a16z Podcast: The Future of Food


Rob Rhinehart, like most startup entrepreneurs, was strapped for cash and time as developed his ideas and ultimately a company. What stood out to Rhinehart in that all-consuming and ongoing process was the contrast between all the things in his life that technology had made more convenient and cheaper — basically everything powered by smartphones — and what he felt was a process still trapped in our agrarian past: sitting down for a meal.

Out of that observation came Soylent — nutrition in powder or ready-to-drink form, that substituted for Rhinehart the lousy ramen or frozen corn-dog meals he was subsisting on.

Better, faster, cheaper — Soylent has all the trademarks of good tech — but are we really going to start drinking our meals? Rhinehart joins this segment of the pod along with a16z’s Chris Dixon, who led the firm’s investment in Soylent, to talk about where Soylent might fit into our lives … and what it means for the future of food as well as earth’s resources.