Back when it launched in 2013, Soylent promised a future in which no one had to eat. Developed by former software engineer Rob Rhinehart, the meal replacement powder was sold as a nutritionally complete alternative to the laborious act of preparing and eating food, packed with "protein, carbohydrates, lipids, and micronutrients." Never again would we have to do something as normie as chew and swallow our lunch. Instead we would get our day's fuel in one convenient goop, allowing us to stay at our desks for longer and finally programme the code that would lead to the salvation of mankind.
Since then, Soylent has grown from a tech bro fantasy into a million dollar business—but not without its share of teething problems. In 2015, the product was sued by a California watchdog for "failure to provide sufficient warning to consumers of lead and cadmium levels." The Soylent meal bars made people puke and let's not forget Rhinehart's ill-fated foray into eco-housing.
Despite these issues, the company told Bloomberg in January last year that sales were up 300 percent. That number may take a hit, however, following the news this week that Canada has decided to ban Soylent.
As Gizmodo reports, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has blocked all shipments of Soylent into the country, after ruling earlier this month that the "products do not meet a select few of the CFIA requirements for a 'meal replacement.'"
In a statement on its website, Soylent, which began shipping to Canada in 2015, said that the company was complying with all regulatory action but that "we feel strongly that these requirements do not reflect the current understanding of human nutritional needs."
The statement added that the company was working "as quickly as possible" to get Soylent back to Canada. In the meantime, maybe good old-fashioned food isn't so bad after all?