Monday, June 12, 2006

Drink your vitamins?

Marion Nestle interviewed in Salon:
What about vitamin water? If you drink vitamin water, are you actually getting vitamins?

Oh, sure, if it has vitamins in it. You won't absorb all of them, but you'll absorb some. But why not take a vitamin pill, or eat something? I don't get it, except that they come in a classy bottle. They look gorgeous.

You're buying status. You're buying status and the aura of health. The ones with vitamins have to be sweetened; otherwise they'd taste terrible.
There's lots more good stuff in here, though Nestle's solutions to our food problems (including outlawing cartoon characters on food packaging) don't all seem practical. (Btw, she was interviewed on npr the other day; l learned then that her surname is pronounced like the verb nestle, not like the corporation Nestlé.)

I've been trying these various cola alternatives that present themselves as virtue in a bottle. Over the past few weeks I have drunk Honest Tea, Soy20, and Vitamin Water (fantastic website). The tea is ok but I could just make tea myself and much more cheaply. The other two taste like what they are, sugar and artificial flavor, but the packaging is pretty and the clever, chatty Vitamin Water label copy is just my kind of thing. I love how high concept this brand is, how effectively it appeals to its target market. The drink itself is unremarkable, even insipid. Perhaps I would like these things more if I were a girl; I cannot fathom trying the boy versions, the rockstar drinks in the thin aluminum cans with ingredients I don't recognize and twice the carbs.

It really all comes down to this: if you are thirsty, drink water.


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