Motherboard / Vice Soylent Video


cross-posted here: in regards to the Vice / Motherboard piece here:

This morning, Vice’s Brian Merchant published a documentary video and accompanying article that outlined his experience living off Soylent exclusively for thirty days, several months ago.  Brian sought to recreate the scrupulous conditions of my initial Soylent test. Though the overall tone of the article was positive and he concluded that Soylent is something he will likely continue to use as a cheap, healthy, and easy staple meal, there were a few points that we feel require clarification. We encourage you to watch the entire video and read the article as well.

Merchant was able to run his 30-day test because of the Soylent Beta program, which consisted of small-batch Soylent production by hand, for limited distribution to friends and family, as well as journalists who expressed an interest in trying out early versions of Soylent.  The Beta program was incredibly useful for discovering weaknesses in our workflow.  At one point in the video, mold was discovered in one of Brian’s bags. This was due to inadequate packaging that we were testing at the time being punctured in shipping, allowing ambient moisture inside. This was one of several important discoveries from the beta program and prompted us to utilize more robust packaging. The beta program, along with our tenancy at the Oakland warehouse, concluded in early October, very soon after the Vice shoot wrapped. Our former landlord has been informed of our issues with the space.

We would also like to emphasize the fact that Soylent 1.0, the product for which we have accepted over $1.5M in preorders, will not be manufactured by hand by our executive team.  We have signed a purchase order with RFI Ingredients, a contract manufacturer with over 20 years of experience producing FDA-approved food products. Soylent is designed and regulated as a food, not a supplement. Their safety record is unimpeachable, which is one of the major reasons we chose to partner with them. To learn more about RFI’s certifications, please visit

We are grateful to be featured in a well-made piece regarding food security, design, and production. If one thing from the video is clear, food and people are always changing. The company and idea has come a long way in a matter of months, and we are devoted to producing the highest quality product possible.