Soylent vs. Huel—Can Powdered Meals Replace Food?



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Soylent vs. Huel—Can Powdered Meals Replace Food? - Scientific American

Meal replacement products like Soylent and Huel have gained a loyal following. But are these all-in-one powders and shakes really a more optimal way to get your nutrition?

Years ago, my friend Chris told me he wished that someone would invent People Chow—some sort of food product that would supply all his nutritional needs without him having to make any decisions. He said he didn’t need variety. He didn’t need culinary excitement. As long as it didn’t taste terrible, he could happily eat the same thing for every meal, and he'd be glad never to have to think about it again.

Since then, several companies have tried to make the equivalent of People Chow. Soylent (named after a cult-classic dystopian fantasy film) was an early entry into this market, with an all-in-one powder that you mix with water or another liquid, and that would theoretically meet all of your nutrient needs.

Soylent caught on so quickly that early in the company’s history, they were unable to manufacture it fast enough to meet demand. That demand gave rise to a robust DIY community that share recipes for homemade Soylent Green-type formulas.