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I'm the CEO of the Soylent Corporation, and we have a problem. Some cop just revealed our secret: Our premiere food product Soylent Green:

is made out of people!

(sigh) We're going to lose business. It seems that people — no matter how hungry — are disgusted by the thought of eating other human beings. As word spreads about what the Corporation has done, we are going to lose customers. The stock value will drop, and shareholders will start asking questions...

I can't stand by and let the Corporation slide into bankruptcy. Green is very profitable for us; we can make this work. The question is, What can the Soylent Corporation do to continue selling human remains as food, in spite of market disapproval after being caught**?**

Please try to support your answer with comparable real-world examples of corporate behavior.


Disclaimer: This question is about the movie's company and product. The company and product of the original book as well as a real-life Soylent are not made of people.

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    $\begingroup$ The Simpsons solved this several ways: "Soylent Green: Now With More Girls!" is the usual favorite. They also branched out into Soylent Brown ("Don't Ask, Just Eat.") Also, market disapproval is not certain - Homer sure likes it. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Mar 3 at 3:28
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    $\begingroup$ I think that you should add a disclaimer in your title to make sure that viewers know that you're talking about the fictional Soylent Green and not the real life Soylent (which isn't made from people). $\endgroup$ – Galactic Mar 3 at 5:54
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    $\begingroup$ "The company and product of the original book as well as a real-life Soylent are not made of people". That's exactly what a company would claim if they put human on their products. $\endgroup$ – Kepotx Mar 3 at 7:57
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    $\begingroup$ IIRC in the movie, Soylent Green was a new product, so you could still fall back on the good old horrible tasting Soylent Red and Yellow. $\endgroup$ – pboss3010 Mar 3 at 13:35
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    $\begingroup$ As a CEO, if in doubt, give yourself a raise and leave company. Make it someone else's problem. $\endgroup$ – M i ech Mar 24 at 10:58

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I agree with answers that people will eat anything if they are hungry and do not have options. Cannibalism is a thing, and it did even happen in modern countries, e.g. during wars.

I would like to propose two more strategies to discredit the message itself:

  1. Whistleblower is wrong. He was upset over a death of a lifelong friend, and maybe also on drugs (fake the test results), and then he saw that body disposal facility is operated by Soylent Inc., and confused processed pellets for soylent.

  2. Bodies are used indirectly, e.g. as fertilizer for plants or algae. So this is no different than growing food plants on a cemetery. In fact, it is a good way for a deceased person to give back to the society.

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  • $\begingroup$ Answer accepted. It's the most creative; in particular, it goes beyond the "people will just accept it anyway" theme in most other answers. $\endgroup$ – DrSheldon Mar 4 at 17:55
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It seems that people -- no matter how hungry

Really?
Three weeks of no other soylent but the green one (so no "Soylent Red" or "Soylent Yellow") on the shelves and they will buy and eat it or they'll became a cheap source of soylent green. Either way, the profit is ours.
Another 3 weeks and those alive will no longer have qualms - they've had it already.

So, boys, start building those refrigerated warehouses. Next month we will stop producing anything else but soylent green for one quarter.


Context

In the year 2022, the cumulative effects of overpopulation, pollution and some apparent climate catastrophe has caused severe worldwide shortages of food, water and housing.

...

Soylent Industries, ... , controls the food supply of half of the world

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The Same Way It Already Works

I’m typing this answer on a device made with minerals extracted by slaves, which were then sold by warlords to a totalitarian state where it was built by a person who works 16 hours a day in a factory so awful that they put up suicide nets on the roof.

If you’re a socialist/anarchist/communist than you essentially believe that we’re just a little ways shy of the Soylent Green scenario, as they view the entire world economic system as inherently oppressive and odiously wicked, but yet the vast majority of the world won’t take up the red banner.

If you’re a vegan/ethical vegetarian than you believe that we basically are in a soylent green situation, and that 99% of the world thinks it’s perfectly fine and you’re crazy for thinking otherwise.

Multiple times in the 20th century common people tolerated or assisted their governments in committing atrocities. The Nazis pawned off Jewish property to citizens who knew damn well what happened to the owners, the Soviets had children betray parents to the secret police, Mao had the people take part in mass executions, the Iranian Clerics hanged people from cranes and instituted strict religious laws whilst the people cheered.

I don’t think man has a limit if he can be persuaded he has a benefit. The people will embrace cannibalism as many historical cultures have in the past. They will come up with rationalizations for why cannibalism is permissible, after all, they’ve already taken part in it, and they don’t want to consider themselves evil. Soon Soylent Corporation will see greater market share.

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    $\begingroup$ Your first paragraph. You are describing New Jersey. I know it well. $\endgroup$ – puppetsock Mar 3 at 15:05
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In a movie resolution, the is simple. People don't have an option. They need to eat the soylent.

But people cannot eat people! It's bad!

As we learned from The Miracle of the Andes Rules and ethic goes out the window when you need to survive. So maybe 2-3 days of fasting and then back to normal.

In our world solution (not like the flight 571 wasn't in our world) - when you caught the company refreshing rotten meat. Washing sausages in chlorine to remove mold. You change company name. And never admit to it. "Sell" everything to your wife. Change the owner. No one will remeber in 3 months.

In our world solution number two - Hi, I'm Jamie Olivier and I will show you how chicken nuggets are done. It's disgusting, it's skin and "mechanically reclaimed" meat and bones and tendons. With chlorine and acid. And the kids still want to eat that. While they watched how it's made. Jamie Olivier is dissapointed

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  • $\begingroup$ Jamie Oliver should have known better. Consider the lobster; expensive restaurant dish, favourite of the seashore tourists to New England and Atlantic Canada. Have you ever looked at a lobster in the face? There's a reason why lobster fishers (and my father was one) call them "bugs", and yet people will pay much money to have what is, essentially, an overgrown marine cockroach shipped to them for family meals. $\endgroup$ – Keith Morrison Mar 4 at 4:32
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Ultimately, taste overrides many other considerations in the populace, and there are few flavour enhancers out there that have proven to be as effective as Glutamates. One of the most popular (and controversial) of these is MSG, or mono-sodium glutamate. Many foods are laced with this substance and it leads to people eating more of that food than they otherwise would, whatever the known nutritional deficiencies of that food.

Example? Well let's start with the Romans and one of their key delicacies, Garum. This was, in essence, 'fermented' salted fish. By fermenting, what is meant is that the fish was pretty much salted and then left in a bucket in the sun. I call that being left to rot more than left to ferment, but that's me. Personally, I don't find that all that much appealing, but it was eaten in volumes in the Roman Empire that required factories to produce the stuff. Believe it or not, it is still produced in certain quarters of Italy to this day, even though it is far less popular.

The point being, that if you add glutamates to your Soylent Green, all you do to keep selling it is emphasise the taste. This has been working for the snack food industry for decades. Most people today know that chips (for example) are not high in nutrition, yet demand for them is growing annually and they are very nearly a US$44bn dollar industry today.

Now, it is true that potato chips are not known to come from a dubious source, but taste is still a driving factor in their sales growth. Arguably, the same would be true of your Green product. Besides, even the name Green means it's good for the environment, right?

Right?

In any event, I recommend a two step process. First, make it taste really good; glutamates are good for that. Second, make that the thing you saturate the air waves with every chance you get. You might be surprised how little the source matters after that.

Want even more proof? Well, start watching what the Japanese are doing in creating artificial meat from human feces. If they can do it and make it a really salable commodity, then you will have your answer.

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  • $\begingroup$ "Ultimately, taste overrides many other considerations in the populace" Disagree. Doesn't take long to get to the idea of "If we keep demanding it, there will come a moment when they'll come after us". If there's no alternative and there's generalized food shortage, the absence of flavor enhancers won't make any difference, the product will sell, those that don't buy it will soon be made into the product after dying of hunger. $\endgroup$ – Adrian Colomitchi Mar 3 at 4:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Adrian Colomitchi I’m sorry to say that “... there will come a moment when they'll come after us"” has been shown to be too complex of a concept for way too many people given the atrocities committed during the 20th century. I truly think a lot of people would slurp it down $\endgroup$ – NixonCranium Mar 3 at 5:09
  • $\begingroup$ "has been shown to be too complex of a concept for way too many people" if that's the case, given the soylent green is already scarce, there will be no lost business. $\endgroup$ – Adrian Colomitchi Mar 3 at 5:12
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It's fake news.

Fake news by people who hate our country and want the worst, because their mothers raised them wrong. Or maybe they were just born bad and their mothers did the best they could; probably that second one because mothers are good. Fake news in any event, just like the ocean being dead and monsters coming out of cracks in the earth, all that. It would be funny if it weren't so mean and sad. Mean, sad, lying little people. I feel bad for their mothers.

I'm telling you, don't believe a bunch of lies. They have been lying the whole time about this and lots of other things too. Look now, look; Soylent green is fine! It's made of ocean plants, ok? Little ones that grow right back - the ocean is full of them. I eat it, all the types of Soylent. Probably too much! But there is absolutely nothing wrong with the stuff that some Tabasco sauce can't fix. If I like it you'll like it too because I'm pretty picky about what I eat. But please people, please - don't believe a fake bunch of scary lies. Its only scary if you believe it.

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Marketing to the rescue!


Soylent Green, nothing more Human


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    $\begingroup$ No animals harmed in the production. $\endgroup$ – ths Mar 3 at 14:44
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There are already some good answers, but I'd like to add an angle which I don't think has been covered yet.

How do you get people to accept anything? The answer: change popular opinion.

The only way this could work I think it a full scale push for Soylent Green by every major facets of society.

1) The goods and virtues of Soylent Green must become a constant present in all forms of media. The fact that it is made from people must be turned into a positive ("it's the natural cycle of life", "Humans who contributed to Soylent Green are heroes"..etc). It must be endorsed by celebrities, Experts of all sorts (scientists, lawmakers and politicians alike).

2) Going of off part 1), Part 2 is the incorporation into popular culture. There need to be movies about Soylent Green (the brave founders of the company fighting overwhelming odds and evil caricatures to save the day..etc.). Books need to be written and songs sung extolling the virtues of the concept of consuming humans. In other words it need to become "cool".

3) The inverse must also become true: those who are against the product must become evil. Arguments may include something like "if you are against Soylent Green its because you like people starving and suffering...you monster!". Other unpopular opinions must be linked to hating the stuff.

4) The narrative of human consumption, since this is the core issue, need to be carefully controlled and shaped using the three above facets. A scientific and historical basis must also to be established; The human parts of the product might become "Advanced Biological Components" and then only dubbed as the ABCs there after. All trivia on when humans have been consumed throughout history needs to become documentaries, Television Specials and constantly displayed in articles on the Web. It is important to constantly cast the concept into a positive and normalized light.

Once the above has been done long and well enough, then the final coup-de-grace:

5) Legislate it: Once it becomes legal (perhaps eventually required) for consumables to contain a human biological component there is little that can be said against it.

And there you have it. Now everyone has not only accepted Soylent Green but it has become a normal part of life and you couldn't imagine a world without it.

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Soylent Green is just playing a part on capitalism without those pesky state regulations and laws against freedom prohibiting normal business to make honest money and employ people. This is just business.

The state is inherently evil, so the less state we have, the most freedom we have. We need a free market economy where the state don't interfere in private enterprises, like as dictating draconian laws that says that we can't consume human flesh. Forbidding that is tyranny! We are free to do whatever we want because this is a great country! The state should take care of military affairs elsewhere and nothing more!

Sure, we are waging war and spreading death, terror, misery, destruction, violence and chaos elsewhere in the world just to grab civilians cast as enemies against their will and turn them in food, but what really matters is that our country is great and the people of our country enjoy freedom and we fight for freedom and for our country! We are patriots, so we don't care about people in other countries because those aren't people at all!

Long life to our country! We are the country of freedom! We are the only country that matters, and as so, we are entitled to screw up the other countries as hard as possible and do whatever we can in order to enslave and steal the rest of the world for the sole benefit of ourselves. We just found a good way to use a resource that was being wasted (i.e. the bodies of those <insert word here> that insists in resisting our country invasion and the way that we exploit and steal them just because they hate freedom).

This is Soylent Green business: We are patriots supporting our troops in making a world better! We are the best country in the world, where we are free! We support freedom!

Soylent Green is a gold sponsor of the Army! By buying Soylent Green products, you are being a patriot and supporting our cause of fighting for freedom and for our country!

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I would suggest a different approach for the Soylent Corporation - go non-profit and declare themselves a religion! Endocannibalistic societies usually practice this not for the calories and nutrients, but because the essence of the people is returned to their families and communities. (Munch) "Grandpa sure loved us a lot, signing (Crunch) that waiver." Practitioners of the faith would still have the tangible (caloric) advantages of the practice, but you'd blend it into a cultural practice that would make people feel warm & fuzzy about their dead loved ones.

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  • $\begingroup$ PS I'm trying to invent a new term - permissivore. I can only eat animals that have volunteered to be eaten... $\endgroup$ – DWKraus Apr 11 at 18:21

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