If you were looking for another reason to avoid eating energy bars for breakfast, here's one: Folks on the internet are complaining that Soylent Bars are making them puke. Now, you probably know Soylent as the Silicon Valley super-drink that's meant to replace all food in your diet so you can forgo mealtime and get on with the important things in life, like working or whatever. But back in August 2016, Soylent started making solid food in the form of Soylent Bars, which offer the "same complete nutrition" as the original, "but in a lighter, more portable form factor." (As Eve Peyser pointed out on Gizmodo, Soylent does not offer complete nutrition, according to nutritionists.)
Now, Soylent customers are complaining that they're experiencing nausea and vomiting, "uncontrollable diarrhea," and even dry heaving after eating Soylent Bars. Back on September 7, Raylingh posted on the company's forums detailing their bad experiences with Soylent Bars in a thread called, "Nausea and vomiting several times after eating food bars." And, to be honest, it sounds hugely unpleasant. Redditor flipflopsnpolos wrote, "I'm currently sitting in my bathroom trying to figure out what is causing me to be nauseous and throwing up to the point of dry heaves for the second time in as many weeks. I normally have a really strong stomach, and in fact, haven't been nauseous before this in what seems like years."
Since that first post, at least 31 other Soylent Bar users have complained about similar symptoms; there's even a user-generated spreadsheet to keep track of the illnesses.
There's still no clear reason why the Soylent Bars have been making some people sick. There's been some talk about a bad batch, though one Redditor kaybee41906 wrote, "I don't know what batch I have, but I ate half a bar and very nearly threw up. My mom, however, has been eating that same box with no problem." While some users initially chalked it up to allergies, original poster Raylingh hypothesized it had something to do with the glue on the packaging, though there's no obvious evidence to support that, either.
Buzzfeed News talked with sources close to Soylent's production processes who indicated that the vomiting might be tied to a sensitivity to sucralose, "an artificial non-caloric sweetener commonly found in products like Quest Nutrition Protein Bars and Powerbar Reduced Sugar Bars. There is three times as much Sucralose in Soylent’s bar (about 30 milligrams) compared to the 1.6 version of the company’s drink powder."
We reached out to Soylent for comment, and in an official statement, Soylent stood by the safety of their products, noting that "the number of complaints we have received represents less than 0.03% of the number of bars we have sold." The company is taking the claims seriously, though: "After these reports, we have retrieved remaining bars from our consumers and have personally consumed many of the remaining bars without adverse effects. We have also sent them for further microbiological testing and all tests have come back negative."