Soylent is an ironic name for a food replacement company. Obviously the creator of the product has seen the film from 1973 called Soylent Green starring Charlton Heston. The movie takes place in a dystopian future where most of humanity survives by eating processed foods including Soylent Green, made from super fresh human corpses.
Bob Rhinehart, a software engineer out of San Francisco, took his engineer brain and put it toward taking all of the pesky food preparation time out of eating, in order to create a more efficient energy source. Since 2013, he has raised more than $20 million in venture capitol to make Soylent, a product that ships only throughout the United States and Canada, not in resource-depleted countries.
According to the Soylent website, the product contains all the protein, fats, fibers, vitamins, and minerals that the human body needs to survive. Rhinehart himself has described the taste of Soylent as "minimal, broad, and non-specific." Now that Soylent 2.0 has started shipping, the now pre-mixed food replacement supplement has some more flavor options and now more time can be saved by not even having to add water to your "meal."
As of August 2015, watchdog group As You Sow is suing Soylent for not advertising the levels of lead and cadmium in the beverage. While the levels are well below FDA limits, since Soylent is advertised as a complete meal replacement, As You Sow views those levels as possibly harmful in that amount.
Benjamin Franklin said, "Eat to live, don't live to eat" and, in some respects, that is a good point. Gluttony in any form is never a good thing, but viewing food as only fuel is also a boring and joyless way to live. Reducing something to fuel that can otherwise provide so much pleasure and benefit seems to miss the point of life itself, especially if the reason behind doing that is to become a more productive worker bee. Taking a half an hour or even an hour out of the day to just slow down and enjoy a meal can keep us sane and happy in ways that are completely unquantifiable. The connections we make with other humans over a good meal are, in turn, what keep us connected as members of humanity. But hey, at least this Soylent isn't made out of people, I guess.