I tried the startup that wants to replace your lunch with futuristic nutrition 'squares' -- and they actually tasted good

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If you are intrigued by the idea of an efficient, quantified meal, but are a bit weirded out by drinking Soylent, you might find Mealsquares more palatable.

Mealsquares is a "beta" stage startup that bills itself as a "solid, whole-food Soylent alternative."

But wait, a food version of Soylent, you ask. Wouldn't that just be regular food? Sort of.

The answer lies in what meal-replacement products like Soylent or Ambronite are actually giving you. For fans of Soylent, it doesn't fundamentally matter that it's drinkable, or that it tastes a certain way. The promise is that it gives you regimented, cheap, healthy, and easily consumable "food."

It's nutrition you don't have to think about, and that doesn't interfere with your day. And okay, it doesn't taste as good as filet mignon, but that's not the point.

Mealsquares is going for that same promise. Instead of a shake, Mealsquares come in small, dense cakes that look a bit like banana bread. Each square is 400 calories, with a carefully-selected mixture of ingredients meant to give you a balanced meal free of "wheat, soy, corn, peanuts, high fructose corn syrup, artificial preservatives, and flavoring agents."

A pack of 30 Mealsquares currently costs $90, so three dollars a square.

I tried eating Mealsquares for lunch for a few days, and here is what the experience was like:

The Mealsquares come wrapped in plastic. You can't smell anything, which makes sense given the seal has to be tight enough for them to last 2+ weeks at room temperature or 2+ months in the refrigerator.

Steven Tweedie/Business Insider

This is how big they are next to an iPhone 5S.

Steven Tweedie/Business Insider

I ripped open the the package, and could immediately feel how solid the "square" was.

Steven Tweedie/Business Insider

It was densely packed and smelled good, mostly like the chocolate chips that were inside.

Steven Tweedie/Business Insider

Mealsquares recommends you microwave them for around 20-60 seconds, but you can eat them right out of the package.

Steven Tweedie/Business Insider

They also say they go well with butter, jam, coconut oil, or nutella. I decided to eat mine plain.

Steven Tweedie/Business Insider

Here's what it looked like immediately before I microwaved it...

Steven Tweedie/Business Insider

...and after.

Steven Tweedie/Business Insider

It felt significantly softer after I microwaved it, and the chocolate chips inside had melted.

Steven Tweedie/Business Insider

It smelled really good, even better than when I had first taken it out of the package.

Steven Tweedie/Business Insider

It was soft now, but still a bit dry. It was definitely something you'd want to try with a drink, like milk. But overall I liked the taste. It reminded me of vegan banana bread.

Steven Tweedie/Business Insider

Some of my colleagues had less positive experiences, with the main complaint being the squares seemed to suck the moisture out of your mouth. Indeed, if you didn't have anything to drink, it wasn't that enjoyable. I ate the squares for a few days, and while convenient, they didn't make me feel either healthier or unhealthier from a physical standpoint.

Steven Tweedie/Business Insider

Here is a summary of Mealsquares' nutritional facts.

Nathan McAlone/Business Insider

Try out Mealsquares for yourself here.

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