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Soylent Has Officially Ruined Barbecue

Avert your eyes, Texans

Photo: Rick Kern/Getty Images for Soylent

Of all the stunt “activations” happening at Austin’s annual tech-bro bacchanalia South by Southwest, here’s one that Texans might want to pretend never happened: Soylent as barbecue sauce. During an event last week, the often-maligned meal replacement brand teamed up with the local Keith’s BBQ trailer to offer smoked meats, Soylent-infused cocktails, and a “sweet cacao” barbecue sauce that contained an indeterminate amount of the “staple meal” that once got a bunch of people sick.

As Buzzfeed first noticed in a post that’s now making the rounds, the existence of such a sauce “should be illegal in the state of Texas” (to speak nothing of the act of putting a thick barbecue sauce upon meat in the first place, itself its own sordid debate). As non-Texan Eater editor Tim Forster put it, the stunt also basically negates the whole point of Soylent: “Is pouring Soylent onto actual food the gastronomical equivalent of typing ‘Google’ into Google?” Photos of the dish elicited similar feelings in the Eater newsroom, some of which are below:

Ellen: Wait but this is real FOOD why would you put Soylent on it?!?!?!
Matt: Bulking.
Emma: I don’t know, but I feel sick looking at it.
Hillary: This is the equivalent of a kid in school licking his food so nobody else wants to eat it: “Lookie here I covered my barbecue in Soylent now I don’t have to share!” There is so much wrong with this.
David: Doesn’t Soylent assert that its consumers should still eat food for enjoyment?This seems like the least enjoyable actual food meal one could eat.
Amy: I don’t believe in the death penalty, but... that looks like some good-ass barbecue. Unlike that NYC barbecue :gun: :fire:

... which, of course, is a different argument for a different time.

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