They say that Tim Maia, after a strict diet, said: “In two weeks, I lost 14 days”.
I felt like Tim swapping real food for a powdered mix called Foodz. Supposedly, this powder brings together all the nutrients that the body needs to function in good health.
It is not a product for diets. It’s something for those who don’t want to waste time eating. A possible substitute for meals. In a less flattering definition, a kind of human food. I invented to be the subject of the thing.
Foodz comes in clear plastic bottles with 125 grams of powder. Diluted in half a liter of water, the formula turns into a thick drink with three flavor options: chocolate, cappuccino and tomato with basil.
I ordered two mixed boxes with a total of 24 bottles from the company website. The nutritional table indicates that one serving provides 24% of the recommended daily calories. Soon I would have enough stock for six out of four days, well, “meals” each – a biblical week, with rest on the seventh day.
I started the project on a Wednesday morning, just as I woke up. To start the day, cappuccino. First problem: bagasse does not mix well. As much as I shook the bottle like a cocktail shaker filled with sour pisco, there was still a lot of lumps left.
Drinking is unpleasant. The thick, lumpy liquid has a strong vegetable fat taste. It’s sweet, very sweet – the result of the presence of the synthetic sweetener sucralose. There is nothing like coffee. It took me eight minutes to take everything. I would easily eat four pieces of pizza during this time.
Lunch, eaten in the late afternoon, was tomato powder with basil. Definitely the most hateful of the three flavors. Sucralose is a lingering note that doesn’t come out even with brushing. Creed.
The four daily bottles have become two. I suffered to think that I would need to drink again soon. Better to sleep a little hungry.
To be fair to Foodz, the feeling of fullness lasts like the taste of sucralose. It doesn’t kill the urge to eat, but it kills hunger. The next day I tried the chocolate. As expected, the most peaceful of all. It looks like cheap, low-quality chocolate: a sweet mix of chestnuts, coconut fat, and something cocoa.
I met Foodz through a message that Morgan Dierstein, the creator of the brand, sent me on Linkedin – the most abandoned of my social networks. He described the product as “similar to American soybeans”.
Soylent is a human food invented in 2013 by Rob Rhineheart, a computer engineer in Silicon Valley, California.
He didn’t want to stop work to eat. So he researched the composition of a nutritious meal and bought the 35 necessary elements – many of them chemicals that have nothing to do with cooking.
The name of the North American product is taken from “Soylent Green,” a futuristic dystopia film released in 1973. In the work, only the rich have access to real food. Everything else is fed on a ration which, it turns out, is made from human corpses.
In Brazil, the title “Soylent Green” has changed to “In the World of 2020”. Adequate.
I went to Morgan’s for an interview. He expected to speak to a farialimer, but he was a Frenchman from Paris. As such, passionate about food. Who frequents Chez Claude, Claude Troisgros’ restaurant, to rediscover the flavors of his land.
Why did a guy like that get into this business?
Morgan sought to nullify the comparison with Soylent – “a very sad sight”. He said Foodz’s proposal is not to replace food, in ration form, but to be a convenient and healthy option when a meal cannot comply.
“I can’t eat junk food,” the entrepreneur said. “I wanted something nutritious, to feel full without digesting a pestle for four hours.”
The product’s website, on the other hand, states that eating only Foodz all day, at coffee, lunch and dinner, does not present any contraindications or risks “from a nutritional point of view.”
I sent the list of ingredients to Professor Carlos Monteiro, coordinator of Nupens – Center for Epidemiological Research in Nutrition and Health, USP. He responded with “affection!”
“It’s a lot of nutritionism, pseudoscience,” he says. Nutritionism is a fallacy – accepted by many health professionals – which proposes the false equivalence between food and the sum of its nutrients.
If an apple were broken down into sugar, fiber and 118 other substances, a nutritionist would look for these 120 components, several synthesized in the laboratory, to reproduce the apple. But it doesn’t work that way. Food is much more complex than an addition.
Little by little, I discovered some tips to make the routine more tolerable. I froze the drink bordering on stupidity. The beer sommelier course taught me: the cold anesthetizes the palate. It’s bad for good beers; very convenient for the bad – and for Foodz.
Another thing I learned with beer – especially with the draft beer by the meter competitions – was to swallow large volumes of liquid without a breathing interval. The feeding shake has now stopped in a minute or two.
I included coffee and sparkling lemonade in the diet, both without sweetener. I cheated slightly by supercharging the cappuccino and chocolate flavors with cocoa powder – I didn’t have to take the tomatoes anymore, hallelujah!
And, to exercise my jaw, I resumed my chewing gum habits after a decade.
Thursday and Friday went well with me at home, alone, sad and resigned. Saturday, I met the family in Atibaia. I bravely resisted the dinner pasta, sitting at the table with a plastic bottle in my hand.
For Sunday lunch, I surrendered. The barbecue was stronger. You can’t resist a barbecue.
It was four days and one morning at the base of this Foodz. In the logic of Tim Maia, I gained two days – out of the six that I had already considered lost.
Ration to live
Which one is
A powdered preparation intended to replace a complete meal
The main ingredients
Maltodextrin (carbohydrates extracted from vegetables such as corn, rice or potatoes)
Medium chain triglycerides (TCM, a kind of fat)
Sucralose (synthetic sweetener)
Caloric value 24%
Carbohydrates 21% -22%
Protein 33% -34%
Total fat 29% -30%
Saturated fat 29% -30%
Fiber 33% -34%
Sodium 2% -4%
Vitamins 34% -35%
* recommended daily values (DV), in bottle
A ready bottle contains
125 grams of powder
500 milliliters of water
R $ 24.90, a bottle of Foodz