Pesticide-Free Huel?

When will you be offering an ecological, possibly fair-trade version of Huel?
I like my food to be free of pesticides and poisons, thanks. If Huel really wants to call itself the future of food, then it better hurry up with the ecological alternatives.

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@sanovine we are certainly looking more into the ecological and ethical side of food production. In terms of pesticides we need to balance yields, cost and potential harm. If there is no harm from a pesticide and it increases yield and therefore reduced cost it is beneficial. I can imagine this is a complex issue and it’s on our list to investigate.


I love my huel and have been advocating it a lot at work, but if I see a competitor offering eco food you’ll lose me as a customer. So by all means look into it, but don’t take too long. Your claim to addressing the fact that “modern food production methods are inefficient, inhumane, and unsustainable” looks like hot air until you sort out ecologically produced ingredients.

It’s not hot air, we are referring to using meat. Huel is 100% vegan and has been from day one. Using meat as a primary food source is inefficient, inhumane, and unsustainable

But removing all pesticides we would actually be making farming more inefficient. So it takes careful consideration before ruling out all pesticides. I know ambronite is organic but costs 9 euros per 500 calories. Which illustrate the balancing act we need to do between nutrition, cost, ecological effect, ethical stance, taste, texture, mixability, availability, etc.


Great response. These issues are complex and it’s certainly not the case that products with an “ecological” label are always better for the body and planet. I find parts of the “ecological” movement to be anti-technological and hardly part of the future of food. And there are cases where lower yield in ecological farms means machinery must cover much larger areas to produce the same amount of stuff, meaning more emissions, for example. Not to mention the resistance to GMOs, or the effect on the price.

I totally support making Huel better for the body and the environment, but I’m glad to hear that the makers will not take steps that have not been carefully considered.


And if some pesticides help producing food more efficient, in larger quantity and without harm to the human body? Than it would be bad to take the inefficient produced food for Huel, since it would not use the ressources as good as possible. Unfortunatly i don’t have a source, but there was a report which compared the environmental finger print normal apples from africa with locally, ecologically produced apples. Even with the transport costs, the african apples won. But they had to waste so many apples here (not beautiful, a wormhole, etc).
I personally would not pay more for Huel only for some strange certificates. It is already one of the highest quality (and most expensive) soylents, compared to Joylent or Mana. But the price is okay, because its ingredients are better. But it is like totally gluten free oat: Absolutly not worth it imho!

Edit: I was far to slow :wink:


It’s a massive misnomer that natural / fair trade means that pesticides aren’t used during the growth process. Pesticides are a huge category and include a lot of synthetic compounds, but plenty of natural compounds too.

In reality, Fair Trade is absolutely fine about the use of pesticides and is far from pesticide free, they do have a set of rules on the proper use of pesticides and other hazardous chemicals however due to the way the compounds break down it’s not unusual for pesticide residues to remain in coffee beans (as an example).

Organic on the other hand just means that synthetic pesticides aren’t used. Organic pesticides such as rotenone-pyrethrin are fine though and ironically the ‘natural’ pesticides are often more ecologically damaging than their synthetic cousins (born out in a Canadian study comparing ‘reduced-risk’ organic and synthetic pesticides against each other in controlling the soybean aphid - not only were the synthetic pesticides more effective means of control, the organic pesticides were more damaging to the environment).

There’s a limit to how any company can go in being economically sound, even climate change proponents have to catch a plane to conferences sometimes, and how far should we go? Do we need to demand that Huel only uses suppliers that use renewable energy too?


Please list the ingredients in Huel, their country of origin, and the pesticides used on them, so we can make up our own minds if it is ok or not.

That’s a massive request, you might as well ask coke for their recipe. Has every company you shop with given away their IP so freely?


The huel ingredients are already listed on the website, so I don’t see how IP comes into it. I just would like to know what pesticides are being used. I’d also like to see if the huel company is even aware of that. Once known, we can do our own research on what is safe or not, and make an informed personal choice instead of ineffectually arguing about general pesticide use on the forum.

I ask again, has any other company ever provided you with such information?

I’m not trying to be argumentative, but you didn’t seem to know that fair trade products make extensive use of pesticides, I don’t see how that info would be any use to you.

It is quite clear in the very first sentence. “ecological, possibly fair-trade”… I am not confusing the two, you are in your rush to be argumentative. Chill out and take the time to read what’s being written.

I have not received exactly that type of info before, but neither am I eating their products since switching to huel, and neither was I consuming only one product from one vendor. This latter point demands greater transparency and a new relatienship between food producer and consumer… Before the switch I was purchasing the majority of my food based on ecological or green labels on the packs. Can’t say I have gone very far into what these mean, but I assume there are clear definitions available for those who wish to persue it in greater detail. My interest in the subject is growing and I’m slowly finding out more. Unfortunately, Huel provides no information, and the product could be drenched in ddt and roundup for all I know. Maybe they get the rice cheap from Fukushima. Maybe we can enjoy Huel even more if we know whats in it, or not in it. You mentioned rotenone-pyrethrin. Is that in huel? Whether it is harmful or not is one debate, but a pointless one since we dont know if it’s in huel or not. My intention here is not to argue the pro’s and con’s of organic vs synthetic pesticides or the environmental and economic effects of increased yield, it is just to find out what’s in huel so I can do some further research. The field was wide open previously, but now that I have a single source of food I think its a lot more interesting and focussed, and I want to know more about what I eat. Whats the harm in that?

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I get it, maybe I’m wrong, I just think your searching for the wrong answers and I know that eco/fair trade are both marketing terms and don’t mean a great deal about production.

For example, organic fair trade coffee from south America is only possible due to the 2.5million acres of forest that’s been cleared to make way for ‘new’ style coffee farming.

The Glyphosate you mention, that’s none synthetic and is used in organic farming.

Buying from a single company, before you were probably buying from one of ten

Then there’s free range, which just means an animal has ‘access’ to the outside (

There are chemicals everywhere, check out water filtration as one example where horrendous chems give largely positive results. Without a detailed knowledge of the entire process it’s impossible to know if it’s a positive or negative use.

Huel, soylent, joylent; to me they’re about breaking the old models of food production, of not buying products that mean things like chick shredders are used. I’ve chosen to trust Huel, the ingredients are high quality and I’m happy eating it. That’s good enough for me :slight_smile:


Thats all very interesting, but doesn’t change the fact that I don’t know what pesticides are in huel.

@sanovine we are looking into it, but we don’t have a list at the moment. Do any foods provide a list of pesticides used?

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If you are only looking into it now, that means you didn’t look at the pesticides or production methods before you shipped it to me as food? I find that alarming. But glad to hear you are addressing it now, and I look forward to updates on your progress.

No, no food offers a list of pesticides directly, but many have some kind of ecological certification which at least provides a guideline or compliance to some standard or another.

In addition, Huel has the nearly unique position of providing ALL my food, which carries with it a greater responsibility than simply ‘other foods’.

@sanovine so no other food company provides this information and yet you find it alarming when we don’t provide this information. I find that strange. We are asking the questions but there is no promise that we will be able to obtain this information. Can you point in the direction of a food stuff that provide the ecological certification that you mention so I can try obtain one of those. Thank you.


the guy who lived off of wotsits, does that mean wotsits need to provide a full breakdown? What about that girl who lived off of quorn? Just because Huel is nutritionaly complete, doesn’t mean it has to provide more information than any other food. Huel is already made to stringent controls, and all suppliers have to meet the same controls.

As pointed out, just because it has a certificate, doesnt mean it follows the rules. Take Lexmark for example, it follows all product specifications needed, it has CE qualification marks, yet it has just fired 100 odd people for asking for a 0.35 USD raise a week. Or consider free range hens, some are just store loosely in the barns, rather than in specific pens. Same space, same number of chickens, but hey! now freerange!

Julian and James both eat their own product. Do you really think they’d do that if they thought it wasn’t good for them?

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I don’t see what the problem is. What pesticides are in my Huel?

@sanovine can you link to where I can see the ecological certification you mentioned, I would like to investigate those please.