Following on from Part 1 in this series: Finding the Perfect Meal Replacement (without vitamins or minerals)…
With some digging around Google I found these possible products for our meal replacement base:
- Oil: Sunflower Oil from Goodness.com at 5 litres (5,000 grams) for $50 = $0.01 per gram.
- Protein: Naked brown rice protein at 5 pounds (2268 grams) for $65 = $0.03 per gram.
- Carbs: Soylent has 5 main carbs (averaging $0.022 per gram):
- Maltodextrin – from myprotein.com at $13.50 for 5.5lbs = 2494 grams = less than $0.01 per gram
- Oat Flour – Organic Whole Grain Oat Flour from glutenfreeoats.com at 3 pounds (1,360 grams) for $12.30 = $0.01 per gram.
- Isomaltulose – an artificial sweetener which I’ll opt to replace with simple organic honey – equal exchange organic clear honey – 500g $15.84 = $0.03 per gram
- Potato starch – Frontier Potato Starch – 16oz at $11.71 = 454 grams = under $0.03 per gram
- Rice starch – Red Mill’s whole grain brown rice flour – 24oz at $21 = 680 grams = $0.03 per gram
Cost Per Serving
Let’s try and figure out how much of this concoction I would take per day to get something like an average volume of food intake.
Soylent’s serving size is 115 grams, of which it advises 4 servings per day (apparently following feedback from customers). So that’s a total of 460 grams. Now, Soylent has more ingredients but not much by volume so I’m going to round our calculations down to 440 grams (110 per savings) for our ‘meal replacement base’.
Here’s what a 100g of carrots looks like.
4 x that is about 6 rather small looking carrots… doesn’t seem like much food to me. But mixed into a drink with water I guess the density and volume works.
Soylent 1.4 has a ratio of 43/40/17 for carbs/protein/fats so every 110 grams of our mixture has:
- 47.3 grams of carbs x $0.022 per gram = $1.04
- 44 grams of protein (that’s a lot for one serving, I would normally think to eat no more than 30g in one go. An egg contains about 5g protein) x $0.03 per gram = £1.32
- 18.7 ‘grams’ (equivalent of ~0.0187 litres) of oil x $0.03 per gram = $0.56
Totaling $2.92 per serving.
Soylent promotes itself as being approximately $3 per meal, so with the added ingredients it includes, there are no cost savings in buying the ingredients at retail and mixing them yourself. Thank goodness as that’s one less daily task necessary.
However, I would want to know that the Soylent ingredients truly are premium quality, definitely organic, raw where possible, sprouted where relevant.
Just for curiosity (as I don’t count calories normally), here’s how many calories are in 1 gram of each:
- carbohydrate has 4 calories
- protein has 4 calories
- fat has 9 calories
At Soylent’s ratio of 43/40/17, every 100 grams has:
- 43 x 4 = 172 calories of carbs
- 4 x 40 = 160 calories of protein
- 9 x 17 = 153 calories of fats
Totaling 488 calories per serving. Is that a lot? I’ve no idea…
Meal Replacement Conclusion
It certainly seems that Soylent has a good thing going on, as there product contains more than my self-made option did above and works out the same cost (if buying the ingredients at retail). Obviously Soylent is buying the ingredients in volume at discount.
The only sticking point for me is in terms of the quality of Soylent ingredients. What source and state are the vitamins and minerals? Are the other ingredients as potent and natural as possible?
Unfortunately Soylent’s site specifies it is not organic and is not GMO-free…
This certainly calls out a significant problem in my view, and also suggests cutting corners in terms of ingredient potency, bioavailability, etc.
Guess I’ll just have to mix up my own…