Rob Rhinehart has given up food. Really, for 30 days, he didn't eat a single bite.
The 24-year-old software engineer from Atlanta invented a mixture of vitamins and minerals he calls Soylent. He consumed nothing but Soylent for 30 days, and now he's making the foodless product for the masses.
"In my own life I resented the time, money, and effort the purchase, preparation, consumption, and clean-up of food was consuming," Rhinehart wrote on his website Mostly Harmless. "I haven't eaten a bite of food in 30 days, and it's changed my life."
Soylent is a mixture of vitamins and minerals including zinc, iodine, calcium, potassium, vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and biotin to name a few. The mixture is combined with water, then drunk. Rhinehart describes the substance as a "thick, ordorless, beige liquid."
Every foodie, restaurant critic, professional chef and home cook just cried out in horror.
To make Soylent, Rhinehart researched everything a body would need to survive. He then purchased every item in its raw, chemical form and turned his kitchen into his very own chemistry lab before coming up with Soylent. His website is full of his copious notes and reads like a mad scientist's diary of self-experimentation.
He started a campaign on Crowdhoster to raise funds to produce Soylent as a business and has raised more than $220,000, Motherboard reported.
"We are working on sourcing and sample runs in preparation for our first scale production," said Rhinehart in an email. "We would like to have our own FDA-approved facility as soon as possible though, which should allow us to lower the cost substantially."
The initial cost for a week's worth of Soylent is $65, but Rhinehart noted the price is "only to kick off our initial manufacturing costs" and that it should get cheaper quickly. He anticipates his first shipment to go out in August and to have his own facility by the end of the year.
After the 30-day Soylent diet, Rhinehart introduced real food back into his meal plan, but only a little.
"I still eat socially, so if I start to miss something I'll just order it, but this doesn't happen much," he said. "I think the only food I would regularly choose over Soylent is good southern BBQ and sweet tea."