Rob Rhinehart, more than perhaps any other founder in the tech world, lives the dream he preaches with Soylent.
Before formally launching the food-replacement product, he used his own body to experiment with the recipe. He tinkered with different doses and types of nutrients, sometimes hurting himself in the process.
But Rhinehart truly believes in hacking food to make something affordable, easy, and sustainable. He’s on a quest to perfect Soylent.
Rhinehart’s focus is part of what has drawn users and venture capitalists to Soylent, and why it continues to find success.
But Rhinehart’s views aren’t always welcome, and his firm stances on issues of food philosophy can be polarising.
Here are 24 quotes from Rhinehart that show his view of the world and the future. If you are on his side, they are inspiring and logical. If you are not, they may sound wacky.
On grocery stores: 'I have not set foot in a grocery store in years. Nevermore will I bumble through endless confusing aisles like a pack-donkey searching for feed while the smell of rotting flesh fills my nostrils and fluorescent lights sear my eyeballs and sappy love songs torture my ears.'
On foodies: 'Everyone's like, 'The natural, organic way is the best.' And it sounded a lot like fundamentalist Christianity.'
On fast food: 'After a week (of Soylent) advertisements for fast food looked repulsive. All I crave is Soylent.'
On drones: 'We thought about doing Soylent drone delivery. Where you just hit a button on your phone and a drone comes and drops a bottle of Soylent, and you refuel.'
On tradeoffs: 'I think it's possible to use technology to make healthy food very cheaply and easily, but we'll have to give up many traditional foodstuffs like fresh fruits and veggies, which are incompatible with food processing and scale.'
On pizza: 'I think in the future all of our pizzas and staple meals will have a Soylent-esque nutritional make up and be designed purely for taste, texture, and appearance.'
On his first Soylent trials: 'I feel like the Six Million Dollar Man. My physique has noticeably improved, my skin is clearer, my teeth whiter, my hair thicker and my dandruff gone.'
On pressed juice: 'It's kind of archaic. Look at the design. It's meant to be rustic and natural and comfortable. . . .In fact, it's pretty bad for you.'
On fear: 'One of my fears is someone would turn down a social eating engagement to work and drink Soylent.'
On the taste of Soylent: 'It was delicious! I felt like I'd just had the best breakfast of my life. It tasted like a sweet, succulent, hearty meal in a glass, which is what it is, I suppose. I immediately felt full, yet energised, and started my day.'
On Whole Foods: 'I used to dream of one day being able to afford shopping at Whole Foods, but now it's irrelevant to me.'
On salad: 'I was 6 or 7 and I guess my mother was serving salad. I was looking down at a plate with these leaves on it. I could look outside and see leaves on the trees, and it just seemed a little weird. It seemed a little primitive -- like something an animal would do.'
On art: 'I'm looking forward to the point where we don't have to worry about hunger, or nutrition. Where people make food just because it's beautiful -- like gardening, or painting. I'm looking forward to the point where food can just be art.'
On algae: 'I also think it's crazy cool that some of the ingredients are made by algae rather than water-guzzling pesticide-spraying farms.'
On the idea of people being too busy to cook: 'Not having time to cook because you're working on your career or passion should be praised.'
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