Though it might as well be, Schmoylent isn't a parody of Soylent, the meal replacement beverage invented in 2013 by a 24-year-old who later constipated himself to keep from flushing the toilet.

No, Schmoylent is a Soylent copycat, a generic version of the protein shake that is just one among many, like Schmilk and People Chow, heralding an end to the tiresome chore of enjoying delicious food, and/or chewing.

You remember Soylent. The drink received a deluge of early press, including from us, in part because of its comically ironic name referencing a horror film about a food replacement that turned out to be made of people (see below). But, like Google Glass in a glass, Soylent was not destined to be the future of anything. In case you haven't noticed, it isn't actually a popular beverage, it's more like an unhealthy experiment. Those who do try Soylent — always in order to tell people about it in some capacity — typically end up offloading it as quickly as possible, creating a secondary market according to a Vice article from last year. In fact, unwanted Soylent isn't so easy to sell!

Yet someone at the New York Times was — and still is — buying it. The paper of record just revisited the Soylent story it last reported on a year ago by talking about Schmoylent et al, complete with a taste-test from a sommelier, a gastroenterologist, a personal trainer, and a Times dining reporter.

Once again they reiterate: All these shakes taste bad, but you can now defer to the sommelier's judgment on that. Yet the paper claims the stuff is "in demand," citing evidence like venture capital funding and long wait-lists to receive, say, Schmilk. I'm going to guess that those investments are misguided, and probably come from the same people experimenting with this stuff in the first place.

But there are sources! “It just removes food completely from my morning equation up until about 7 p.m.,” says Aaron Melocik, a 34-year-old software developer who has been drinking Schmoylent in what the Times calls his "techie diet." They claim that "Silicon Valley’s workers are now increasingly chugging their meals, too, so they can more quickly get back to their computer work." Yet people like Melocik, mostly men who are genuinely like or else modeled on the likes of Elon Musk, are a rare breed.

Speaking of whom, the article quotes from a new book about Musk that he's quickly called into question. “If there was a way that I couldn’t eat so I could work more, I would not eat," he reportedly said. "I wish there was a way to get nutrients without sitting down for a meal.” Covering Silicon Valley as if it were made up of Elon Musks certainly makes for the splashiest coverage. But, like Musk himself, such behavior is on the very edge of a spectrum. Drinking Gatorade doesn't make you Steph Curry, nor does drinking Soylent make you Steve Jobs, and most people recognize that.

Still, people are trying to make 'fetch' happen, with the Times noting that "venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz served Soylent-inis and Soylent Whites at a cocktail event at the South by Southwest conference in Austin." Is that really a reason to start taking Soylent seriously??

Previously: Regarding Soylent, The Nutritional Shake Invented By S.F.-Based Brogrammers With No Time To Eat
Soylent Reformulated For Fewer Farts