Main image of article Soylent 2.0 Is Algae (and Other Stuff)
It’s not unusual to walk into a tech pro’s office and see, amidst the stacks of laptops and scattering of disassembled hardware, a box of Soylent, the “meal replacement” drink that’s attracted a fair amount of buzz and venture funding over the past year. It’s easy to see why Soylent’s narrative appeals to many tech pros. In addition to the excellently geeky name (which alludes to not only the sci-fi movie Soylent Green, but also the novel Make Room! Make Room!), Soylent’s creator, Rob Rhinehart, followed the tech-startup playbook when building the product, starting out with a crowdfunding campaign before moving to venture-capital financing from Andreessen Horowitz and other firms. Soylent 2.0, announced this week, comes in bottles and combines soy protein with algal oil (derived from algae) and other ingredients. Unlike 1.0, which came in powder form, this next iteration comes in recyclable bottles, already hydrated. (Shipping in bottles might appeal to a broader consumer audience, which isn’t necessarily attracted to the science-lab mixology of the original Soylent.) For those too busy building apps and companies to bother scrounging up conventional food, but who don’t want to die of malnutrition at their desks, it could prove just the thing.