The $26 Smoothie & Where Our Choices Are Taking Us. ~ Kelly Kaiana

Via Kelly Kaiana
on Oct 12, 2013
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~ Green Goddess Smoothie ~

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

The world of health and wellness has changed dramatically, even in just the last several years. Gone are the days of coffee and cake for five dollars and a smoothie consisting of banana, cow’s 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.

I 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 well being of ourselves, but also, and perhaps even more importantly, for the health and well-being of our planet.

This new way of eating and consuming does come at a cost, but really, it’s not so much a question of how much does that biodegradable bag of wild harvest, fair trade, vegan certified, USDA organic, freeze dried acai powder cost.

It is a question of 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 McDonalds, 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.

The 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 we can only change one thing in our entire health regime, it is to add a fresh juice to our daily diet.

Even if we change nothing else, this one step will lead to better health, and over time I imagine this can only instigate more significant changes in one’s 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 farmer’s 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 fair trade, freshly ground coffee at your local health food store or buying a bag of pesticide laden coffee picked by slave workers in Colombia?

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 to 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—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. Eating 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 farmer’s 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….

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Assistant Ed: Karissa Ostheimer/Ed: Bryonie Wise


About Kelly Kaiana

Kelly Kaiana is an aspiring writer, a raw food chef and a passionate yogi, practicing and teaching in the style of Ishta Yoga. A lover of travel and culture, this gypsy poet calls Byron Bay home, a place abounding in natural beauty, spectacular sunsets and endless inspiration. An eternal optimist, Kelly is passionate about community, vegetarianism and all things environmentally friendly and sustainable. The spirit of bhakti inspires her creative flow, whether that be through making jewelery, creating a new yoga practice, serving beautiful, nourishing food or collecting natures treasures for her alter. When she is not traveling the world or making raw wedding cakes in the kitchen, you can find her strolling through farmers markets in the sunshine, dancing barefoot in the rain or etching spirals and dreams into the sand.


8 Responses to “The $26 Smoothie & Where Our Choices Are Taking Us. ~ Kelly Kaiana”

  1. Laura says:

    I can't pay $26 for one serving of anything. Not because I don't WANT to direct my money there but because I don't have that money to direct. I have however still managed to be a poor vegan for over a decade and my splurge would be the $5 100% juices I buy. Carrot was my last one. I also make smoothies at home with superfood powders I order offline.

    So, I think you can get healthy ingredients for much cheaper than $26.

    Very glad not to be directing my money at factory farming regardless.

  2. Laura says:

    o0ohh making your own almond milk is cheaper…I need to try this. Thanks for that tip!

  3. Manvan says:

    Why can't I help but feel the gulf of disassociation here? Sure, I get the comparison of perception between a pizza and a smoothie, but being able to use a twenty-six buck drink as a point kind of feels like an argument only a more-privileged-than-most in the First World could make. And the smoothie, whilst being a better choice (in health terms) for the self, it's rarely a better choice for the planet. Carting your hand-picked wild Amazonian berries across the Gulf is not a resource free process, and it's a process than has health benefits (or more to the point, consequences) that impact everybody. I don't want to come across as rude, but I can't help but see this article as more than an act of self-justification. As a feminist once told me, 'check your privilege'.

  4. @LimZen says:

    "Making your own almond milk at home is by far cheaper than buying carton after carton of milk. "

    I have yet to source the right ingredients to make homemade almond milk cheaper than buying it (or any other sort of milk) from the store. Granted, the almond milk I make at home is fresher and far more delicious than most of the ones I've purchased, but when you take into account buying organic ingredients, it can become a costly operation.

    If you can impart some wisdom as to how to make almond milk cheaper than store-bought almond milk or any milk for that matter, please share the trick!

    (sample costs…$6-10 for 1 lb organic, raw almonds at local farmers market, $5-10 for 2 organic vanilla beans, $8 for organic agave nectar) — making each batch of almond milk a relatively costly endeavor (unless I use all Costco type bulk ingredients.)

  5. tinkakel says:

    Hi Manvan,
    Thank you for writing and sharing your view here, I really appreciate it and take on board what you are saying.
    The piece I wrote came about after I read an article for a $26 smoothie at a new raw organic cafe in Melbourne. I have not purchased the $26 smoothie myself 😉 I do however work at a raw vegan organic cafe in Byron Bay, and our 'ultimate' super smoothie is $12. People do occasionally say that it is indeed a lot of money to spend on a drink, and it is! But what I was drawing attention to was why it seems to be common place to spend the same amount of money of less healthier options.
    Committing to a healthy and environmentally friendly way of living is pricy in every way, from buying organic apples to buying organic cotton underwear! Im not saying that we need to be extreme and spend thousands of dollars trying to save the world (although that would be amazing if we could!), Im just raising awareness to where we direct our hard earned cash.

  6. tinkakel says:

    Hi LimZen! Thank you for writing! I use pesticide free Australian almonds that I purchase from my local health food store at $19.95kg. I simply blend the almonds with filtered water and a couple of teaspoons of organic coconut sugar and a pinch of Himalayan sea salt. Vanilla beans and agave are both indeed very expensive items! If you wanted the flavour though, you could try a drop or two of a vanilla liquid stevia. I hope that helps! Having said all that, if you are in the States I am sure that store bought almond milk is very reasonably priced there. Here in Australia it is still quite new to hit the shelves and organic almond milk in a store is between $5-$8! So that does make it cheaper to make at home!
    Good luck on your nut milk adventures!

  7. tinkakel says:

    Thats awesome Laura! Yes there are so many ways to be a 'poor vegan!' Indeed a vegan diet is far cheaper than a meat based diet. It sounds as though you are finding wonderful ways to stay nourished on a budget which is a constant struggle for most in this day and age.
    The $26 smoothie article here came from an article I read about a new raw organic cafe in Melbourne where their supreme smoothie was indeed $26. I havnt actually purchased it or tried it myself! Like you, I buy ingredients online and make smoothies and juices at home too! Shopping at farmers markets is a great way to get reasonably priced produce while cutting out the middle man and as you said, standing up against factory farming. Good on you 🙂

  8. Brigid says:

    Another (less expensive) option for sweetening your almond milk would be to use a couple of medjool dates. Not as costly as your agave nectar, and probably healthier too!