A Review of Soylent – The Future of Food

I’ve always been a fussy eater (much to the disdain of my mother), a crappy cook, and a lazy person (especially in the kitchen). To top off that list, cooking healthy food, I’ve found, takes far too much time, and, for me personally, is not an enjoyable process. Each and every meal I make, I find myself romanticizing about the things I could be doing instead: writing; reading a book; playing video games; going for a walk and so on. Being inherently lazy, I was delighted to hear over a year ago that a new company had formed to make this odd thing called Soylent. (So named to encourage people to take food less seriously.) It is a food product developed by Rosa Labs, that, In their own words, is “designed for use as a staple meal by all adults. Each serving of Soylent provides maximum nutrition with minimum effort.”

To make it, one simply mixes the contents of a bag of Soylent (see below) with a liter (approx. one quart) of water. The resultant liquid provides 2010 calories made up of 252 grams of carbohydrates, 118 grams of protein, and 59 grams of fat. What I like about Soylent, at first glance, is the “maximum nutrition with minimum effort.”

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Random, Weird, and F*cked up Search Terms

Throwing a wrench into the usual style and content of my posts, here are the weirdest search terms that people have used to stumble across my site:

  • nudity human breasts
  • naked milk breasts
  • how about you shut up
  • udders cow tumblr
  • bill maher hates palestinians
  • career politician virus
  • cow breasts
  • a woman’s human body
  • hairy vagina
  • gmo wackos
  • asian women naked boobs
  • naked woman breast front covered by hand
  • laser scanning breasts
  • real breasts
  • idiot australian
  • a real human breast
  • woman’s human body
  • fuck fuel cut

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A Badge of Honor & the Right to Know…

Recently, I found myself included in a who’s who of GMO Right-to-Know deniers.

Righttoknow

Now that is a list of some smart people, and I’m glad I’m on it — even if I am an idiot. The meme states that pro-GMO folks (a misnomer — we’re pro-evidence) believe that having more information is deceptive. An assertion that is both wrong and right. (As a small clarification, Mark Lynas and Julie Kay, aka sleuth4health are both pro-labelling, therefore, are wrongly included on this list. Mark Lynas made a speech on the necessity of labels for GMOs, and Julee K did a blog post endorsing a particular method of labelling.) That digression aside, let’s dissect the meme.

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Genetically Modified Memes!

It’s been a while since I posted. To be honest, I’m still trying to get back into the swing of things routine-wise with the new arrival to our household. In the meantime, here are a collection of some funny genetically modified memes. Well, funny to those who are Monsanto shills, at the least.

End Monsanto's Dominance

Pay close attention to the numbers…

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Further Ruminations on the Appeal to Nature

Sometime back, I wrote a post about the Appeal to Nature fallacy. It is a fallacy that bothers me quite significantly; the main reason is because its assumptions and consequences are unspoken or, in most cases, never addressed.

For those who don’t know the Appeal to Nature (ATN) usually involves a dietary and medicinal claim that natural products are, directly or otherwise, better than artificial (read: man-made) products. Anytime you read the words “Natural”, “All Natural,” “Organic,” you are reading an Appeal to Nature; specifically, to nature’s goodness–I’ve never seen arsenic used in an ATN. Notably, it tends to rear its head in relation to conditions and diseases that our current medical knowledge is unable to address—Alzheimer’s and cancer being two examples among many. (In that light, the ATN might be considered the exploitation of severe emotional distress among those at the least rational stage of their life as they face daunting, perhaps hopeless, odds to make money, but that’s just the pessimist in me talking.) The selling of natural supplements is often marked as a way to give back power and certainty that psychological wellbeing demands; subsequently relieving cognitive discomfort, albeit at exorbitant costs (in relation to their benefit that is—except for a few, genuinely exorbitant price tags such as Stanley Burzynski’s supposed cancer cure which rings in at several hundred thousand dollars). From multivitamins to gingko bilboa, the ATN is a powerful train of thought.

However, despite its popularity, it is so full of holes, contradictions and—what really gets me—unspoken assumptions and conclusions. I’m not going to bother debunking it; that has been done many times; once here on this blog, and many other—far better—denunciations on the Internet (my favourite being Kyle Hill’s Does Mother Nature Always Know What’s Best). Rather, I plan on taking the ATN through to its logical conclusion.

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Frankenpolitics: The Left defence of GMOs

Absolutely brilliant assessment of how the left misrepresents the evidence to their favour, just as those on the right do similar vis-a-vie evolution and climate change.
Leigh somehow manages to cover almost every aspect of the GMO debate without the antagonism to boot. Something I could probably learn myself! It’s a mighty long read but well worth the 15-minute investment.

LEIGH PHILLIPS

Some background: Last September, Red Pepper, a progressive UK magazine, published a brief article,  “Silenced GM scientist speaks out against biotech coercion“, on its website about Gilles-Eric Seralini, the French molecular biologist sharply criticised by the scientific community for his infamous and headline-grabbing GMO-rat-tumour study, and promoting his British speaking tour. I’ve written for the magazine for many years and was furious that this discredited quack was being taken seriously by my colleagues. An extended email to the editors explaining the problems of the left-anti-GM position evolved into an essay for an upcoming print edition, which then turned into a multi-page debate between me and my friend Emma Hughes, a campaigner with the (really great) London-based environmental group Platform and who is also an opponent of genetic modification. 

The print edition has finally come out, but due to understandable space constraints, the full essay had to be condensed.

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What’s it like living in the future?

Why, what, when, and how I am living in the future? Well, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to purchase Google Glass. This won’t be a typical review. For one of those, you can read the Engadget review. Below I instead answer questions that have been asked of me since I’ve received them.

What are they like? Amazing. I feel like I’ve transported five years into the future.

What’s the best feature? Impromptu photos and videos in gatherings of friends. Google’s Auto Awesome feature is a close second.

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