Living Without Food?

I’m Quitting Food.

Okay, that’s not true but I am giving up most solid food and replacing it almost exclusively with a nutritionally complete powdered foodstuff I’ll mix with water.

Not sure how long I’ll be doing this for. Could be just once, or could be a thing I keep doing from now on. Time and taste will tell.

Why Would I Do This To Myself?

Ever since I heard about complete food powders, I’ve been intrigued by the idea of a single foodstuff that is easy to make, store, transport, prepare, eat, and provides everything a body needs when combined with clean water.

It all stems from a side-passion of mine: life support systems. Food, waste, energy, storage, air, water, filtration systems to name a few. From submarines, to antarctic exploration vehicles, to spacecraft and interplanetary bases, I am fascinated by tech that lets us boldly go where no one has gone before.

Developments in life support systems inevitably trickle down to the rest of society as well. If something is tasty and healthy enough to support astronauts in places that nothing naturally grows, it could be a huge game changer for people trying to survive back here on Earth. Temporary or long-term food for refugees, militaries, disasters, pandemics and food shortages.

Why Am I Really Doing This?

  • It’s cheaper than solid food with better nutrition.
  • It’s basically impossible to eat worst than I already am.
  • I like to count calories and this makes it very convenient.
  • To act out my Biodome fantasies with greater immersion.
  • I love to cook but I’m kitchen lazy and it can’t be helped.
  • Don’t judge me.

Food Tech: Complete Powders

As the world looks for food solutions, a few companies are researching and developing these nutritionally complete food powders that contain everything a body needs to survive.

To eat it you just add some water or milk to a couple scoops of the stuff. Shake it up or blend then consume. You can doctor it up by blending in whatever sounds good, and the prepared stuff generally keeps for about 24 hours in the fridge.

For being such a new technology, it’s already pretty affordable at around $1.50 per 400kcal meal. With advancements in automation and scaling, I can see these prices going way down in the future.

Image may contain: ‎4 people, ‎text that says '‎mik വחוחת "yeah well it's actually nutritionally complete powdered food, it's got everything you need in it and the flavour boosts taste unreal"‎'‎‎

What’s It Taste Like?

Each powder has an inherent taste from whatever it’s made of. Most raw powders are described as having an unpleasant “Earthy” taste.

Most companies add flavoring to make it taste more like Vanilla, Chocolate, Berry, Coffee, or some other flavor. Some have caffeine and others do not.

So, it tastes like the inherent base flavor + an optional factory flavoring + whatever else you might want to add like a shot of coffee, fresh fruit, or spices.

Savory food like soups can be made when mixing the powder with less water or milk, then adding flavoring like bouillon or curry paste.

It can even be made into a sort of patty or nugget that you cook up in a pan. Really looking forward to seeing what that eats like.

What Kinds of Powders Are There?

There are so many different complete food powders, entire websites are dedicated to reviewing and breaking down their differences. To start out, I’m just looking for a baseline to compare others with, I’ve decided to look at the two most popular brands: Soylent and Huel.

Both make complete powders that provide everything a body needs (minus water). Both name their powders after version numbers because they each continuously improve their formulas over time.

There are other minor similarities, but they really aren’t important as this breakdown of the main differences between their latest versions:

Per 2000kcalcover_fill_Huel_Logo_large_5_7ed55590-35a9-4c2c-9aa2-02af266ae92b (1)Soylent Vector Logo
VersionVanilla v3.0Original v1.9
Protein (g)145100
Fibre (g)3530
Fat (g)64100
Total sugar (g)475
Main carb sourcesOats, flaxseed, tapiocaIsomaltulose, maltodextrin
Contains soy?NoYes
Price per 400kcal meal$1.51$1.74
Shipping chargeFree shipping in the USFree  shipping in the US

I’m Going With Huel

Though I secretly hoped Soylent could meet my needs so I could go around telling unwanted jokes about eating people, in the end I went with Huel for some reasons:

  1. Huel appears to have healthier and more sustainable ingredients.
  2. YouTube reviews seem to favor Huel.
  3. Huel is cheaper.
  4. Soylent had more than one recall over tainted product.
  5. Huel sends me a free cup/shaker and t-shirt.
Image may contain: 1 person, meme, text that says 'When your friend asks you to wait so they can go grab their Soylent (jazz music stops)'

Since I’m just trying it out for now, I ordered 1 bag of Vanilla Huel 3.0, and 1 bag of Chocolate Huel 3.0. During checkout, they upsold me on 1 of each flavor “Huel Bar” which I’ll try out if I get sick of drinking my calories.

Ordering process was straightforward and everything should arrive on Thursday. In the meantime, I got some almond milk, fruit, and coffee to doctor it up.

Reasonable Expectations

I think it has a good chance of making me physically attractive overnight. That attractiveness will no doubt translate into an infectious charisma that I’ll use to score the ultimate dream job and live out the rest of my life in happiness and luxury.

Really Though

  • I’ll probably lose some weight.
  • It might taste much worst than I thought.
  • I’ll likely end up finishing the bags anyways because I have low standards and little self respect when it comes to food.
  • No real concerns. I’ll just quit quitting food if it’s not for me.
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