In the year of our lord 2016, busy humans on the go don’t need to be bothered with consuming actual meals of solid food to get their daily nutritional intake. Thanks to Soylent, it’s possible to live on an entirely liquid diet. But, for those who aren’t quite ready to embrace the fluid future, the company has introduced chewable nutrition bars, called, appropriately, Food Bars. They promise to fill you up without slowing down your daily productivity grind.
As long as they don’t make you violently ill.
A number of consumers have taken to the Soylent forums to complain about various unpleasant reactions that seemingly are related to the company’s Food Bars, ranging from nausea to vomiting to diarrhea. Similar reports have come up on Soylent-related Reddit threads.
What’s to blame for all this barfing? Some forum members have suspected tainted ingredients leading to foodborne illness, but Soylent has other ideas.
"After these reports, we have retrieved remaining bars from our consumers and have personally consumed many of the remaining bars without adverse effects," a spokesperson says in a statement provided to Eater. "We have also sent them for further microbiological testing and all tests have come back negative. Based on this we remain very confident in the safety of the bars.
"A certain subpopulation of individuals may have an allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity to ingredients such as soy and/or sucralose, or certain vitamin and mineral sources and should consult with their doctor before continuing to consume these products."
Soylent says it has received complaints about "less than 0.03 percent of the number of bars we have sold," and it warns that "all packaged and prepared food products have some risk of intolerance." The spokesperson tells Eater all ingredients are sourced from "qualified suppliers," and the bars are manufactured "at an FDA-inspected, GFSI-certified facility under a thorough food safety and quality program."
Whether there are actual issues with the ingredients that go into Soylent’s products, or if these are simply cases of allergic reactions as the company claims, remains to be seen. But, one consumer in the Soylent forums may be on to something.
• All Soylent Coverage [E]
• All Food Tech Coverage [E]