Would you like me to buy something from you?
I’m going to tell you a secret.
If you make your product New and Improved, pretty, fancy, turbo, an upgrade, promising better health, or claiming to be All Natural, Plant-Based, or Organic….I’ll buy it. You can probably charge me extra, and I’ll still buy it (I’m working on this weakness).
Why? I don’t know. I’m a sucker for pretty packaging, mostly. I like nice things…as an old friend of mine always said, “Don’t buy Sucky $#*t.” I’ve toned this down over the years because I’m a Responsible Adult now, but I still do a double take when Wegmans comes out with a new reusable shopping bag or the packaging is improved on a product I don’t even use.
This is related to Healthy Junk Food because marketing plays a big role in us falling for buying the “healthier” versions of our favorite junky foods. Petra and I were just discussing the conundrum regarding wanting to bake cookies for our friends, but then feeling guilty about giving people unhealthy food. So, should we make chocolate chip cookies with “healthy” ingredients? Lori’s Natural Foods does it—I’m a sucker for their million-calorie Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies. Unfortunately, the label of Vegan makes me feel less guilty about eating it. True, it is huge, and full of (natural) sugar and fat…but it doesn’t have butter! Or eggs!
Who am I kidding? Not many people are fooled by this, but buying the healthy version of something is a nice and easy way to justify eating more unhealthy foods—junk is junk whether it’s Organic and Natural or not.
I’m going to admit my latest healthy junk food purchase, which stemmed from leaving work in a fog of sleep deprivation and afternoon lull.
First, I shouldn’t call this product junk, because I don’t really know if it is. But if it looks like a miracle, and tastes like a soft drink…..
It probably is too good to be true. There are no free lunches, right?
It was delicious…kind of like orange soda, but less chemical-y and more flowery tasting. It promised me that after I drank it I would no longer have brain fog (and I did, indeed, have brain fog before I drank it). I would be fueling my cranium so I could get thinking again.
I spent $10 on a 4-pack, at 8.4 oz each. But! There was No caffeine, No processed sugar, No fake anything. Just pure herbs, natural compounds, and organic agave nectar. It was Kosher, and Vegan. It even met Michael Pollan’s rule of having 5 or fewer ingredients (it had 4). The proprietary blend even included Blue Green Algae—I’m such a fan of this fancy superfood! How could I not buy it?
Anyway, it did not make a noticeable difference in my brain fog. But it tasted good. In the end, I’m not telling you not to buy Brain Toniq—I liked it, and I may buy it again sometime. It’s way better than what I used to buy when I was stressed and over tired (a 3-pack of ho ho’s and a diet pepsi). I paired my Brain Toniq with a Magic Chocolate, and I did actually function for the rest of the evening. So maybe it did help—ultimately, the ingredients appeared to be supportive of brain function, but maybe would work better in a subtle general sense rather than trying to get the traditional caffeine buzz.
My point? If you crave something junky, choose the healthy kind, but be realistic about what it is. I will always choose natural and organic over processed chemicals–and I will never give up junk food completely. I just want to keep it in perspective that healthy junk is still junk (or as Cookie Monster now says, “Cookies are a Sometimes Snack”).
Some of my favorite indulgences:
Late July Vanilla Sandwich Cookies (I like the 4 packs—otherwise I’d eat the whole box!)