Thinking about the questions lately about acai and maca, I was checking out today at The Good Earth. The woman and her daughter in front of me had clearly never been in the health food store. It was also clear that they were from the very lower middle class and of extremely limited means. On the conveyor belt were $25 worth of acai packets, and $70 worth of vitamin supplements. They had an envelope full of cash, which they counted and recounted to make sure they weren’t overpaying.
Someone had convinced these poor people that acai is worth the very little money they had. These people had NO FOOD on the conveyor belt for their $100 purchase, in a store full of food.
I put my dates, greens, sprouted wheat tortillas, and a few other items on the belt and was outta there for under $20.
To answer a question a couple of days ago, maca is an ancient food, a root, used by the Incans. It’s touted by its marketers to have many benefits, including improving sexual function and aiding in building muscle mass.
It’s one of what I call the Designer Foods, like acai, goji, chlorella, pomegranate juice, and other fruits you’ve never heard of before that compete for our attention. These $30+/lb. foods are a consequence of the confluence of three things. And those are, (a) the epidemic of health problems, (b) the people suffering in that epidemic wanting a cure that doesn’t demand much of them, and (c) a lot of discretionary income in the economy. In a capitalist economy, someone (like David Wolfe) will always step in to meet the demand.
Anyone who wants to try them should feel welcome to do so, of course. They’re interesting foods and very nutritious.
However, what I am always concerned about is keeping the focus on the basics. Are you eating 60-80 percent raw plant foods, and have you replaced refined foods with all whole foods? THAT is a much more important step than buying some kind of designer food with marketing sizzle and the lure of a better sex life or high energy. (Your libido and energy will improve with the foods that cost under $1/lb., too, especially as you bump out the bad stuff. I promise. And I make $0.00 telling you this.)
So, those with money, those on a quest for the ultimate health, those who are already well down this path and getting an A- or higher on the GreenSmoothieGirl nutrition quiz.
Buy maca, and “hemp hearts,” and acai extracts (in bars of naturally sweetened, free traded, organic, raw dark chocolate). Just PLEASE don’t do that for an outrageously expensive little “health kick” and then say,
“I can’t afford to eat right.”
I don’t want anyone struggling to feed a family, learning about whole foods for the first time, to feel overwhelmed because she can’t afford the Designer Foods. I rarely eat designer foods myself, though I’ve tried many of them (including maca).
You can just do the things in 12 Steps to Whole Foods and then if you want more, undertake a cleanse. Designer foods are less important than those things. My advice, even for those of you with chronic health issues, is to stay the path. Be patient because it took you a while to get into the poor health, and it’ll take a while to get back to good health.