The lucky bloggers here at Important Media often receive offers from companies to review their products, and usually we are happy to oblige (Hello, free acai from Sambazon!). But every once in awhile we receive an offer that is just not to our liking, or not aligned with our values. One such offer came through recently, and I was just so infuriated by the product that I had to write about it here and share this will everyone.
Drink Iconic presents itself as a healthy meal replacement beverage (meal replacement isn’t all that healthy in the first place). Their website proudly states that, “In our quest to find the perfect drink for our active lifestyles, we assembled a team of nutritionists that helped us design this uniquely simple concoction we call ICONIC.” Unique, perhaps, but simple– absolutely not. Simple would be homemade herbal tea, blended juice, or simply water. Drink Iconic is not simple at all; their product is loaded with what Michael Pollan would call ‘food-like substances-” ingredients that are technically derived from foods but have been so denatured and processed that often our body does not digest them well, which can lead to allergies, indigestion and more.
Check out the list of ingredients in their chocolate truffle flavor (ingredients for other flavors are currently unavailable):
Ingredients: Water, Milk Protein Isolate, Organic Blue Agave, Inulin, Vegetable Glycerin, Cocoa Powder, Natural Flavors, High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Cellulose Gel, Sunflower Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan Gum, Xanthan Gum, Stevia and Monk Fruit, Iconic Nutrient Blend (Magnesium Phosphate, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Phosphate, Green Tea Extract, Tyrosine, Choline Bitartrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cholecalciferol, and Cyanocobalamin).
EVERY. SINGLE. INGREDIENT is processed. All of them! There is not a single whole food in this drink. This makes me super mad for many, many reasons… some of which I’ve detailed below. The following is the actual email I sent to the Drink Iconic PR person; I never did receive a response.The Important Media team just received your submission for your beverage. I am the Editor for Vibrant Wellness Journal, our website focused on health and wellness, and I am definitely NOT interested in reviewing your product. And in case you are wondering, here’s why:
- Drink Iconic is the opposite of a health food! Combining oils, isolated milk proteins and chocolate is not good for our bodies. Our bodies respond best to foods that are whole and unprocessed; isolated milk or soy makes digestion difficult and is tangentially linked to increased food allergies.
- There is nothing ‘natural’ about it! Where in nature can you find a combination of carrageenan, xanthan gum and lecithin? These are heavily processed ‘food’ items that contribute only to mouthfeel and texture, there is nothing wholesome about them (in fact, most are considered health offenders)
- This is not a meal replacement: Just because a product offers vitamins and minerals doesn’t mean that it can adequately fuel our bodies the way that real foods can.
- Foods like this are simply adding to the confusion about what constitutes healthy and natural in our convoluted food industry. Rather than offering a true solution, your product is simply adding to the issues that debilitate our population– lack of nutrient dense foods, lack of plant based foods, and overabundance of animal foods.
What do you think about products like this? What about the food industry pissed you off? Let us know in the comments!