A little over a year and a half ago, Rob Rhinehart wrote his initial post about Soylent. Since then I have followed the development of Soylent and Rosa Labs with some fascination. While I really enjoy cooking and eating good food, the idea holds some appeal to me - certainly I don't always feel like cooking and sometimes I just want something quick and hopefully not too unhealthy. So the idea of having a simple drink I could just mix up and have for these times is certainly appealing. Meal shakes are, of course, not exactly new, but I am not really aware of any healthy individual committing to it quite like Rob did. Pretty quickly I put together my own formulation of a "meal drink" and I have been drinking that off and on for the last year or so - just for a quick meal here and there.
I've never been quite satisfied with my own formulation and have tinkered with it quite a bit; mostly I have been trying to improve on the taste and texture. I've of course wanted to try Rob and co's formulation, and when they began to seriously push forward with commercialization I put the order in for some. Now about 5 months later I've finally received my first shipment of their v1.1 formulation.
The packaging for the powder and the oil bottles certainly look pretty nice; including the pitcher and measuring cup with the first shipment is also a nice touch. I can understand why they went with providing everything in individual containers measured out for a whole day of Soylent, but it does seem a bit wasteful to me. I would rather just get larger containers and measure it out myself.
My first impression from actually drinking the Soylent matches up with what I've read from others. The flavor is a kind of vague vanilla that I can imagine going well with a number of other flavors. The drink is slightly sweet, not overwhelmingly so and not as sweet as my own formulation - just right I think. The texture is definitely better than my own formulation, but still a little gritty; the grittiness is not something I mind, but I know it bothers other people.
It's been a few hours since I had my liquid meal and my stomach seems to be fine with it so far. We'll see if I develop the toxic gas that some people have been hit with. This new v1.1 formulation is supposed to deal with that by including some digestive enzymes in it. I would think part of it is just that a lot of people aren't used to the amount of fiber they would be getting drinking this, but I am usually pretty good about fiber so I don't really expect any problems.
Overall I think my first experience with Soylent is pretty positive. I only ordered a weeks worth of it since I just wanted to try it out, but as I only plan on having it for the occasional individual meal I imagine it will actually last a while. If things continue to go well I think I will probably just switch to using it over my own meal shake I have been making.