31 controversial quotes from Soylent CEO Rob Rhinehart that will either terrify you or make you excited about the future of food

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Josh Edelson / Getty Images

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 polarizing.

Here are 31 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 nature: “People have this belief that just because something is natural it’s good. The natural state of man is ignorant, and starving, and cold.”

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REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

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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.”

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Justin Sullivan/Getty

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On foodies: “Everyone’s like, ‘The natural, organic way is the best.’ And it sounded a lot like fundamentalist Christianity.”

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Via Williams Sonoma

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On fast food: “After a week [of Soylent] advertisements for fast food looked repulsive. All I crave is Soylent.”

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McDonald’s

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On information: “Always know as much as possible. I think all value at some point comes from information asymmetry.”

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Thomson Reuters

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On movies: “Eating to me is a leisure activity, like going to the movies, but I don’t want to go to the movies three times a day.”

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rpb1001/Flickr

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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.”

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Matt Weinberger

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On roles: “The food is eating us.”

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Alison Faith on Flickr

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On farming: “Ingredients that come from agriculture, especially animal products, are very wasteful and inefficient.”

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REUTERS/Eric Thayer

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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.”

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Whole Foods

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On needs: “You need amino acids and lipids, not milk itself. You need carbohydrates, not bread.”

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Thomson Reuters

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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.”

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Pizza Hut

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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.”

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Soylent

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On value: “[Soylent] provided more value to my life than any app.”

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Lisa Eadicicco

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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.”

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Kathleen Elkins

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On water: “I think the best technology is the one that disappears. Water doesn’t have a lot of taste or flavor, and it’s the world’s most popular beverage.”

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Thomson Reuters

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On fossil fuel: “Food is the fossil fuel of human energy. It is an enormous market full of waste, regulation, and biased allocation with serious geo-political implications. And we’re deeply dependent on it.”

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Wendy/Flickr

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On fear: “One of my fears is someone would turn down a social eating engagement to work and drink Soylent.”

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Justina Mintz/AMC

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On resentment: “In my own life I resented the time, money, and effort, the purchase, preparation, consumption, and clean-up of food was consuming.”

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REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

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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 energized, and started my day.”

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Soylent

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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.”

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Mallory Schlossberg/Business Insider

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On cooking stereotypes: “I for one would not miss the stereotype of the housewife in the kitchen. Providing diverse, palatable, and nutritious meals for an entire family every day must be exhausting. What if taking a night off didn’t mean unhealthy pizza or expensive take out? How wasteful society has been with its women!”

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Flickr / Rainer Stropek

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On bodies: “Hacking the body is high risk, high reward.”

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flickr: pakpandir

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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.”

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Melia Robinson/Business Insider

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.”

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Wikimedia Commons

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On plants: “It’s just intuitive on principle, these plants are not on our side. These plants did not evolve to feed us. If they could kill us, they probably would. It’s competition.”

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Thomson Reuters

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On Ferraris: “Ferraris are wasteful!”

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Julie Zeveloff/Business Insider

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On where he buys his food: “I buy my staple food online like a civilized person.”

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Shutterstock

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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.”

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Shutterstock

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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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Fodors/Courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Japan

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On the Soylent haters: “I do not understand the negativity surrounding Soylent. Perhaps some people confuse matters of taste with matters of morality. Some have their cooking and eating habits and seem to be offended that mine are different. I do not think it is unreasonable to desire to eat on my own terms.”

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Lotus Carroll/Flickr

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