Achal Aggarwal is quite a man. Based out of New Delhi, Achal is the co-founder at Airwoot and over the multiple conversatons we've had, food has always found a place in them. Why? Well, Achal hasn't eaten food in the traditional sense for 45 days! "Eating is a very time consuming exercise and I am looking at ways of saving time to spend it more constructively," Achal told me some while ago when he had started out with the experiment.
It was early this year in February when Rob Rhinehart published his experience about having stopped eating. Rob was on a drink called Soylent whose ingredients provided for all the needs of a human body. Out of the many things, the global implications mentioned are quite revealing:
With Soylent you can be in peak mental and physical condition for less than $2/day. Soylent does not spoil for months, does not require refrigeration, is easy to transport, cheap and environmentally friendly to produce, contains no pesticides, hormones, or preservatives, is trivial to prepare, without even requiring a heat source (though you do need clean water), does no harm to animals, and drastically lowers sanitation requirements.
Rob perfected the recipe for the drink and Soylent has gone on to raise $1.5 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz and Lerer Ventures. Taking inspiration from this, Achal tried experimenting with the recipe back home. "I tried sourcing it via Rob but due to Food and Safety guidelines being different in every country, he was unable to ship some to me in the early stages," says Achal. "I started looking for alternatives in the same space, and realised that there were food supplements, but food replacements were primarily used in the army," he adds.
There were many people trying to reverse engineer Rob’s Soylent recipe but Achal went ahead with sourcing easily available off the shelf items and using them to make his own Soylent. He started off with the drink on 15th September and he takes it 3 times a day for 6 days a week (the 7th day is kept for his foodie side). Here is the report after the tests:
The very high values of the Reactive protein is because of a genetic disorder that Achal suffers from and the drink has helped alleviate the situation. The experiment has been going good till now and here is the recipe he has been using (1 whole day split into 3 meals):
- 120gm oat flour
- 85gm whey protein
- 75gm brown sugar
- 15gm lecithin
- 20gm ground flax seeds
- 2gm iodised salt
Split the above into 3 equal parts, and then add 30ml of olive oil and 500ml of water to each. This would make 3 meals for a day.
Along with this, Achal takes 1 tablet of Calcium Citrate, 1 tablet potassium Citrate, and 1 tablet of a multivitamin.
"Personally, I have felt really awesome over the past 30 days primarily. I do not feel the need to eat at all after I have the drink. I feel that I am able to enjoy and appreciate food in a much better manner than before," says Achal. This might not be the case for many for whom cooking and eating is a huge ritual they cherish but in the grander scheme of things, this development does hold a lot of implications. If the recipe can be researched upon more and the costs brought further down, the drink has the potential to solve a huge problem across geographies.