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Powder Food Soylent: The Answer to Global Hunger?

Update Date: Jun 11, 2013 11:33 AM EDT

Soylent, a powdered mixture containing the daily amounts of vitamins and minerals that a person needs to survive could be the answer to global hunger. This product, invented by Rob Rhinehart was first developed as an easy way of getting nutrition without having to deal with cooking and ordering food. This mixture gave Rhinehart, who is a software engineer from San Francisco, CA just what he needed to be satisfied and nutritionally balanced.

"It started as a personal need for myself," Rhinehart explained according to Time. "My diet before was pretty poor. I ate mainly convenient cheap foods because I wasn't really into food." Rhinehart has been relying on his invention and occasional real food on the weekends for the past five months.

In an attempt to change his diet for the better, Rhinehart spent a month researching the nutrients that the body needs to survive. Based from his research, Rhinehart developed a mixture that contains calcium, potassium, zinc, vitamins, and much more. Rhinehart adamantly tested his powdered mixture on himself and noticed that he lost weight despite feeling full. He also stated that he had more energy than before.

Since then, Rhinehart has started thinking about how his product could help other people. For example, Rhinehart discusses the fact that some people like himself, might not enjoy food and thus, these people need something that can be substantial and easy. He believes that for people who are not passionate about cooking or food in general, soylent could be the answer since these types of people would no longer have to worry about food and simply focus on their goals, such as their careers or education.

"People should be working on their education and their career and their passion. If cooking is one's passion then that's great, but for a lot of people it's not," he said.

Not only could soylent be the solution for some people, it has the potential of becoming the key in fighting global hunger. Soylent only requires water and does not spoil. Since it is in a powdered form, it can also be transported easily. When Rhinehart was approached about this possibility, he responded optimistically.

"In San Francisco, the food and heath difference between the poorer and the more affluent areas are so clear. It's not that people don't know what things are healthy and unhealthy. They don't have the means," he said. "I think this [soylent] could really help preventative care by allowing a lot of the body's natural mechanisms to keep up and [maintain] the energy it needs to make it a healthy system."

Although soylent has received some hype, several critics are not sold on this new product. Some experts remind people that soylent has not been scientifically proven to be able to help sustain the body. Aside from that, other experts believe that the dull taste would not be enticing enough for people to give up real food for a powdered drink.

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