Food is a very popular thing. People have begun to refer to themselves as “foodies” which I find really weird. It implies that food is somehow more important to them, or they care about it more than everyone else.
I am certainly not one of those. I love good food as much as anyone else, but I find that a lot of the time I can’t eat properly and I end up eating crap just to satiate my hunger. In these times I have found I am one of those people who eats for utility more than pleasure, not because I don’t think you should eat for pleasure, but because I don’t have that much free time.
A few years ago I found out about Soylent. It was a product I became very interested in. I had no desire to supplement all my food with this, but I did think it might be a healthy alternative to eating a bunch of sugar filled crap throughout the day for convenience.
Unfortunately Japan has very strict import laws and a thing like Soylent wasn’t making it though any time soon, so I basically gave up on the idea of trying it. Enter Comp, the Japanese version of that thing you can’t get in Japan, which is a pretty sweet deal.
Comp is made for the same reason and the same basic demographic as Soylent in that it is targeted at busy people who do not have time to prepare proper meals for themselves, or see that as wasted time. The explanation I had heard was that Soylent was designed for computer programmers who didn’t want to leave their desk, which is not a lifestyle I am pursuing. Comp make a softer sell on the same premise. Here is a chart from their website explaining how saving time works:
I had no desire to supplement every meal, I just wanted a healthy alternative to keep me going, so I bought the sample pack of 3, which should be 3 meals.
The first test is, of course, how palatable it is. I knew it wasn’t going to have a strong flavor as these are designed to be like bread. You can eat bread every day and not really get tired of it, more than that, you can flavor bread and it tastes better. Comp even recommends using coffee or something so you can customize the flavor.
The first test had to be honest, so I did it with just water. There was no real smell at all. I don’t think I had put in enough water so it was really thick. I drank about half of it and it tasted like liquid tofu. Not that bad depending on what you think of tofu.
I put in some more water to thin it out and then threw back the rest. It was really heavy and I thought I was going to vomit for a moment. Then I realized what I had just done which was swallow a whole meal in two gulps. If you are unaware of the implications, this is not a great idea.
After another shot of water I started to feel fine again so I knew I had to add more liquid for test #2 and drink it slower. Two hours after the initial drink I still wasn’t hungry which was pretty much the result I was looking for.
I did the test at home because I knew there was a lot of fiber in the drink and because I had no idea if that change in fiber would have a significant impact on me. It didn’t, but I had heard about people having issues with diarrhea after switching to a food supplement like comp. realistically I don’t think the problem is the food supplement but the dramatic nature of the change.
If you go from eating 100% processed junk food to 100% recommended serving of fiber per meal there is no other conclusion than this will be a bit of a shock to your system.
Me swapping out one meal per day actually just meant I was a little more regular, which is nice.
After that I took it to work and instead of using water I used chocolate milk and some water to thin it out. Amazing choice. It tastes good, it’s satisfying and I am not hungry for most of the day. Mainly I’m not eating a lot of crap on these days which was the goal and I was happy enough that I bought the 24 bags that come in two boxes.
I might even start swapping it out for my lunch on a regular basis as overall it is cheaper. If you are looking for something similar and live in Japan comp.jp