Business: Food technology Liquid lunch
A startup called Soylent wants to change the way people consume calories.
“One should eat to live, not live to eat,” wrote Moliere, the French comedic playwright.
Some workaholic entrepreneurs have taken him at his word.
Soylent, a two-year-old startup, is trying to save consumers time and money by selling them a healthy, cheap “meal” that they can drink.
Each vegetarian portion has only around 400 calories, costs around $3 and boasts of being as nutritious as, and more environmentally-friendly than, processed food and meat.
Soylent has found a place among American workaholics who resent the cost and hassle of preparing regular meals.
This is especially true in Silicon Valley, home of many “early-adopter” engineers too consumed with coding the future to break from work.
Their bad diets can damage their health.
Several years ago Sam Altman, an entrepreneur who is now president of Y Combinator, a startup boot camp, was so cost-conscious and focused on building his first company, Loopt, that for weeks he ate only ramen noodles and coffee ice cream, until he developed scurvy.
He later became an investor in Soylent.
At first the product was sold as a powder, but even that was a hassle for some consumers, so on September 9th it started shipping version 2.0, which comes already mixed and bottled.
The name Soylent is a tribute to a 1966 science-fiction novel, “Make Room! Make Room!”, set in an overpopulated world where everyone eats a mixture of lentils and soy (and, in the film version, human flesh) .
Soylent这个名字来自于1966年一部科幻小说“Make Room！Make Room！”，小说故事设置在人口过剩导致资源匮乏的未来世界，在那里所有人都吃由扁豆和大豆制成的Soylent饼片（在电影版本中，他们还吃人肉）。
Rob Rhinehart, the drink's 27-year-old creator, came up with the idea when he was working on a different startup, focused on wireless internet.
He was so poor that he started mixing his own food, and later dropped the other project to focus on food technology.
He is, by any measure, extreme.
He considers shopping at grocery stores, in the presence of “rotting” produce, a “multisensory living nightmare”, and no longer owns a fridge.
Soylent has proved that it can appeal to a niche, as well as to a handful of financiers: in January the firm raised $20m from investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, a well-regarded venture-capital firm.
But it has plenty of obstacles to overcome.
Yucky-sounding ingredients like algal oil (yes, derived from algae) will put many off, as well as reviews from early users that Soylent makes them gassy.
“I prefer my food with both flavour and texture,” says one young, vegetarian entrepreneur who has tried it.
Mr Rhinehart insists that Soylent's “neutral” taste is the best way to appeal to the broadest group of people.
Just how big that group really is, however, remains to be seen.
1.focused on 专注于
例句:Every eye at the conference was focused on the rostrum.
2.appeal to 呼吁；上诉
例句:Economic change for its own sake did not appeal to him.
3.put off 推迟
例句:Women who put off having a baby often make the best mothers
4.came up with 提出
例句:He came up with what seemed like a clever wheeze.