim that bottles can be damaged by shipping causing mold to grow. We encountered one visibly moldy bottle out of 36 during our test. Unfortunately, the mold was not spotted until after already consuming some. There were no signs of any shipping damage either.
5. Weight gain
Soylent doesn’t solve the self-control problem with overeating. It can be easy to continue the same eating habits while adding Soylent to your daily calorie consumption. At 400 calories per a bottle, it’s all too easy to increase food consumption causing more weight gain.
This will probably change at some point but for now Soylent only has one flavor. What is that flavor? I would describe it as watery pancake mix with an aftertaste of grit.
3. Tube feeding
Why stop at replacing meals when you could just tube feed and never need to drink or eat again? Nutrient rich liquid like Soylent comes strikingly close to liquid meals used in hospitals for tube feeding. Some Soylent drinkers have recognized this and tried to solve the ‘problem’ with homemade gadgets.
Some Soylent drinkers develop an attitude of being better than others are. When replacing just one meal a day, we noticed our own perspectives had changed. For example, when encountering hungry overweight shoppers at a grocery store, it was easy to make judgements because somehow we had created an artificial barrier while drinking Soylent.
1. Toxic heavy metals
The FAQ page on the Soylent website explains that there are trace amounts of Arsenic, Cadmium, and Lead in the product. These are known to cause cancer and require a special warning in the state of California.
For something that is meant to be consumed, Soylent is rather disgusting. If you choose to drink it, you should do it in moderation and watch for mold growth. Know that there are better alternatives like Ensure or even a traditional light meal.