With #foodstagrams, restaurant trips, and late-night snacking, I have a hard time imagining a life without food. Lizzie Widdicombe wrote about Rob Rhinehart who did just that—imagined a life without food. Rhinehart took his dream one step further, actually eliminating food from his diet. Rhinehart became a connoisseur of Soylent. He created this concoction of nutrients, oil, salt, and water as a way to provide sustenance to his body without having to spend large amounts of money on groceries. Instead, he purchased minerals and vitamins in raw/powder form and blended them into a sustaining drink. Rhinehart succeeded in being “one who knows” because he found out the most basic nutrients one needs for life and created a way to get them in a way that works for his budget and lifestyle. Widdicombe illustrates Rhinehart’s discovery as being one that he did for self-betterment. He studied human nutritional needs because he wanted to, and he trained himself to create, and later sell, Soylent on his own.
This article is particularly interesting me to because I am interested in nutrition and healthy eating. I would consider myself aware of what I eat. I half-think about nutrients—I enjoy eating “real” food over processed food, but I don’t turn away baked goods. I also couldn’t imagine not eating food. Some of the comments on Widdicombe’s article criticize his diet for not allowing his stomach and jaws to work. Reading these comments and really thinking that Rhinehart is just drinking his basic nutrients makes me see him as less of a connoisseur. I’m curious to know how healthy Soylent really is for his body. (Although, Rhinehart does claim that he’s the healthiest he’d ever been.) I would usually think that connoisseurs attract a following. Widdicombe describes people who find interest in Soylent. However, Soylent hasn’t become a national eating regimen. For these reasons, and through writing this post, I have begun to see Rhinehart as less of a connoisseur.
Fuller writes about Yingluck Shinawatra whom I would completely characterize as a connoisseur of Thai food. Fuller’s descriptions of the extreme care with which Shinawatra takes in creating her machine to detect real, authentic Thai food tells me that Shinawatra truly cares about Thai food, knows what good Thai food tastes like, and settles only for the best quality. These are characteristics that I would expect any connoisseur to have about her specality, and therefore Shinawatra fits perfectly into that category.