Organic Avenue, Juicing and Health Trends

My husband and I spent most of 2014 living in Manhattan.

We’d made the temporary move to save him the weekly commute back and forth from New York to LA, which he’d been doing since 2011.

When I was there full time, as opposed to the regular visits I’d make prior to the move, I really got to know some great places.

From restaurants to teeny tiny markets to pop up joints selling the latest and greatest health trend, from vegan to Paleo to cold pressed juices.

One day late last summer, I literally stumbled past a shop called Organic Avenue en route to Forager’s Market to procure some veg and fish for that evening’s meal.

With some time on my hands, I peeked into the window and was rather intrigued.

I saw the typical range of green juices, but what really caught my eye was the fresh coconut ‘milk’ they sold in their signature glass bottles.

Anyone who’s as much a coconut fan as I can vouch for how tricky it is to find pure, unadulterated coconut anything, apart from oil, that doesn’t have any additives, so when I read the label, it seemed too good to be true!

I picked up a couple of bottles as well as some other interesting goodies and carried on my way.

It wasn’t long after that occasion that we began to make our way back to the West Coast, so I never had a chance to become a regular customer, but it still saddened me to learn that they’d declared bankruptcy and closed all ten shops, according to an article in the New York Times[1].

What went wrong?

In age where we’re becoming more conscious of healthy eating (I hope) and in a city where trends of any type can catch on like wild fire, why would a shop offering such a premium product go belly up?

A few things.

According to the article, since raw organic produce is highly perishable, Organic Avenue’s garbage cans were “known among Dumpster divers to be filled with juice and food that was still edible past the sell-by dates.”

In addition, some researchers began to publish studies questioning the necessity and safety of juice cleanses, stating, “Our livers and kidneys, if healthy, do a great job of cleansing our bodies on a daily basis”.[2]

Finally, the fashion world’s pushback from nutritionists and eating-disorder activists against its support of juicing in early 2013 didn’t help matters. After the Council of Fashion Designers of America announced a 50 percent discount for models on Organic Avenue juices during New York Fashion Week, some were publicly appalled.

For instance, the model Whitney Thompson, an ambassador for the National Eating Disorders Association, told ABC News that “sending a model to a juice cleanse place is like sending an alcoholic to a bar.[3]

So where does that leave the juicing scene?

Is it going to end up being something with longevity, or will it peter out like so many fitness and health trends before it?

Who can say?

In my experience, there can be a place in a healthy, paleo inspired regime for a cold-pressed (or not) all veggie juice, so long as it’s not loaded with fruit sugars and consumed in lieu of a meal or as the sole source of greens.

Once again, balance it out, people!

And Organic Avenue, thank you for what you provided with your coconut offerings, even if it only was for a short while!



[1] Rosman, Katherine. “How Organic Avenue Lost All Its Juice.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 04 Nov. 2015. Web. 09 Nov. 2015

[2] Palermo, By Elizabeth. “Detox Diets & Cleansing: Facts & Fallacies.” LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 09 Feb. 2015. Web. 09 Nov. 2015

[3] Wilson, Eric. “An Early Trip to Ralph Lauren’s Land.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 30 Jan. 2013. Web. 09 Nov. 2015