When I first heard about Soylent, I was curious to see if it was even possible to not feel hungry without eating food. Not being able to purchase Soylent 1.0 postponed those thoughts. After seeing the blog post in mid June about Soylent now available to Canadians, I jumped at the opportunity. The package came within a week and I set a date to begin my Soylent experiment: July 13. I really didn’t want to visit my parents during my experiment lest they start asking questions and wonder if it’s a weight loss program. The 2015 Pan-Am Games in Toronto gave me the perfect excuse to stay away from the city and do the experiment without my parents knowing.
But I started on July 2. Canada Day is celebrated on July 1 and we normally get long weekends every 6 years out of 7. This year, however, the holiday fell on a Wednesday and it was that very weird mid-week day-off. Since I had completely forgotten about grocery shopping I was left with no food on Wednesday night with bags of Soylent on my shelf. So I started.
I actually went through a whole bag of Soylent that day but by the time 7PM hit, I was feeling hungry. I had the feeling that a normal bag of Soylent wouldn’t be enough for someone like me. Soldiering on from the 13th until the 23rd, I continued my regiment of half a bag of Soylent per day.
I didn’t quite feel full. On most days I would finish the half bag of Soylent I mixed and start to feel hungry by 3PM. Perhaps I went about it all wrong and didn’t consume my everyday coffee, I wanted to go pure Soylent and stuck with water to hydrate and keep me awake. I was feeling a bit lightheaded at 3PM as well which I suspect was from the lack of food. My proposal in the experiment was to see if I could live entirely off Soylent and I didn’t succeed.
Yes, poop. And farts. Farts were particularly foul as Ars Technica’s Lee Hutchinson puts it:
A bit after 8pm, the gas started.
It was bad. These weren’t mere ha-ha toot kinds of emissions; this was hair-raising. It was room-clearing, horse-killing, World War I mustard gas-type gas. I migrated from room to room in the house like I was giving up territory to the Kaiser, my face fixed in an expression of horror as green hell-fumes trailed behind me, peeling paint and wilting plants.
It was pretty bad but not that bad, I don’t have plants in my apartment. The poop was pretty moderate, nothing too different, mostly 3 on the poop chart.
Colouring and Flavouring
This one didn’t work out too well. Day 0’s batch was mixed in with vanilla extract. It tasted like a thick soy milk. I experimented with differing amounts of vanilla and colours. I tried green, red, and blue of which the red turned quite pink and I got some weird stares on the bus ride after my jug fell out of my bag. It wasn’t until the 5th day or so that I experimented with cocoa powder. It makes a huge difference, it was actually very delicious. Cocoa powder can only go so far, it’s not sweetened chocolate, which meant I needed to add sugar to give me a familiar chocolate soy milk taste.
I still have one week of Soylent left and I plan to finish it eventually. I’ve seen people blending it together which I should attempt next. A colleague of mine suggested to do it for breakfast and dinner and evening snack but eat a normal lunch so I won’t feel hungry at 3PM. Sugar and vanilla mix isn’t too bad and I still have plenty of it so I think that’ll be the mix when I revisit Soylent later this year.