Today, I’d like to get a few things off my chest that have been bothering me for a while, namely the greed and abuse of consumers credibility of many companies that are selling outrageously expensive products for their so-called “anti-oxidant” power.
I’m going to first crush a few obvious ‘scam’ products, not because I those are necessarily the worst ones out there, but simply because these products get pitched all the time and I know that a lot of honest health-seekers are wasting a lot of their hard-earned cash on them.
Then after I’m done with this rampage, I’m going to give a last uppercut to these greedy empires by showing you some of the best anti-oxidant packed foods you can incorporate in your diet on the cheap.
Xango Juice: or the Art of Abusing Credulity
I’ve never told you that, but a long time ago (over 12 years) — I briefly attempted to succeed in the “network marketing” world. For almost a year, I was involved in one such company, selling “premium dog food”, believe it or not!
So I got a lot of insights into the world of “network marketing.” While it’s certain that there are many good companies that operate under this model, there’s definitely also a whole lot of bad ones.
When I first joined this MLM (Multi-Level Network) company, the big guru told us that MLM was the future of the world. That in ten years 80% of the products would be distributed that way (which obviously hasn’t happened, 10 years later… not even close).
He also told us that because MLM bi-passes the “big distribution network”, it allowed the distribution of higher quality products at a lower cost.
My experience with many Multi-Level-Networking companies I have encountered proves this to be wrong. Generally, the products they sell are very high-priced. Unless you actually join as a distributor, you literally pay several times the actual market value of the product.
I’ve also found that while there are a few good MLM companies with good products, most companies are selling suspect items to gullible consumers. Many of these products have actually very little value, and are 90% hype, marketing and exaggerated claims.
Of course, they always have a cute little story to back it up. How the founder of the company had a “vision” and a “dream” to improve the nutrition of the entire world, and how he founded his company to fulfill his higher mission.
I particularly like how they talk about this one Ã¢â‚¬Å“scientistÃ¢â‚¬Â from Japan (ever noticed they’re all from Japan?) who found the fountain of youth in some ancient plant, and wants to share it with the western world.
Let’s talk about this Mangosteen Juice
The company Xango sells their exotic fruit drink made with mangosteen. This fruit is not related to the “mango”. When I was in Bali, I ate mangosteens by the kilo, and they were very inexpensive. In Asia, the mangosteen is regarded the “queen of the fruit” for its delicate taste.
Xango sells their mangosteen juice as a “miracle cure”. Actually, what they sell is some mangosteen product mixed with the juices of about eight other fruits. And at $32.50 per bottle, this fruit juice better be good!
Actually, if you start to believe their marketing literature, this juice is nothing short of a miracle cure.
According to Xango, there are more than 20 “human health benefits” to their mangosteen juice, from “anti-microbial” to “anti-cancer”.
Supposedly, we should drink their juices because of “xanthones”, a “powerful antixidant” that “may help maintain intestinal health, strengthen the immune system, neutralize free radicals, help support cartilage and joint function, and promote a healthy seasonal respiratory system.”
However since they don’t have any serious research to back this claim up, Xango adds this disclaimer as a footnote: “These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease”.
Xango is in the business for the bux
Anyone who knows network marketing knows how the system works. Independent distributors are selling the products but mainly recruiting other distributors in order to get a percentage off their sales.
Generally the motivated network marketer will aggressively sell the products to his own friends, relatives and neighbors.
(I remember when I was in this “dog food” company and I phoned the entire list of names from my high school year, in order to pitch them the dog food product!)
With this system, the more distributors a person can recruit, the more money they can make. And the company itself provides all of the marketing material they need to generate as much buzz as possible.
Like all similar products sold through the same kind of system, Xango has some kind of resemblance of scientific truth that they exaggerate to the extreme to sell their product.
Many of their claims are completely exaggerated and unsubstantiated. For a neutral perspective on Xango, read the Wikipedia page on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XanGo
Countless Other Products
The marketing, the claims, and the suspicious research behind Xango’s success resembles mysteriously to a lot of other similar products we’ve seen marketed over the last few years. I’m referring to:
– Noni fruit juice
– Goji Berry juice
– Aloe Vera juice
The same story here, the same scam, with a different product. In fact, I’ve found that both the Chief Financial Officer AND the president of Xango worked previously for Tahitian Noni International, another company selling their own miracle cure.
When I look at a $35 bottle of “anti-oxidant-rich” mangosteen juice, I can’t help to laugh and think to myself, “what kind of idiot would spend that kind of money (plus shipping) for a bottle of fruit juice”
Let’s not forget what these companies are after.
A few years ago, more than one person wanted to take advantage of my “big mailing list” to sign me up as a Xango distributor. They tried to convince me that I would make “so much money” if I used the power of my mailing list to sell this product, and recruit other distributors.
I didn’t consider for a single second to do that and never gave replied to those requests (one came from a friend of mine).
What’s interesting is that everyone who came to me to tell me about mangosteen juice spent more time to explain how much money I could make with it, rather than try to convince me it was a really good product. It’s almost as if the product is irrelevant, as long as the rest is in place.
Some Anti-Oxidant Rich Foods: Cheap Alternatives
Okay, now that I feel a little better to have expressed my truth about this mangosteen juice, let me give you some quick tips that these companies certainly don’t want you to know.
1- Berries — Berries are by far the one of the richest sources of antioxidants, particularly wild blueberry. I suggest having as many berries as you can. Plus they are particularly enjoyable to eat. When wild blueberries are in season, freeze them in ridiculous quantities and use them throughout the year.
2- Pomegranate Juice — Pomegranate Juice is a very high source of cancer-fighting anti-oxidants. You can either purchase fresh pomegranates and make the juice yourself, or purchase pomegranate concentrate (which is still a high source of anti-oxidants). The good thing is that even a big jug of pomegranate juice will only cost you about $7, so 5 times less than the mangosteen juice (which is made mostly with other juices). And best of all, you can find it in most health food stores.
3- Prunes — According to recent studies, prunes rank really high on the Ã¢â‚¬Å“anti-oxidantÃ¢â‚¬Â score (http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/20061101/antioxidants-found-unexpected-foods) Good thing, because they are also very delicious.
4- Greens — Dark green leafy vegetables are also an excellent source of anti-oxidants. But not just that. Greens contain more nutrition than any other foods! For the full story, sign up for the Green for Life Program (http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/greenforlife.html)
5- Mangosteen 🙂 Finally, you can also get the health benefits of mangosteen… by trying them out fresh. They are very delicious. You can find them in many Asian markets. Even at $5 a pound, you’re still going to get a better deal than you would get on the Xango juice. And if you ever travel to Costa Rica in September, or Asia in the winter, you’ll get all of the mangosteens you can eat, at dirt cheap prices.
In a future issue, I’ll go deeper into this fascinating topic of anti-oxidants.
Know that next week, for less than the price of two bottle of mangosteen juice (I think I’ll start talking like that for a while…), you can join me in a powerful, truly “results-oriented” Green Cleanse — one of my most popular and effective diet detox. Sign up at: http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/greenforlife.html)