Some lunatic has decided that we don’t need to eat ever again. James Collier, a ‘renowned nutrition expert’ of whom I’d never heard, has developed something called Huel. This is an abbreviation of HUman fuEL, and it’s a nasty name for what sounds a very nasty idea. It’s a powder made from rice and pea protein, oats, flaxseed, sunflower lecithin, MCT from coconuts, and a whole slew of added vitamins and minerals. You whoosh it up with water, and Bob’s your uncle.
Part of the rationale, and I use the term loosely, is to produce a nutritionally complete meal in a moment, but also to tackle the obesity crisis (‘Something has to be done!’ though Collins doesn’t make clear exactly how this wonder nosh will help do that) and paradoxically world hunger.
One of the proud boasts is that you can make a day’s supply in two minutes. No more time wasted doing that nasty cooking malarkey, less washing up, it’s vegan, humane, sustainable blah blah blah. A couple of things spring to mind.
Since when has cooking been a waste of time? It’s one of life’s pleasures. I’ll tell you something else. If you’re embarking on the attempted seduction of a new paramour, serve up a glorified milk shake in a romantic candle lit setting, and you won’t get to first base. Definitely no sex for you, my friend.
As for tackling the obesity crisis, well, salad dodgers and lardyarses will simply drink more than the recommended £6-50 worth a day. They may even take it in conjunction with the fry-ups and kebabs. And £6-50 per person per day is quite a lot if you’ve got four people in your household.
Yes it’s vegan, and if you have an interest in animal rights then Huel will give you a nice warm, fuzzy feeling, and good luck to you. But it’s not exactly natural. Look at the ingredients list and it’s packed full of vitamins, and these I guarantee will be synthetic, made by a posh version of brewing. Quite a lot of added minerals too, and I don’t know how they source those but there’s a good chance they come from a strip-mine in what used to be a rainforest.
All in all this reminds me of the film Soylent Green, in which the eponymous universal foodstuff comes out of the front of a factory where, as Ernest Borgnine discovers, culled humans go in the back entrance.