Before I start the important, selfless work of negging on a bad cultural phenomenon, I’d like to clarify, in the interest of fairness, that I am also an asshole. I like things that are objectively unnecessary and wasteful, and I would never argue that they aren’t. We’re all complicit in the Consumerist Black Parade, and you can pry my Bravo shows and pumpkin coffee drinks out of my cold, dead hands.
That being said, the one thing I can claim about my many capitalist vices is that none of them are wrapped up in a cloying air of health and ~bettering myself~. The closest thing I probably own to that is a FitBit, but I would argue that they are practical as hell and (as mine goes in my pocket all day) totally discreet. I’m not using it to project an air of wellness, I’m using it to confirm that I am not the level of sedentary that has the the same health impacts as chronic drug use. Designer juice, much like expensive yoga pants, are as much about the air of GOOP-y wholeness that you are projecting and experiencing as they are about actual health.
And it is that very wholeness that makes designer juice so maddeningly frustrating, instead of just laughably shallow, like the aforementioned pumpkin coffee or reality TV. They are intended to bestow upon the drinker a feeling of balance and good living that is in direct conflict with the wastefulness and ostentatiousness the drinks imply. Whether bottled or pressed, it is undeniable that juicing is not the most practical or useful way to consume these products, and the journey from “whole ingredients” to “perfect little designer bottle that you carry around and then throw in the trash” certainly negates whatever good you’re doing for the world by having cleaner farts.
And okay, maybe it allows you to consume all of the fruit and veg that would be hard to do if you had to actually chew it (which would, by the way, be giving you all that awesome fiber you are so callously tossing aside), but do you really fucking need to take four pounds of kale to the dome? I have a hard time believing that anyone’s health needs are so complicated that they cannot live without the obscene servings of produce that these juices claim to provide, and even if they were, take a fucking multivitamin and eat a salad. There is no need to spend 10 dollars for eight ounces of subpar gazpacho.
And this isn’t even touching on the most Marie Antoinette-esque aspect of this whole juice phenomenon: The Juice Cleanse. How wasteful and disdainful of society do you have to be to spend hundreds of dollars for the privilege of NOT EATING??? I’m not even going to get into the psychologically fucked up aspects of these kinds of cleanses, because people’s relationship to eating and food is none of my business. But there is something ethically so fucked up about choosing the diet/detox plan that creates pounds and pounds of waste, costs a ton of money, and doesn’t even allow you to consume solid food. It’s taking a big ol’ spinach-and-apple spit on the face of the 90 percent of the planet to whom that is an unfathomable economic choice.
Maybe it’s the smugness of the Juicers, the insistence on showing us all — through social media and otherwise — how ~gOoD~ they’re being by guzzling down their green slurry all day. But something about it fills me with a righteous indignation that no other wasteful practice does. I would rather see an endless stream of bloated, whipped-cream-smothered Frappucinos, all Valencia filtered, on my Instagram, than to have even one picture of a bottle of 10-dollar juice with a caption about #eatingclean. You know what else is eating clean? A fucking carrot. And they are about a dollar a pound. So eat some carrots, turn yourself orange, and shut the hell up. Because your designer juices are making you an asshole.
Image: Emil Caillaux