No, I Don't Want To Hear About Your Juice Cleanse

by Maria Guido

Juicing is all the rage… but should it be?

Juicing used to just be for people who hung out in their homes in their jazzercise outfits and bought jars of wheat germ. It’s now totally mainstream: people not only commonly own juicers and do it themselves, but pay upwards of $11 for a serving in a storefront.

When exactly did this become the rage? And should it have?

Maybe the allure is obvious: why would you simply wash an apple and eat it when you can peel and core three of them, peel a chunk of ginger, skin a lemon, and force all of that along with two handfuls of spinach down a three inch wide shoot that will reduce all of that to 3/4 of a cup of liquid that you can easily drink? It’s crazy that we haven’t been doing it this way forever. Who was the first idiot to just pick up a piece of fruit and chew it? It’s common sense to pulverize all of the nutrients out of it, throw away 75% of it and just suck out all the remainder.

Juicing is an obvious fad because it just makes so much sense.

Teeth are handy and all, but so is a $189 juicer. It only has five parts (for easy cleaning). You’ll have to get rid of your toaster and coffee maker to fit it on your counter but a caffeine addiction is serious and nobody fucking eats toast anymore unless it’s really just mashed cauliflower masquerading as bread. And you can’t really jam that into your now-useless appliance.

But back to the juicing. After you peel your gaggle of fruit and jam it and two dollars worth of spinach into your juicer, you’ll get this amazing cup of fresh juice that’s only covered in about an inch of weird fruit-foam. It’s life-changing. Enjoy it, but don’t take too long to drink it. You’ll have to start cleaning your juicer immediately because fruit pulp will stick to your glorious appliance like cement if you let it dry. Make sure you use the wire brush to clean the blades that pulverize your fruit because they will cut the shit out of your fingers. So fun!

Really… what the hell are we doing? This is why we can’t have nice things.

What started as a nice idea to occasionally give your body a break from digestion (some doctor, somewhere convinced us it actually needs that) has turned into a billion dollar industry that may not be so great for the environment. Do you have any idea how much waste is produced from juicing? A lot. Do you know what happens to that waste if you or whoever you’re buying your juice from doesn’t compost? It becomes landfill and produces methane gas. So what could’ve been a simple apple core or banana peel has now turned into epic amounts of waste from the overwhelming percentage of the fruit you are not utilizing when you juice. Johnny Adamic, personal trainer and food-studies genius writes for The Daily Beast, “Juicing is not just another fad though: it is a privileged, wasteful form of food consumption that’s worse for you than cooking and bad for the environment; juicing is the triumph of marketing over science.”

“When juiced, a basket of fruit would probably serve half—if not less—the amount of people as it would if eaten whole,” Adamic writes. “Lost to juicing are fibers that satiate (including the skin which is loaded with heart-healthy, cancer-fighting flavonoids), vitamins, and most importantly, fat. Fat matters because the body needs it to absorb a whole host of vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Without fat in that juice combo, those vitamins pass right through you.”

Your body actually does pretty well on its own, without your expensive juicer. It breaks down the fruit you eat — can you believe that? Who knew digestion worked that way? “Just remember — your digestive tract IS a juicer. It just works more slowly. That’s okay. We don’t need to be in a hurry here,” writes Albert Einstein College of Medicine nutritionist and dietitian Keith T. Ayoob. “I actually trust the digestive tract more than any mechanical juicer. By the time your GI tract gets through with the fruits and vegetables, you can trust that whatever’s left over truly needs to go.”

It’s also been non-scientifically proven that absolutely no one can do a juice cleanse without talking about it constantly. If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? If you don’t talk about your juice cleanse, did it really happen?

So next time that annoying friend of yours who’s always posting videos of themselves doing burpees begins to brag about their latest juice cleanse… remind them that there’s a reason whole foods are good for you.

Nature intended it that way.