Halal Consumer - Issue 31 - page 10

provides you with all the nutrients you need? If the answer is yes,
then there is a product that can do just that; it’s called Soylent.
Created by a software engineer named Rob Rhinehart, Soylent
is a powder supplement one mixes with water to create a liquid
drink that contains 33 nutritional ingredients, including proteins,
carbohydrates, vitamins, and mineral substitutes. According to
Rhinehart, he created the substance to battle the expense and
trouble he was experiencing with trying to obtain or cook healthy
meals regularly. He also believes it has the potential to help the
food crisis in the developing world. However, on the taste scale,
it might leave much to be desired as those who have tried Soylent
often describe it as bland.
While it does provide you with the nutrients you need to sur-
vive, for most people, food is not just about sustenance. Food
evokes memories, experiences, joy, and love. . .none of which can
be found in Soylent. Awotwi states, “Cooking is more than the
actual preparation [of food]. It’s the memories of being with fam-
ily and friends.” While she feels like there is a certain efficiency
that could be gained from this product, it comes at the expense
of feeling like one is a part of a community. Still, there are others
like food enthusiast Glover who see the convenience and ben-
efits for busy people. “A product like this means you never have
to worry about the time it takes to prep food, cook food, and sit
and eat food.” Glover feels Soylent would be something he’d use
on occasion to save time. Whatever side of the conversation you
are on, Soylent definitely seems like the closest thing to getting
your meals in a pill, a la the Jetsons. You may, however, have to be
willing to sacrifice taste and variety.
While a few of these concepts still need more development
before becoming available in the mainstream arena, the excite-
ment and buzz they are creating in the culinary world is very
evident. It’s clear that we as a society have come a long way
in regards to the possibilities available to us to enhance and
supplement our dining and cooking experiences. The concepts
presented above are really just the tip of the iceberg, and it
might not be too long before we’ll be able to press a button and
have our dinner appear before our eyes. One thing’s for certain,
we’re not in your mama’s kitchen anymore.
RONIA ABDELRAHMAN
was born and raised in Chicago. She is a big fan
of coffee, T-shirts with witty sayings, and sad songs. Her “Mean Tweets” have
been featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Nutrition products such as Soylent are
complex products incorporating many
ingredients. It would be difficult for
most consumers to determine the
suitability of such products in a halal
diet. Halal certification is the best
way to be sure such products are
acceptable to halal consumers.
IFANCA
®
is certifying many nutri-
tional supplements and our staff
of experienced food scientists
has the expertise necessary
to scrutinize and certify com-
plex products such as this.
[IFANCA]
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Winter 2014
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