REVIEW: Ito En Veggie Shot

Somewhere in the heavens, Jack LaLanne is laughing at us and yelling “I told you so, motherfuckers! I told you juicing is a great way for you to get your vegetables, bitches!” It turns out that the old man was right and if I had a time machine, I would go back in time to purchase a Jack LaLanne Juice Tiger in three easy installments of $29.95 plus shipping and handling and receive a set of Ginsu Knives absolutely free if I order it within the next 20 minutes.

Oh wait. I’ve just been told that Jack LaLanne is still alive thanks to juicing and that he will probably live longer than I will and when I’m dead, he will dance on my grave.

I may not have a Juice Tiger, but I probably have the second best thing — the Ito En Veggie Shot. Developed in the same country that gave us one billion episodes of Dragonball and game shows that are one billion times more entertaining than American ones, the Japanese drink shoehorns TWENTY vegetables and three fruits into one beverage, which bests the eight vegetables in a V8 Vegetable Drink and the seven to ten vegetables MTV sticks into each Real World house.

The clusterfuck of veggies and fruits in the Ito En Veggie Shot include: apples, lemons, white grapes, carrots, spinach, sweet potato, red bell peppers, green beans, celery, lettuce, broccoli, kale, pumpkin, green bell peppers, asparagus, napa cabbage, komatsuna, ashitaba, parsley, watercress, cabbage, radish, and Japanese honewort. It doesn’t specifically say on the bottle, but I’m pretty sure an 8-ounce cup of this blended farmer’s market provides a serving of vegetables.

With two and half times more vegetables than a V8 Vegetable Juice, I was expecting the Ito En Veggie Shot to taste like a rabbit’s wet dream, but it has a surprisingly fruity flavor, like the V8 Fusion drinks, thanks to the three fruits also included with the veggies. When the beverage first hit my tongue, it tasted like apple juice and after that it was more of a sweet vegetable taste, slightly similar to the Odwalla Superfood green sludge.

With twenty vegetables, you might think that the Ito En Veggie Shot is healthier and provides more vitamins than a V8 Vegetable Juice, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The Japanese drink has less sodium than a regular V8, but the V8 has less calories, more potassium, less carbs, less sugar, more fiber, more protein, more vitamins, and mixes well with vodka in a Bloody Mary. However, even the V8’s healthiness isn’t enough for me to choose it over the Ito En Veggie Shot’s taste.

(Nutrition Facts – 8 ounces – 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 400 milligrams of potassium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 17 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, 20% Vitamin A, 2% Calcium, and 100 milligrams of Japanese ingenuity.)

Item: Ito En Veggie Shot
Price: $2.99
Size: 30.4 ounces
Purchased at: Nijiya Market
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Surprisingly good. Contains 100% juice and twenty different vegetables and three fruits. Better tasting than V8 because it has a fruity flavor. Easy to drink. It initially tastes like apple juice. No added sugar or salt. Jack LaLanne is still alive. Japanese game shows. Getting Ginsu Knives for free.
Cons: Not as healthy and full of vitamins as V8. Not sure if some of the vegetables make a difference, like parsley. Might be hard to find if you don’t have a Asian grocer near you. Jack LaLanne will live longer than me. The billions of Dragonball episodes.

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