Recently, I went to the supermarket and bought a bottle of yfood, a company based in Germany that mainly produces liquid food.
I found the idea of being able to only live off liquid food intriguing, since I spend most of my time in front of the computer and find managing aspects of my everyday life, that everyone has to deal with (groceries, cleaning, cooking, mail, clothes, …) overwhelming at times.
During COVID, I had already tried Hello Fresh, because a friend got me a coupon for a free box. And the experience was truly amazing. So the outlook of greatly reducing my time having to buy groceries and cooking was promising enough to look into it further. Especially what scientists and dieticians think about it and what people who have tried it for longer periods of time are reporting.
Looking at the website, yfood looks like the holy grail.
It contains 26 essential vitamins and minerals (25% of the daily recommended intake), 25g of protein (50% of the daily recommended intake) and enough fibre to keep you full for a couple hours.
Looking at the prices, they can vary greatly from one single bottle costing about 3.50€ and the powder (that you can mix yourself with water) costing only 1.64€ per meal (500ml, which is 500kcal). So if you were to buy a bunch of powder, you would definitely get a lot of value for your money.
Where it gets problematic is when you look at the amount of sugar that is contained in a bottle of yfood. 4.5g/100ml, so 22g in a “meal” of 500ml. That is almost the whole recommended daily dosage of 25g of sugar per day in a single meal. Since one meal only provides me with 500kcal, 20-25% of my calories I should consume in a day in my early twenties, I would eat almost 100g of sugar a day if I were to only consume yfood. That would be very unhealthy if kept up daily.
To be fair, the powder contains less sugar (15g/500ml) than the bottled up liquid, but it is still way too much to be able to cover all of your daily calories.
Yfood claims that they do not add any extra sugar into their product and that all sugar comes from natural ingredients and processes. I still think they should invest more research into trying to reduce the sugar contents of their product, since this is one of the only major criticisms I could dig up.
Another competitor in the liquid food market is Huel. They have a very similar product portfolio to yfood. While slightly more expensive, the biggest difference I can see is that their powder contains almost no sugar, which was the only deal breaker for me with yfood.
There are other potential negatives with Huel, mostly concerning concistency and taste. But those two are very individualistic experiences and I am sure, that people have the same problems with yfood. It is just a thing everyone has to find out for him/herself.
There are a couple of facades to consuming more liquid food. Health, money, time management, fitness. With liquid food you can save money, build more muscles (through its high amount of protein) and save time. But what it can not do is give you feeling, that you are consuming a meal. Chewing something, making you work for it. And I think many people going down the liquid food path underestimate the psychological factor of reducing your solid food intake to social events or your weekly burger treat. Sure, people do juice cleanses all the time, but those are missinformed people who literally think that this will remove all of the bad stuff in their body and repair all of their cells. If that really worked, I would be able to do that too.
Sadly, what I think holds us back from a life where I can have my 4 bottles of food drinks in the freezer und just go pick one up every couple of hours, is our brains that are used to chewing food and the cravings you would develop after a couple of weeks or just days of only consuming liquid food.
Personally I ordered a pack of yfood powder and a pack of Huel powder to have a quick meal when I am on the road or have a busy day with a lot of meetings, and not a lot of time for cooking. Or maybe if I forgot that it is a holiday and the supermarkets are closed. Or when it is saturday night and I forgot to buy groceries for sunday. For moments like these (that happen way too often, to me at least) I think these powders will be a fantastic addition to my kitchen and personal life.