Rhinehart decided to create a new, nutritionally complete food from scratch. His roommate, who had a background in biology, provided some basic biochemistry lessons, and he drew further inspiration from local “biohackers,” DIY biotech researchers who approach life’s basic functions like programmers to code, creating new foods, medicines, and even organisms. He pored over textbooks, open-access scientific journals, and dietary guidelines. “I began to see all the parallels between biochemistry and electronics,” Rhinehart says. “Basically I realized that DNA is information, and proteins and enzymes are gears and transistors.”
After a few months of research, he mixed the first batch of Soylent with ingredients purchased online. He lived on Soylent alone for the next month. “I felt amazing,” Rhinehart says today. “I had more energy; I slept better. I could focus more; I was brighter and more optimistic.”
When his joints began to ache, he added more sulfur to his formula, and the pain went away.