After seeing the Soylent project last year, I’ve always admired the idea behind powdered foods:  All you’d ever nutritionally need, without missing anything or going over your dietary intake.  Such a cool concept for living in a food-rich world when we evolved for food-scarce scenarios.

As I’m not committed enough to go out and buy bulk powdered ingredients for my own Soylent mix, I’m trialing Apocalypse Chow.  You can make it up as a seriously thick shake or at the consistency of a normal milkshake – I prefer the latter.

Pros:

  • Save time cooking
  • Save time eating:  It’s easier to multitask when drinking something rather than eating
  • More work done for busy times
  • Ultimate Nutrition.  Mum knows I always forget to take my vitamins (sorry mum)
  • Slightly cheaper than my normal meals:  Generally, I pre-make my lunches for the week at about $3 per meal.  Apocalypse chow meals work out to be $5.35 per meal serving size, but I’m full after about half the normal serving size, making it about $2.67 per meal.
  • Zombie Apocalypse ready
  • Automatic Vegetarian Superpowers

Cons:

  • Might get a bit boring after a while
  • Normal food is delicious
  • Food judgement (haters gonna hate)
  • Less likely to engage in lunchtime chats
  • More likely to join powdered food master race cults
  • Someone told me that my teeth might fall out if I don’t use them.  Seems legit

After that conversation I caught teeth loss paranoia and began to do some research on the effects of liquid based foods.   The majority of articles I read cautioned towards the lack of variety in such diets.  Although we have a pretty solid idea of what the body needs nutrition-wise, we can never be certain we have everything we need.  However, I can imagine individuals with non-liquid based monotonous diets would have the same issue.  Regardless, I’ll be eating breakfast as usual and eating a normal dinner at least twice a week.  I can ease myself into this routine while still maintaining all of the pros above.

Most of the studies carried out in the liquid based diet area are carried out in an animal model.   One particular study by Tsuchiya et al.  compared the same food in pellet vs. liquid forms over 17 weeks.  They found the following:

  • Powdered food, even for such a short period, resulted in a greater glycemic response than pellet food as it is more easily digested and absorbed.
  • Long-term feeding on powdered food induced hyperglycemia and related systemic signs of illness, including increases in serum adrenaline, noradrenaline, and corticosterone, higher blood pressures (especially diastolic), and increased social interaction behaviors
  • This is thought to be due to the lack of food mastication.  Mastication of food of adequate hardness may be very important for the maintenance of systemic (physical and mental) health, possibly via reduction in the levels of blood glucose and/or adrenal stress hormones (catecholamines and glucocorticoids) in mice.

Interesting stuff, and it is unclear if these findings will be seen in a similar human clinical trial.  I’ll be undertaking my own pilot study with a sample size of 1 over the coming weeks – I’ll report back in about a month.

If you’d also like to give it a go with me, the apocalypse chow website is here:  http://www.apocalypsechow.com.au/

Hackerspace members also receive $20 off all orders through pickup delivery at the space.