Brand: Mini Stop
Cost: 165 yen
Found At: Mini Stop
I have a chip on my shoulder about “green smoothies.” Health food in general, actually. It is the privilege of the happy eater – I eat with gusto and without reserve because I have no food allergies, no food revulsions, and a strong body image. In a world where so many people have a bad relationship with food, either psychologically or physiologically, elimination diets and health food crazes become a code word for “diet.” “Healthy” becomes a code word for “thin.” It’s not true for everyone, to be sure, but it has made me wary of quinoa salads and kale chips. Is this really for my health, or is this company trying to make me svelte without my consent?
But I have a food blog now. I have a responsibility to the internet at large to try even those things that I am wary about. So, I bought a convenience store green smoothie and prepared myself for the worst. Reading the packaging only made me more cynical. This drink (apparently) contains 15 veggies and 5 fruits, including such nerve-wracking things as bitter melon and Japanese mustard spinach. I can just about imagine drinking spinach – it’s the kind of hipster thing that goes on in Seattle – but mulberry leaf seems a little too radical for me. It did not help that the vegetables were displayed in a colorful spreadsheet along the side so that I could both see the vegetables included, and read the English words for them. Either the Mini Stop is offering free English flashcards, or they are marketing to the health-obsessed Westerners who live in the apartment building next door. There is nothing like being marketed to directly that makes you want to dislike something.
But it was remarkably good. I had expected something bitter and “healthy,” but it tasted mostly of apple with a little banana thrown in. Save for the packaging, you would have no idea that this was anything but a regular fruit smoothie. It was sweet and drinkable, and I am sorry to say I enjoyed it. It even came with a delightful placebo effect. Believing myself to be chronically low in iron, after drinking this smoothie that allegedly contained 2/3 of my daily iron, I felt more energetic. It seems that the health nuts got me after all.