The $26 Smoothie and the Price for Health.

This article was originally published in Elephant Journal. I wrote it after reading an article in one of the Melbourne weekend paper about a new Raw Vegan Cafe that was charging $26 for their signature superfood smoothie. It got me thinking, which in turn, inspired pen to paper…


Organic, slow-pressed juices, superfood smoothies, raw, gluten free, vegan cakes, fairtrade, organic almond milk lattes…….

The world of health and wellness has changed dramatically, even just in the last several years. Gone are the days of coffee and cake for $5 and a smoothie consisting of banana, cows milk and perhaps a splash of cinnamon if you’re lucky.

What has arrived instead are days of, wild harvested berries from the Amazon, activated hemp seed milk, medicinal herbal tea tinctures and almond meal cinnamon buns consisting of four ingredients- none of those being sugar, butter, wheat or milk.

raw-milkshakeI for one am thrilled about these changes and what I consider to be advances and steps in the right direction, not only for the health and wellbeing of ourselves, but also, and perhaps even more importantly, for the health and wellbeing of our planet.

This new way of eating and consuming does come at a cost, but really, its not so much a question of how much does that biodegradable bag of wild harvest, fairtrade, vegan certified, USDA organic, freeze dried acai powder cost, it is a question of what do we want to direct our money and energy towards?

I am certainly pleased to say that I wouldn’t have a clue how much the latest meal deal would cost at Mc Donalds, or how much a large pizza with the works would set you back. I am quite certain though that both would be less than what you would pay for an organic, freshly made, seasonal juice. The former choice would have your money supporting an industry that is destructive on so many counts in relation to the environment and animal welfare, not to mention a heart attack in the making for your body. This food has been proven to be laden with chemicals, preservatives, hormones, fat and sugar and to be entirely void of substance and nutrition in any way, shape or form.

Mason-Jar-CutiesThe latter has been proven to reverse the conditions of poor health, flooding the cells with vitamins, oxygen and essential nutrients and returning the body to an alkaline state where disease cannot thrive or proliferate. Nutrition experts worldwide have stated that if you can only change one thing in your entire health regime, it is to add a fresh juice to your daily diet. Even if you change nothing else, this one step will lead to better health, and over time I imagine this can only instigate more significant changes in ones lifestyle.

On the other end of the spectrum from McDonalds, when was the last time you went out for dinner? What did you have? How much did your bill come to? Did you bat an eyelid at the figure that followed the dollar sign?

It has become entirely normal and acceptable in general society to pay far more than $26 for a slab of medium rare steak or a creamy seafood risotto. What is it that makes such a meal deemed worthy of the price? What is it that makes people scoff at the idea of paying $26 for a smoothie that has every single nutrient the body needs to thrive in one glass? Sure it may look like mud, it may even taste like mud! But in defense of super smoothies, I’ve yet to have one that tastes anything less than a creamy, dreamy, rather superior, elixir.

This train of pondering could extend really to all choices regarding consumption- a bunch of local organic carrots bought at a farmers markets or a plastic bag of carrots from another country sprayed with chemicals and pesticides and purchased at a huge chain supermarket? Filling up a paper bag of fairtrade freshly ground coffee at your local health food store or buying a bag of pesticide laden coffee picked by slave workers in Columbia? The list goes on and on from baby nappies to household cleaners to clothing. Every single time we make a purchase, we are making a choice about what we support and what sort of world we really want create.

With organic raw living food, you do get what you pay for. More often than not from what I have experienced, there is little profit margin, rather, these ventures are labors of love, they have a mission, a dream, an ideal, a vision. I am not advocating that a smoothie should cost you $26, rather I am simply drawing attention to the choices that we make, the way that two glasses of wine for the same price seems entirely within reason.

b76ca4c08f5e779b0cc87c4174075099Eating a sustainable, organic and plant based diet does involve more thought and tends to becomes a lifestyle in itself. But it becomes one that feels so wonderful, it seems worth every penny and every additional thought or action required. I hear people say all the time that they cannot afford to buy organic food, but could they afford to if they didn’t upgrade to that next laptop or flat screen television? What choices CAN be made to lead a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle? Often taking your own bags and containers to re-fill at health food stores is cheaper than buying items outright at the supermarket, Buying organic produce from farmers markets can also be cheaper than conventional produce at the corner store. Making your own almond milk at home is by far cheaper than buying carton after carton of milk. And feeding your kids raw treats made from natural ingredients free from nasty chemicals and sugar will have you thanking yourself in both the short and long term. Sometimes its only a matter of being made aware of these choices and these options- try planting your own veggies or herbs rather than buying them or invest in your own juicer to make fresh juices affordable.

I truly believe the lighter and clearer our own bodies are, the more this ushers in a true desire to make changes to support the world we live in.

Most people generally feel like they need a nap after a $26 rump steak, but I can only imagine that after downing a $26 smoothie consisting of 15 superfoods and superherbs, one would feel ready to tackle the world, in a peas, love and lentils kinda way….