Soylent Green – It’s Not Just for Breakfast Any More

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The other day someone asked me “Just what is soylent green made out of?”, and I realized that a whole generation is unfamiliar with the movie Soylent Green. The Soylent Green movie is based on the Soylent Green novel entitled “Make Room! Make Room!” The author of Soylent Green is Harry Harrison; the Soylent Green book was published in 1966 and Soylent Green the movie was released in 1973.

To those of you who got here by searching for the “Soilent Green movie” or “what book is Soilent Green from”, well, it’s actually “Soylent” Green – it stands for “soy” and “lentils”, the protein sources from which Soylent Green was (supposedly) derived. In fact, to quote that classicly famous line from the movie, Soylent Green is people.

Nutrition Information Soylent Green

Serving size 3 oz (85g)
Servings Per Container varies by body type
Ingredients Soylent Green is People


If you’re looking for a Soylent Green review or a Soylent Green summary, Amazon has more than 150 reviews of the movie Soylent Green .

The basic premise of the classicly dystopian Soylent Green, which takes place more than 30 years in the future (as of the book’s publication in 1966) is that extreme over-population has lead to only the wealthiest of elites having actual food (let alone fresh food); the unwashed masses are reduced to eating protein wafers manufactured by the Soylent Corporation. There are a few versions of the wafer, and Soylent Green is supposed to be the best.

Nowhere is this bleak future human condition more evident than in 1999 New York, where aged detective Andy Rusch is trying to solve a seemingly unimportant murder. However in the course of investigating the murder, and along with the assistance of his researcher, Sol Roth, Rusch stumbles across the dark secret behind the Soylent Green corporation. Soylent Green is not made of corn or lentils – Soylent Green is people.

Soylent Green is perhaps at its most poignant in the interplay between Rusch and Roth. Roth is considerably older than Rusch, and fondly – no, painfully nostalgically – remembers a world with real food, and gardens, and a technicolor life. Through his eyes Rusch becomes aware of this world – a world which otherwise only gets a passing nod of a tribute in the most ironic of ways (and which I’ll not spoil here).

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Buy Soylent Green novel Make Room! Make Room!

2 thoughts on “Soylent Green – It’s Not Just for Breakfast Any More

  1. Sounds like another winning movie night at the Mitchell-Young house! 🙂 Everyone should bring a green dish to share!

  2. Back in ’73, I attended a late showing of the movie and then (after some partying, of course) came back home to my mom’s house, where everyone was asleep. Mom had been to the grocery store and picked up a box of a new snack called Space Food Sticks. I tried one. It was green with a waxy texture. I thought, what the heck is this made out of? Looking at the ingredients on the box, I found that it was mainly soy protein. Of course everyone knows about soy beans now, but back then I (an Arizonan from coybow upbringing) had never heard of them prior to that evening, which made it all the more coincidentally creepy to be eating green soy protein right after seeing Soylent Green. Ah, the good ‘ol days. Anyway, Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Leigh Taylor-Young, Chuck Conners, Joseph Cotten, etc… heck, it don’t get no better than that.

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