A few days ago, the internet rediscovered a May 2015 interview/food diary with “health guru” and Moon Juice founder Amanda Chantal Bacon. Bacon — who’s surely had the irony of her last name pointed out many, many times — regaled Elle Magazine with breathless details about activated chia seeds and enhanced almond cultures and a bunch of other weird-ass sh*t. Sometimes, the whole thing was downright indecipherable:
At 8am, I had a warm, morning chi drink on my way to the school drop off, drunk in the car! It contains more than 25 grams of plant protein, thanks to vanilla mushroom protein and stone ground almond butter, and also has the super endocrine, brain, immunity, and libido- boosting powers of Brain Dust, cordyceps, reishi, maca, and Shilajit resin. I throw ho shou wu and pearl in as part of my beauty regime. I chase it with three quinton shots for mineralization and two lipospheric vitamin B-complex packets for energy.
So…yeah, it’s a lot to take in. I mean, thank god the almond butter was stone ground — machine ground almond butter would have weakened the effect of the Shilajit resin.
Surely some copy editor at Elle must have giggled as she tried to beat through a thicket of chewy bee pollen and zucchini ribbons, but the real jokes started when the diary went viral:
The deep cuts came soon after, as The Frisky laid out exactly how much this diet costs ($710/day — although the lack of accounting for serving size seems either lazy or deliberately malicious). Actor Jarret Sleeper followed with a video that showed him reading the diary while doing yoga stretches and tallying up the price (he’s very funny but also way over-inflates everything, charging Bacon for a new copper cup each morning).
As the news spread, a contingent of people emerged who seemed sincerely bothered. Somehow, a quasi hippie in Los Angeles snacking on chaga mushrooms with Gwyneth Paltrow is what it takes for us to realize just how out of touch the 1 percent are.
Though I’m definitely down to laugh at jokes about a woman who calls “a nori roll with umeboshi paste, avocado, cultured sea vegetables, and pea sprouts” her version of a taco, I’m a little surprised at how dark some of the comment threads got. Why do we care how much someone who willingly ingests cordyceps spends on her diet?
If this is really about her culinary choices, then I’m not interested. People can eat whatever the hell they want and the food that Bacon is eating isn’t at all sustenance related. It’s discretionary spending. If I were her accountant, I’d make her file these costs under “recreation” and I’d label the particular brand of recreation “trying to stay young.” In that case, Amanda Chantal Bacon’s food budget is no different than my travel budget. We’re all spending the resources we have on the stuff that we like in order to make our short time on Earth as fulfilling as we can.
But as senior Uproxx Life writer Mark Shrayber pointed out to me: this isn’t just about food. It’s also about someone who’s presenting her very elite diet as something that everyone could try. We’ve given Paltrow hell for doing the same thing with Goop.
Does the Moon Juice lady seem desperately unaware of the budgets that most of us live on? Yes. But she’s also pretty clearly the product of a culture that celebrates self involved-ness every chance it can until someone crosses an imaginary Rubicon and then we tear the over-the-line self involved person to shreds.
Capitalism dictates that if someone wants to spend money on green juice, or bone broth, or the chewiest bee pollen on the planet, so be it. Yes, it would be awesome if everyone used their extra cash to solve world hunger rather than buying sprouted brown rice protein, but if we’re going to start chucking rocks at the spending of others we should keep in mind our own glass houses.
Until we’re willing to take conversations about wealth disparity and the nature of capitalism deeper, I’ll be over here — smiling about stupid Brain Dust and crazy-expensive T-shirts and cars that go 250 mph in a country with 75 mph speed limits — while proceeding to spend every cent I can on the equally arbitrary, non-essential, and ridiculous sh*t that I happen to care about.
Or, you know…we could really try to change things.