Sunday, July 26, 2015

it's not easy being green

Yesterday, I emerged from the train station stairs at 16th Street and was handed two bottles of V8 Heathy Greens® by a young lady manning a large, gaily-decorated cooler. A swarm of my fellow commuters and fellow members of the Philadelphia workforce surrounded the young lady, all with eager hands extended. Obviously, most humans like free things. Pretty much anything, as long as it's free. Grab it while you can! Don't worry, there will be time later to give it a careful examination to determine if it is of any merit. If it's something of value, great! You just scored it at no cost. If not, it can always be tossed. No time wasted and no harm done. So, I grabbed a couple of the free, brightly-labels bottles and crossed the street to my office. Once at my desk, I fired up my computer, set the bottles aside and went to work.

I have been a vegetarian for nearly ten years (you can read that stupid story here). Over the past year, however, I took a good, hard look at my food intake. I cut out all forms of sweets — cookies, candy, ice cream, cake. I have made a conscious effort to include more fruits, vegetables and nuts in my regular diet. I began snacking on trail mix (without chocolate chips or M & M's) and banana chips instead of my usual Reese's Cups. I rarely drink soda, choosing to quench my thirst with flavored sparkling water. I have gotten more adventurous, actually eating string beans and broccoli and even the trendy kale — stuff I would have never previously touched in a zillion years. 

As the noon hour rolled around, I glanced away from my computer screen for a second and caught a glimpse of the two bottles V8 Heathy Greens® that I had shoved off to the side this morning when I sat down at my desk. I picked one of the bottles up and scanned the ingredients panel. It included such healthful ingredients as "yellow carrot juice, cucumber juice, celery juice, green bell pepper juice" and other vegetables that I was not aware has a single drop of juice in them. Less appetizing components of the product were "spinach water and romaine lettuce juice." To make the combination more palatable, it also contained apple juice and pineapple juice, two actual juices that I have had (and enjoyed)  before.

Green is the color
of my true love's juice.
I filled a cup with ice from our office's communal ice dispenser and returned to my desk. I popped the lid of one bottle and poured the contents over the ice. The opaque label had concealed the true color of the product. It was the color of some liquid that, if discovering it on your driveway, you'd be prompted to have your mechanic give your car a thorough inspection. Cautiously, I raised the cup to my lips and took a hesitant sip — probably too big a sip for something I was unsure about in the first place.

It tasted like old peas — cold, withered, left on a forgotten dinner plate in the sink.

I looked at the cup, now only partly filled with the dark green liquid. The more I looked at it, the more it resembled antifreeze. Old antifreeze.

I reread the ingredients, trying to identify the various vegetables by the aftertaste on my tongue. I couldn't pinpoint a single one. Instead, the full combination left my mouth with the flavor of a freshly-cut lawn. I wondered about a possible meeting of the Research and Development Department in the V8 Divison at Campbell's Soup (V8's parent company). "Hey," I imagined a food scientist declared, "I think I have the perfect combination!" As the other members of the team sampled the prototype, someone must have commented on the color and taste — only to have the criticism shot down by a supervisor. "No, no! It's fine! Who cares about the color of a drink anyway? Especially not the health nuts that are in our target demographic! Besides, Coca-Cola is the color of shit, and look how that stuff sells!"

I got up from my desk, walked to the sink near the office coffee machine and dumped the remaining V8 Heathy Greens® down the drain. I poured myself a cup of cleansing water and took a healthy swig.

Water is healthy, too.... right?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for saving me from the possibility that a healthy thought might've enticed me into trying this! Your post makes me ache for Kool-aid.