Panda Juice

Seth Fleishman, "Panda Juice,”  New Yorker,  February 18th, 2019

Seth Fleishman, "Panda Juice,” New Yorker, February 18th, 2019

With all due respect to juice-fanatics everywhere, I love the way this cartoon pokes fun at our current attitudes towards natural foods.

Peel an orange, behold each gorgeous segment and slowly savor each bite? Nah, I’ll go to Whole Foods and spend all my money on the freshest, priciest cold-pressed juice bottled in gorgeous recycled glass. Now that’s investing in my health! Take a walk in the woods? Such a hassle! The treadmill is more efficient. We’ve gotten so accustomed to the idea that we need to process or re-package natural foods—and let’s face it, natural movements—in order to get the most out of them, no?

But what I love most about this cartoon is what’s suggested in the panda’s slouch. Oh how that panda longs to chomp on those hollow stalks until it gets right down to the juicy leaves. It’s that pervasive sense that the latest health trend may give us a “better” filtered version of what we need, and we should probably just suck it up, pull up a chair and gulp it down.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a real sucker for those neatly arranged Whole Foods aisles. I had some time to myself this afternoon and almost went there. Seriously. I mean I did need some groceries. For the family. But instead I took a walk to a nearby park. I drank in flamingo-colored clouds and watched them turn white as the nearly-full moon rose.