The Cult of Vitamix
The Vitamix 5200 high-performance blender is squat, black, and rubberized, loud as a leaf blower and powerful enough to pulverize a steer. Its 2-horsepower engine approaches the strength of a lawn mower. At 11 pounds, it’s as heavy as a cannonball. The weight and a sheath of thick thermoset plastic damp vibrations and keep the blender from flying off the counter. A Vitamix blender is a symphony of precision engineering, with motor, container, and blades working in powerful harmony. The container is curved at the bottom to create a vortex that pulls food through the blades, which are surprisingly dull. That’s because a Vitamix doesn’t chop or slice, as we imagine blenders do. Instead, the angled blades, which travel at speeds up to 240 miles per hour, simply obliterate whatever is inside. The process creates enough friction to boil soup. “They are essentially bashing the materials to death,” says Greg Moores, the company’s vice president for engineering, “breaking down the cell walls to emulsify them at a molecular level. Theoretically, this is healthier for you because it emulsifies plant matter more than your teeth can by chewing it.” The 5200, which retails for $449, is actually one of the cheaper models. All told, Vitamix expects to sell 1.4 million blenders this year.
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