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Food Studies Professor: Meal Replacements Make No Sense

Food Studies Professor: Meal Replacements Make No Sense



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The American meal replacement drink Soylent will today launch in the UK with a different formula to its US equivalent. The firm has replaced seven ingredients and adjusted the mineral content to comply with British regulations. Sputnik spoke to the Author and Professor of Food Studies at New York University, Marion Nestle, about this story.

Sputnik: Marion, as someone who knows a lot about food and nutrition, what are your thoughts on Soylent? Will it change the way we eat and replace our traditional idea of foods?

Marion Nestle: I certainly hope not. The idea of replacing food which is one of life’s greatest pleasures with a product which the kind of thing they feed to people in hospital who can’t digest their food and it really in my opinion doesn’t taste very good. it just makes me so sad, when food is so delicious and it’s available and it’s wonderful to have and you get to eat it several times a day. Meal replacements make no sense to me unless for people who don’t want to leave their desks.

Sputnik: In your eyes Marion, is there any use to this product?

Marion Nestle: Yes – in the hospital for patients that need very concentrated, or a source of nutrients and they can’t managed food, they don’t have teeth, can’t chew and it’s difficult for them to swallow… any kind of reason like that. There are products like that called Ensure and other kind of products. I can’t understand why anyone would want to replace food with a drink which isn’t absolutely delicious.

Sputnik: What kind of features would you like to see from Soylent that could or would perhaps lead you to using it?

Marion Nestle: I can’t think of anything, it’s beyond my comprehension. I really don’t understand it. I understand its used by, primarily, young men I think who assume that this is the way to get every form of nutrient they need in as quickly as possible, and it means they don’t have to leave their desks and bother with the messiness of food. I don’t see food as being unpleasantly messy. I think food is one of life’s most enormous pleasures, available to absolutely everybody. I just simply do not understand this product. My department at NYU had a tasting and the general conclusion was it tasted like uncooked pancake batter.

The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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