The year 2015 is a grand time for all of us to be living in – we can order anything online and have it delivered directly to our door. So many companies have started coming up with trial boxes (chocolate, wine, make-up, pet supplies) that I decided to jump on the gift box bandwagon myself and got a three-month subscription of conscious box.
Their website says
- More premium and full-size products
- Hand-selected food, bath, beauty and home products
- All-Natural and GMO-free
- Ships FREE!
And you can choose from “Classic”, “Vegan”, and “Gluten-Free” options (obviously I chose vegan) and anxiously awaited my first box.
Two weeks later I come home to find a box sitting on my front step! Finally! Although, it was much smaller than I thought it would be, I was still excited.
Inside I find:
As I pawed through my new goodies, I was more and more disappointed. As many of you know, I am finicky about ingredients: just because something says “vegan” or “natural” doesn’t mean that it is good for you. (I will go through each of the products I received below). Also, it seemed that the majority of the box was pharmaceuticals (the kind you find on infomercials late at night and on the Walgreen’s check-out counter)…but ‘natural’.
We’ll start with the food items:
Bean Field’s Bean & Rice Chips
It seems great – vegan, gluten free, made with black beans what really concerns me most is the flavoring part: while everything is vegan, ‘natural flavors’ is a hiding term for MSG, and other potentially gross ingredients.
(But there are other reasons why we shouldn’t put too much stock in “natural” flavors. For a really fun example, let’s look at castoreum, a secretion that comes from the two castor sacs located under a beaver’s tail, right next to a pair of anal glands. (I’m salivating already.) It’s classified as a natural food additive—because it comes from an animal source, after all—but, as you’ve probably guessed, it isn’t valued for the beaver-butt flavor it adds to foods. Nope, castoreum tastes and smells like vanilla, which makes it an option for baked goods, frozen dairy treats, and puddings. Yum! Just like mom used to make!)
Zevia Zero Calorie Soda
Everyone seems so obsessed with no calories these days so there are more and more products using alternative ingredients. This particular sodas claim to fame is that it doesn’t contain any sugar or artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame). That being said, it does contain erythritol. Supposedly this is a type of sweetener but I don’t know anything about it-what is this ingredient that I cannot pronounce? Also, Caramel Color…what is in that? And look, our good friend “Natural Flavors” made an appearance again. So far 0 for 2.
Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar
The first thing that turned me off from this bar is that it’s lemon flavor. (I have been told that I may be the only person who does not like lemon but anyway…) The second and third ingredients are a type of sugar. Again we see natural flavors (twice actually) and caramel color (but it’s ammonia-free woo!)
This was one of the best pieces in this box, ingredient wise. There were 3 and all organic: quinoa, apples, and peas (actually it says ‘pea’. Is there just one that was in there?) I do not have kids but this is a great idea and actually a great looking product. Score one for Conscious Box!
Choice Organic Tea
The second product that won my approval – this Choice Organic tea. Not only are the ingredients top notch it is certified organic and is very yummy with a refreshing peppermint taste to it. I will actually purchase this product on my own! Once again, nice job Conscious Box!
Here’s where the box starts to go downhill. It seems like they ran out of food/home supplies and threw in whatever they had left, which was pretty slim pickings.
This is a (supposedly) all natural sleep aid and to be honest, the ingredients do not look too bad, however I am a little concerned because although these unpronounceable ingredients are vegetable, what does that mean? My rule of thumb is if I can’t pronounce it I’m not going to eat it.
This made me laugh when I actually figured out what it was. The front of the package says: drinkwel. The multivitamin for people who drink. Your body will thank you.” What does this mean? Well it turns out that it’s supposed to help your body recover after a night of heavy drinking by being designed to ‘replenish nutrients, support healthy liver function, and help your body process alcohol induced toxins’ however it does not ‘prevent intoxication’. The directions state to take 3 capsules with food and water before starting drinking and 3 after your last drink. A very interesting idea however I do not drink and there are no specifics on ingredients listed (except for ‘other ingredients’.) I have checked and they do list it on their website though.
This was one of two body products in this box and would create a fun game of ‘how many words can you pronounce’. I don’t think so.
Dr. Jacobs Almond Honey Soap
I freaked out a little bit when I first saw the word ‘honey’ (‘HONEY ISN’T VEGAN!’ I said shrilly to my husband). This looks pretty good until the ‘fragrance essential oils’…what does that mean? Why isn’t it just ‘essential oils’? Also, what is in the caramel listed? Almost…
Of course what healthy products would be complete without a multivitamin? None I tell you! However, there is a ton of sugar in this (tapioca syrup, sugar, fruit juice, sucrose…geeze!) Also those pesky natural flavors again. Also it’s gummy which is gross anyway (at least to me).
Oh I almost forgot…
There were 10 different products in this box. Of which, 6 had the term ‘natural’ somewhere on their package (other than natural flavors) – as in “all natural” or “100% natural”.
You can’t fool me with your ‘natural’ claims!
Right there I feel that’s a red flag. ‘Natural’ is a term that has not been regulated by our government so it can contain virtually anything. Also, if it’s so natural, why not make it an organic product? Organic is the most natural you can get-with no pesticides it’s good for the plants, animals, environment, and you.
2 others did not claim to be natural, however their ingredients were questionable.
phlkjsdfoiuawoenrofnaiohj? hsuoiusdw? Why yes! I’ll put those ingredients on my face!
Out of these 10 items, there were only 2 that I would actually use:
Coincidentally, these were also the only 2 that were certified organic. TWO out of TEN in a box that is labeled as healthy, natural, and GMO-free. I am pretty astonished by this.
Sorry Conscious Box. So far I am very unimpressed and pretty disappointed. Slim food choices and no home products (which was advertised). The money that I spent on this was not worth the glorified drug box that was sent to me this month. Stay tuned for next month’s review of box 2 of my 3 box subscription.