Bacon’s assistant evaporated out the door as her boss set a plate on the kitchen counter: strawberry-rose-geranium bars, tiny “doughnuts” made with mushroom in addition to quinoa in addition to a cinnamon bun of which looked as if the item were forged by a chic cave man with primitive tools. All of the item was vegan, organic in addition to raw. She poured coffee by a yellow enamel pot in addition to slid onto a stool beside me, curling her bare feet up in addition to arraying gauzy cottons around her. Sunshine glowed through the layers. She was, I was quickly realizing, the kind of woman who always seems backlit.
“There’s a lot of Power Dust in of which,” she said, pointing to the coffee. Power Dust, like Brain Dust, is actually a formula of stevia-sweetened powdered herbs of which Moon Juice sells in an attractive jar. I could describe the taste as “soil-forward.”
“is actually the item possible to overdose on Dust?” I asked. “I had two doses This particular morning, in addition to I also had two last night.” In an effort to test the products, I’d been guinea-pigging. So far, any effects were undetectable.
“No,” Bacon said. “You’re Great. You’re safe. I mean, is actually the item possible to overdose? You’d probably have severe physical symptoms first.”
As a housekeeper vacuumed nearby, Bacon kicked into her origin story. Growing up in brand new York City, she was a sickly child (“bronchial stuff”) whose parents took her to doctors (“I got pumped through the Western-medicine chain”) without satisfactory results (“Of course nothing helped”). One day she went shopping with her family at a downtown health-food store, where, the story goes, an Ayurvedic doctor visiting by India overheard Bacon coughing. The doctor came over in addition to posed some questions (“Very typical Ayurvedic ones, like ‘How often do you poop?’ ”) in addition to took the child’s pulse. After examining Bacon’s tongue, the man provided her mother which has a list of forbidden foods: cow’s milk, wheat in addition to white sugar, among others. Bacon stopped eating gluten at age 4 in addition to became a vegetarian at around 7.
She is actually aware of which these biographical details invite ridicule, although Bacon doesn’t care if people make fun of her. She’s used to the item. in addition to anyway, hers was a challenging childhood: “I was told growing up of which I had learning disabilities in addition to mental illness. of which was all the rage within the ’90s.” She reflected on her past calmly. “I came by a family of which was like: ‘Yes. Whatever the doctor says is actually right. Just take the pills.’ ” (Bacon’s mother was the C.E.O. of the fashion company Betsey Johnson, in addition to her father was a musician.)
At 18, Bacon moved to Italy alone. Why Italy? “If I thought about all the times I felt connected or alive, the item was around the rituals of people gathering in addition to eating in addition to sharing food in addition to slowing down,” she said. In Florence, Bacon discovered of which food was her calling. After several years of traveling, she wound up at a culinary school in Vermont. Following graduation, she emailed the Los Angeles-based chef in addition to restaurateur Suzanne Goin in addition to asked for a job. Goin emailed back with an invitation to meet. Bacon hopped on a plane in addition to moved into a garage three blocks by one of Goin’s restaurants, where she hand-whisked aioli in addition to pounded salsa verde which has a mortar in addition to pestle until her biceps ached. In early 2012, having absorbed lessons of entrepreneurship by Goin, she opened the first store. “the item truly is actually not my name,” she explained, when I asked where the phrase Moon Juice came by. “the item just dropped down by the universe.”
Along with cucumber-pineapple-jalapeño juice in addition to almond milk, the first Moon Juice sold organic bananas with walnut butter in addition to cacao cashew snack bites. In 2014, Shailene Woodley was photographed carrying a Moon Juice tote bag. Zoë Kravitz called the item her favorite juice bar. Bacon appeared on Goop to make “spirit truffles” in addition to “sex bark” with Paltrow in 2015. brand new Moon Juice locations opened in Silver Lake in addition to on Melrose Place.
Bacon turned her focus inward, toward marketing the herbal remedies she’d been incorporating into her diet for years. In 2014, the company added the line of jarred herb powders of which right now includes Spirit Dust, Beauty Dust, Power Dust, Brain Dust, Dream Dust in addition to Sex Dust. The formulas sampled Ayurvedic in addition to Chinese medicine; the labels instructed users to mix a teaspoon with hot or cold liquid (“Don’t be afraid to double dose!”). The Dusts proved to be what a venture capitalist might call an “inflection point”: unlike raw juices, they were easy to package in addition to ship, had a long shelf life in addition to faced zero competition by the likes of Coca-Cola (which, for example, has invested mightily in juice, including a $0 million stake in a company called Suja Life). They could be marketed as a beauty supplement in addition to sold in stores like Saks Fifth Avenue. The Dusts were scalable.
in addition to Bacon insists they work. “People truly report back: Wow, my skin changed,’ ” she said, turbocharging into evangelical mode. “I hear incredible stories by people. There was a young, beautiful woman who approached me at an event. She said, ‘I’ve been coming into Moon Juice, I had breast cancer,’ in addition to she went through all of which hormonal treatment, in addition to by going through the item, she no longer had a sex drive. She’s beautiful! She’s our age. She incorporates a boyfriend … in addition to she said of which the Sex Dust” — along with pomegranate seed lube — “got them to be able to enjoy sex despite the fact of which her body wasn’t producing any of the hormones enabling her to do so. So the herbs, they work. They all work.” You can right now buy them at Urban Outfitters, the Ace Hotel in addition to Net-a-Porter.
While she spoke, Bacon finger-combed her hair, pausing right now in addition to then to stare critically at the ends. Incense curled out the window in velvety puffs. When I finished eating the pastries, she unfurled herself by her stool in addition to brought out a second course: cloudlike coconut yogurt sprinkled with bee pollen in a pearlescent stone bowl. Fairy food.
The housekeeper paused near Bacon holding a wispy white garment. “Sucio o limpio?” she asked.
“Sucio,” Bacon said which has a smile. The gentle sound of laundry in progress emerged by around a corner.
By the time I left Bacon’s house, I wanted to scrub off my makeup in addition to swaddle myself in white cottons in addition to let my hair tumble down my back in sun-lightened coils like hers. I wanted to move to California in addition to eat bee pollen, even though I think bee pollen tastes like the reptile section at the zoo in addition to California is actually the state where I was born in addition to spent 18 years plotting my escape by, in addition to the item can’t be denied of which I benefit strongly by makeup. although all of of which was wiped away within minutes of meeting This particular woman, whose ability to perform every action with charisma — whether pouring coconut milk into a pot or requesting a strategy meeting with her staff — seemed a direct result of her dietary choices. I understand of which Bacon’s success is actually a product of ambition, luck, privilege in addition to stamina. So why did I covertly order a 16-ounce sack of bee pollen by Amazon on my phone during a three-minute break in our conversation? The answer is actually obvious: Bacon is actually a lifestyle guru, in addition to This particular is actually what lifestyle gurus do. They insist on a connection between what you buy in addition to who you are. in addition to then they sell you stuff. If they are Bacon, they also pronounce the word guru “goo-doo,” in what I can only assume is actually the authentic manner.
The Melrose location of Moon Juice is actually right down the street by the Marc Jacobs in addition to Alexander McQueen stores. “Welcome to the Moon Kingdom of Edible Alchemy,” the item says on the wall. “Thrive Cosmically!” The space is actually sun-soaked, flower-filled in addition to incalculably expensive. I mean This particular literally: I was unable to calculate, standing at the register, how crackers in addition to a bottle of juice could total $15. I felt of which if I took away the crackers, I might still be charged $15, in addition to of which if I added a coconut yogurt, the total might leap to $50. The saleswoman who rang me up approved of my drink choice (Golden Tonic with Moon Dust). “This particular one is actually — ” She shook her head, wordless. “You can feel the medicine working in you.” Like Bacon, she wore head-to-toe white, with billowing culottes. I went outside with my juice in addition to sat at a table, watching the saleswoman straighten bottles of Enzymatic Tonic in addition to Gracious Greens.
An employee poked her head out the door, holding a phone. “Hey! Are you Milky?” she asked.
“Ha, ha, autocorrect.” She glanced down at her phone. “Amanda’s running just a few minutes late — she’ll be here soon.”
I sipped my Moon-Dusted recovery nectar in addition to gnawed a packet of fermented seed crisps. They smelled like tree bark. Here, about a dozen miles by Bacon’s home, the only sound was of lawns being mowed. This particular lightly accessorized silence is actually the sonic backdrop of L.A.’s expensive neighborhoods. Women with Goyard in addition to Mansur Gavriel bags slid in in addition to out of the shop. I eavesdropped on three customers arguing about whether a peanut was a fruit, a vegetable or a seed.
Around 11 a.m., Bacon arrived in white denim overalls in addition to Céline sunglasses to test formulas with the company’s in-house herbalist, Blaire Edwards. Before the tasting, she darted around the store, repositioning a cluster of skin products in addition to switching the electricity back on when the item unexpectedly shut off. by a back room, Edwards fetched tasting supplies in addition to set them up on a table outside the store. The table was within inches of customers, in addition to Bacon voted to drag the item 10 feet away, beyond earshot. “I feel like customers enjoying our current formulas don’t need to hear about the brand new formulas,” she said. “the item could cause anxiety.” At the relocated table, Edwards set out baggies of brown powders labeled in Sharpie marker. She mixed a powder into a cup of water in addition to handed the item to her boss.
“is actually of which three grams?” Bacon asked.
“Yes, madame,” Edwards replied.
Bacon sipped the brown liquid thoughtfully. “I like the item,” she said. “My only thought is actually, less stevia.” She passed the cup to me. “You’re about to get truly high.” I swallowed the potion. the item was like mild Ovaltine mixed with floor sweepings. When frothed with chai tea, coconut milk in addition to ghee in one of the store’s $6 lattes, the item could be scrumptious.
“These are literally ancient herbs,” Edwards said. “This particular isn’t something Amanda made up out of thin air.” She mixed another sample in a cup while Bacon took calls, greeted fans, sniffed samples in addition to arranged a conversation which has a vendor. She possesses a curious quality I’ve seen in some other executives: a tendency toward extreme distraction coupled with the ability to laser in on 1 task. She is actually either doing a million things or one thing, although never any number of things in between.
This particular quality of scattered orchestration is actually illustrated in “The Moon Juice Cookbook,” which opens its first chapter which has a photograph of Bacon kneeling on a shaggy rug strewn with rosebuds in addition to raw almonds. She is actually surrounded by crystals, a conch shell, an avocado, a flowering shrub, a string of beads in addition to a sculpted owl. Her head is actually bowed in what looks like reverence. In her hands is actually an upside-down bundle of calla lilies. The photograph has been styled minutely, although the item is actually hard to extract meaning by the picture. The filmy white garb, the glistening avocado, the melting calla lilies — all arrayed in Edenic plenitude — add up to an alluring, sensory glamour. When you sprinkle Beauty Dust on your almond-milk latte, This particular is actually what you are summoning.
Or you might be summoning exactly the opposite. We tend to think of “wellness” as the province of swoony liberal elites, although the item does, in fact, blossom at both cultural poles. The far-right conspiracy theorist in addition to radio host Alex Jones sells some of the same supplements as Moon Juice on his Infowars website. Jones’s organic fair-trade coffee can be purchased in an “Immune Support” variety of which includes cordyceps in addition to reishi mushroom extracts; Moon Juice sells cordyceps in addition to reishi powders with similar claims attached. The “Super Female Vitality” supplement at the Infowars shop shares quite a few ingredients with the Moon Juice Dusts: maca, epimedium, shilajit. Alex Jones in addition to Amanda Chantal Bacon each sell probiotics. They each warn against the encroachment of “toxins.” Bacon incorporates a recipe for strawberry milk with drops of colloidal silver within the item; Alex Jones pushes tiny bottles of colloidal silver online for $19.95. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two purveyors is actually context. Alex Jones sells his merchandise alongside tactical body armor in addition to Trump shirts; Bacon sells hers next to chia pudding.
What unifies the two is actually the subtext of their pitches — a seeming conviction of which widespread forces are acting on benighted consumers, who can thwart harm only by venturing to the fringes in addition to buying non-F.D.A. approved supplements with which to purify themselves. For Jones, the treachery comes within the form of fluoridated water in addition to chemtrails. For Bacon, the item’s Western medicine in addition to the standard American diet. One brand is actually designed to look like an ashram in addition to the some other to look like an underground bunker, although you walk away by each with the same conclusion — of which the only way out is actually way, way, out, in a land of mystical mushrooms in addition to miracle herbs. The valor of separatism, after all, is actually our founding myth.
No place on earth is actually better suited to nurturing This particular mass turning-inward than Los Angeles. After I interviewed Bacon at her house the day before, I put my shoes back on in addition to walked downhill toward the ocean, past sage clusters in addition to foamy crests of bougainvillea in addition to signs for a lost cat named India. Dry-cleaning vans made deliveries. Gardeners edged lawns. I passed the most expensive-looking mailbox I’d ever seen, in addition to more varieties of security fence than you could possibly imagine, in addition to houses of which looked like every decade’s concept of the future. I was full to the brim of cleansing foods, strolling down a winding road past $6 million homes, each one an island. My sack of bee pollen could arrive in two to four business days.
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