After a long hard workout, or in the middle of a hot summer day, you decide to get something refreshing and healthy, so you stop by at a local Juice Bar. Little do you know, that the top dollar you’re spending on a smoothie, is actually paying for a regular grocery store liquid from a carton.
I personally own my own juicer and make smoothies from the comfort of my own home. A while ago, I was hanging out with a friend and he asked me to come with him to a very well known Juice Bar chain store. When I walked in, the place looked clean and there was a long line of thirsty customers, anxiously waiting to be refreshed by a mixture of their favorite fruits and vegetables.
I looked around and the only fresh produce I could see was a few bananas and some oranges. It seemed that these fruits served more like counter top decorations than selling items. On the walls, there was a long list of smoothie options to choose from, with all the ingredients stated under the names of the beverages. On that list were strawberries, blueberries, kale, ginger, pineapple and almost every other fruit and vegetable you could think of. Sadly, what I saw next shocked me beyond belief.
Once my friend ordered a smoothie, I watched the girl make it. She started pulling things from under the counter. The first thing she got was a paper carton, which had pink liquid in it. I believe that counted as “strawberries”. Then she pulled out a bag with white pounder. I asked her what that was and she said it was ginger powder. Next substance was all mushy and thick, which was equivalent to “fresh apples”. After that, the juice girl poured some frozen blueberries that she got from a bag in the freezer. I can’t recall what else was in the smoothie, but I didn’t see a single fresh ingredient going into that drink. I asked my friend is this is normal for a juice bar and he said yes, all of them do it this way!
At that moment my mind was completely blown. How are all these people seeing nothing but artificial processed ingredients going into their drink and don’t even question it? They’re paying 6, 7, 8 or more dollars for a small glass of juice that doesn’t have a single fruit in it. I stayed a bit longer and watched other customer’s orders getting fulfilled. After 5 orders I did see a full size banana and an orange go in to a few drinks, but that was it.
Later that week I decided to pay a visit to 3 other nationwide popular Juice Bars. Alas, the experience was the same.
If you’re one who likes to enjoy freshly squeezed juice, my advice to you would be to look around first. A real Juice Bar will have a wide variety of fruits and vegetables out on display under a glass cover, or in see-through containers.
Later on, I did find that Whole Foods has all fresh ingredients, (except for coconut water, which is not easy to serve fresh anyway). If you walk in and all you see are a couple of fruit props and the rest is nothing but a bunch of powders and pre-made mysterious liquids, save your money and get the heck out of that nasty place!