Full disclosure: I like Soylent. The bizarre meal-replacement beverage is admittedly a bit hokey, but I do find an odd futuristic romanticism in a world where we live off a single foodstuff. That said, it definitely takes a certain type of person to use Soylent for its touted ability to pretty much replace eating all together. And lest you think I’m being totally hyperbolic, the brand’s website does say, “Some people use Soylent almost exclusively.” Those core customers (if they exist) would have to be type-A personalities, hyper-focused on what they consume and anal enough to rarely stray from that dedication. After its most recent recall, you have to wonder if Soylent customers might be reaching their wits’ end. The problem is getting bad enough that some people are wondering if a total rebrand could be in order.
On April 24, Soylent announced that it was recalling 890 boxes, in total 6,230 pouches, of Soylent 1.8 Powder due to “undeclared milk” stemming from the possible accidental incorporation of a “small amount of whey powder.” Since all Soylent products purport to be vegan, animal-free and lactose-free, whey is an obvious no-no. And as the allergy conscious company states in the recall, “People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.” At this point, no illnesses have been reported.
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So how did whey possibly find its way into the supposedly vegan power? Soylent says it issued the recall “after it was discovered that the milk-containing product was handled adjacent to the production lines for Soylent 1.8 powder. Subsequent investigation indicated that the potential cross-contact was caused by a temporary breakdown in our 3rd party manufacturer’s production and packaging processes.” The issue appears to be fixed because Soylent states “this will not impact future shipments of Powder 1.8.”