Many years ago, a Californian software engineer named Rob Rhinehart invented a product called Soylent, which was a powder that contains every nutrient needed to survive and thrive. Soylent is not only available in powdered form but also in bottled form, food bar form, and there is a coffee-flavoured version as well.
The idea behind Soylent is that you do not need to bother with cooking or cleaning. You just eat (or drink) Soylent, throw away the packaging, and get on with life. You save time not having to cook or clean.
As of writing this, Aussielent has one vegan product called Aussielent Body (it is also low-FODMAP as well, if anyone has irritable bowel syndrome). You can buy a week’s supply for A$82 (US$61) but if you buy a month’s supply you pay A$320 (US$240). To me this seems extremely cheap.
The Aussielent came in transparent resealable bags (see image above). Each bag contains four servings and each serve provides about 25% of your RDI.
According to the instructions, you mix the powder with water in a protein shaker. I have tried this and personally find the taste to be boring. It tastes a little bit like oatmeal. Having read reviews about Soylent all over the internet, I know that this bland oatmeal taste is a common complaint given to Soylent, but supposedly Soylent is meant to be bland because it is meant to be a staple like rice. You can add flavoring to the product if you like. As such, I like to mix my Aussielent in a mug with coffee or cocoa powder, soy milk, and hot water. I sometimes even mix in chocolate flavoured protein powder (Earth Protein) if I have run out of cocoa powder. I find Aussielent Body is tastiest when mixed with instant coffee.
I do not live off Aussielent. I don’t even bring it into work because it is simply too much hassle to mix powders at work. I am afraid of the mess I’d be creating. Having powders flying everywhere is not something you want at the office. There is a bottled Aussielent available but unfortunately the vitamin D in this bottled Aussielent is not vegan yet. Vegan vitamin D is supposedly difficult to source in Australia. I have seen other companies struggle to find vegan vitamin D, so I don’t blame Aussielent. Vitasoy unfortunately was unable to make their Calci-Plus soy milk vegan because they were unable to find a vegan vitamin D source. Soylent in America was able to easily procure vegan vitamin D from the Dutch biotech company DSM (see Vitamin D – Soylent FAQ).
Aussielent was able to find vegan vitamin D for Aussielent Body in the form of “high vitamin D mushroom powder,” but this form of vitamin D cannot be put into an aseptic container for the ready-to-drink Aussielent.
Nevertheless, I am confident that Aussielent will deliver a vegan bottled Aussielent soon as I would happily bring bottled Aussielent to work to drink for lunch, which will save me from the hassle of making a sandwich every night.
Something that I find puzzling about Aussielent is whether there is any omega 3 in the product. Soylent in America makes a big deal about the algae oil in its product. There is an interesting Vice article about Soylent’s plans to replace all food with algae. The reasoning is that algae is a highly efficient and sustainable way to produce fats. Algae can be grown cleanly and quickly in bioreactors in factories. Omega 3 DHA and EPA in Soylent comes from algae oil. However, the ingredient list of Aussielent Body (as well as the non-vegan Aussielents) make no mention of any algae nor is there any mention of any animal omega 3 source (i.e. fish oil).