"Open source Huel" to solve world hunger in today's times

Hey team Huel,

Huel is incredible - you’ve worked hard to make it nutritionally complete at a very good price.

Here’s an idea: if it’s possible at all - why not share some ideas about how Huel-like food could be made at scale by anyone anywhere, using commonly available ingredients at low cost?

You don’t have to give away the secret sauce (just general guidelines - if that’s even possible). I’m sure Hueligans will continue to love and support the brand and remain money paying customers!

As the coronavirus crisis spreads, I’m sure people with modest incomes will increasingly face hunger and hard times.

If governments are able to use some of your methods to create nutritious and very cost effective food at scale - the Universe will be thankful for it!


That is the main idea of soylent I think, their recipe is “open source” I think

Would be great to knoe the answer of Huel

Huel, and products like it, were all inspired by Soylent, which is open source.

There’s also a bunch of stuff here.

Huel’s own recipe is a trade secret. It’s like, it’s easy to make cola and nobody minds if you do it, but Coca Cola aren’t going to give you many hints.

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I mean, lets be fair Coca Cola could tell us and we wouldnt be allowed to make it because they’re the only ones allowed to produce so much cocaine as a byproduct legally ;(

Isn’t that straight out of the 80s and long debunked?

Coca Cola is made from coca leaves which naturally create cocaine, they remove this from the drink but still have to put it somewhere. Initially it was for medical use but they produce vastly more than is needed medicine-wise, and it has to go somewhere.

They are the only company withing the US to be allowed to import coca leaves due to a special exemption clause that was put in in the old days, its why Coca Cola are the only ones who can use their recipe even if we did know it.

Pepsi’s better anyways.

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It seems that Huel wasnt inspired by Soylent, was created at the same time.

Huels recipe isnt very “complex”. 5 main ingredients + the vitamin and minerals blend. The rest is for making it good for mixing.

But making it at home… Not sure, have anyone tried?

Take your pick from https://www.completefoods.co/diy/recipes


Soylent was 2013. Huel was developed in 2014 and launched in 2015.


If you check Complete Foods there’s a ton of different recipes for making your own Complete Foods. Loads of different ingredient bases and types, very interesting to get into but ultimately it’s just so much easier to buy pre-made.

One of my favourites is the two Primal Kind recipes, but you’ll have to do a bit of digging for those :wink:

The timing was pure coincidence, even with Rob Rhinehart getting masses of international press in the two years after his initial 30 days without food blog post and subsequent Kickstarter prior to Huel being released.

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Reminds me of when me and Andy Granger got in trouble over our English assignments. Yes, they consisted of exactly the same words, but the line spacing was completely different!


Hi @atrip and everyone

Hard to answer, especially when I’m not sure what you mean by ‘scale’. A few households together, a local community, or on a massive regional scale? If it’s the latter, then we’re already doing something like this.

If it’s the former, Huel is very reasonably priced when compared to what most people have, even during this time where people are at home and undoubtedly being more selective with their food choices and budget.

The key ingredients are on the ingredients list in the Nutrition section: oats, flaxseed, pea and rice protein, and sunflower oil & MCT powders; plus the flavours, gums and micronutrients.

I guess there could be a budget Huel but that wouldn’t be nutritionally complete. I could come up with something, sure. It would lack in some of the super cool stuff like the D3, K2 and phytonutrients, though.

Good quality calories can be found to make blends locally or at scale. This is great especially if you’re on a super-tight budget: oat flour, ground flaxseed, pea and rice protein powders are all pretty easy to acquire in bulk. Then you could add desiccated coconut for MCTs. You could also add some sunflower oil to a final blended product. Plus some fruit for flavour and I bet it would taste quite nice. That would supply a good chunk of the nutrition, though it may be a bit low in some vitamins and minerals. You chuck in a mutli-vitamin/mineral on top, you’d certainly be nearly there (note that most preparations lack potassium, phosphorus and calcium due to the amount needed to fit into a capsule).

I’m not sure if it would be cheaper when you factor in production costs, scale, shelf life, palatability, packaging, food safety, legal stuff that’s there to protect the consumer, etc. We’re already making this to scale. Would this cost less than £1.24? That’s the cost when you purchase 4 pouches of Huel.

Re-reading the above, I realise I have come across a bit salesy! That’s not my intention; I’m just pointing out that to develop something to come close to Huel is not that easy - though, granted, it could be quite fun!


I think to do this would require an investment in factory plant and processing which may be a barrier. If people can’t afford food then I doubt they will be able to afford plant processing equipment. I doubt the government would grant this or allow it to be set up for two reasons. Firstly, food poverty in LEDCs tend to reply on trading by subsistence farming and this may limit the sale of their remaining product because the demand will decrease. Secondly I doubt the (usually corrupt) government of these LEDCs will support this incentive and may over rule charitable attempts. Also in both MEDCs and LEDCs the consumption of such a product may lead to stigma so this will need to be protected against.

Not enough rudeness for my f’kin’ likin’.


I’d like to think my manners have come on in the last 3 years :wink:


Its quite easy to make a dark joke with soylent green and covid19 and @hunzas hasnt made it yet

*moderator arrives * :policeman:


This intrigues me for sure, what would you be looking at achieving if you were to make a “budget huel”?

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Something that simply meets sufficient amounts of all nutrients to prevent frank deficiency plus a bit for storage, but no excesses. It would be higher in cheaper carbs, lower in protein from one source, cheaper sources of fats with no MCTs. It would be enough to sustain, but not optimally.

It would also have a shorter shelf life in respect of vitamin mineral degradation.