The Insane Orgy of Consumerism that was the Natural Products Expo

Categories: Really?!?!?
Don't forget your cream-er-y...

I spent this past Friday at the Natural Products Expo West, which has called the Anaheim Convention Center home for the past couple of years and keeps getting bigger and bigger. Want help with the recession next year? Get a green-economy pal to hook you up with a pass (it's a trade show, so the public is prohibited), take a lot of bags, and fill up with every conceivable foodstuff under the sun. No kidding: the chica and I were given enough packaged samples so that we don't have to buy groceries for a month--and that happened even though we spent only four hours on the slowest day of the three-day extravaganza, and that I was too shy to approach all the stands! And the cosmetics? I don't think I'll ever need breath fresheners for the rest of my life.

It was sensory overload, with thousands of booths, tens of thousands of people, and very few wacky hippies or even Rastas--green remains the new black, to use that horrific cliche. Some random observations:

*It is nice to know that supposedly green, ethical entrepreneurs aren't above hiring booth babes to hawk their product--it seemed half of the Balboa Penninsula was hired to make cleansings look pretty.

*The next food craze? Greek yogurt, for some bizarre reason--it's the new kombucha! Dozens of booths devoted to claiming how their product was the Crete-est (sorry for the bad pun, but I saw it!!!)

*If you're going to make a durian chip, make sure to include durian flavor.

*Yes: Marley Coffee is named after the Marleys of reggae fame--specifically, it's Bob's son, Rohan, who's using beans harvested from the family farm. No: it's not a horrific joke. I don't drink coffee, but the chica enjoyed it--and she's a coffee fiend. I don't like energy drinks, but the one I tasted sang of hibiscus (jamaica in Spanish). Still, the question: would Bob have approved, "One Cup of Coffee" notwithstanding?

*Soy longaniza is better to soyrizo.

*The Natural Products Expo West definition of "natural" is ridiculous. I like Sun-Maid raisins, but their use of pesticides is about as natural as polyurethane.

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