Drink mixes intended to replace meals altogether have garnered attention
from the media recently as part of a larger trend of “lifehacking,” a cultural
Silicon Valley export that aims to streamline daily life obligations. A recent
New Yorker article by Lizzie Widdicombe profiles Rob Rhinehart, creator of
Soylent, a drink mix that purports to provide all the daily nutrients that a
human needs. The concoction includes lipids from canola oil, carbohydrates
from maltodextrin and oat flour, protein from rice, fish oil from omega-3s,
and doses of magnesium, calcium and electrolytes. Rhinehart, who says that
he has drunk Soylent for 90 percent of his meals in the past year and a half,
describes Soylent not as a meal replacement like many diet mixes currently
on the market but rather as a food substitute that a person could subsist on
alone. The first 30,000 units of commercially produced Soylent shipped to
customers in early May, and Soylent’s formula is available for free online, as
well as variations and ideas for spicing up the beige “vaguely sweet yeasty
bread-drink.” Competitor Ambronite, in contrast, tastes “like raw, unsalted
almonds,” and is made from non-factory-derived ingredients such as herbs,
berries and nuts. Like Soylent did before it, Ambronite is using crowd-funding
to launch the drink into commercial production, and it aims to be the more
natural, upscale food substitute mix. While Ambronite gathers money from its
future users, Soylent is receiving $10,000 in new orders each day, and the U.S.
military and space programs have asked to run trials on the product. See Ars
Technica, May 5, 2014; The New Yorker, May 12, 2014.


Issue 523

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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