How I stopped eating food

Today I stumbled across something that scared me a little. But then it would scare someone who loves food as much as I do. The linked article will lead you to a study one man has performed on himself which has resulted in him not consuming food (in the form that we know it). He has developed a recipe for what he calls 'Soylent' which is meant to provide everything the human body needs.


Don't get me wrong, I'm interested in the science involved here. Like him, I am interested in the relationship between food and the body from a 'what the body actually needs' perspective.

I hypothesized that the body doesn’t need food itself, merely the chemicals and elements it contains. So, I resolved to embark on an experiment. What if I consumed only the raw ingredients the body uses for energy? Would I be healthier or do we need all the other stuff that’s in traditional food? If it does work, what would it feel like to have a perfectly balanced diet? I just want to be in good health and spend as little time and money on food as possible.

Given the way he has carried out his experiment, I think I can accept that he is referring to what his body needs, and not meaning to make any assumptions about what anyone else's body needs. 

It's fascinating science - give the body exactly what it needs and no more, and you supplement what is an already efficient system (our bodies) with an equally efficient energy (and nutrient etc.) procurement system. I accept and encourage people to experiment and find better ways to feed themselves - it's always good to have people thinking about the way they eat. 

Isn't food more important?

The thing that I most disagree with however is the first three sentences. 

Food is the fossil fuel of human energy. It is an enormous market full of waste, regulation, and biased allocation with serious geo-political implications. And we’re deeply dependent on it.

Is food really just about energy? Is it really only there to provide us with the base nutrients we require to live? Or is it something more important? Over millions of years of feeding ourselves, we humans have developed important rituals and social connections with food. It brings us together (because we all need it and we all understand it). 

You could argue that food has these other positive effects because humans are dependant on it. And further, that freed of the dependence on food humans could push further than ever before, spending our new found efficient energy on things we've never imagined (because we were hungry).

On the other hand, however weak the argument may be, I can't help but feel like I don't want to give it up. I don't want to give up that connection with what powers my body and mind (in more ways than one). It's certainly something to think about.