Introduction to Morinda MLM Compensation Plan
I am sure there are some foods that you would only eat if you were really hungry and there was absolutely nothing else to eat. For me, that food is mushrooms. The only time I enjoy eating mushrooms is when they are a topping on a supreme pizza. If they are on a veggie pizza, I will remove them. Mushrooms don’t taste OK to me unless their texture is mixed with the taste of meat, and the saltier the meat, the better. If mushrooms are part of a stir fry, I will eat around them, likewise if they are part of a beef stroganoff, a turkey tetrazzini, or a salad served as an appetizer at a pizzeria. I would never order a mushroom omelet or a portabella mushroom burger. (The only time I have ever eaten a portabella mushroom burger was to impress my vegetarian girlfriend, but that is a story for a different day.)
Of course, what I have just described is a matter of personal preference. Clearly, some people out there enjoy the taste of mushrooms, or else mushroom omelets and portabella mushroom burgers would not appear on restaurant menus. There are even enough people out there who go out of their way to eat my second least favorite fungus that restaurants tell them to pay extra to add mushrooms to their burger or their steak, and these people actually do it. My all-time least favorite fungus is the secret ingredient in some nutritional supplements I ordered from a multilevel marketing (MLM) story, and have been thus far at a loss to sell, so they are still here ruining the mood in my basement, but that, too, is a story for a different day.
Mushrooms are not famine foods. They are foods that you might really like, even though some dude named Brad in the Midwest would prefer not to eat them if he could avoid it. No, real famine foods are foods that no one would eat unless there was absolutely no way for them to get nutrition. People start eating them when there is a real famine, where war or natural disasters make it so that none of the food they would normally eat is available, and they have to find something in their environment that is likely to be edible. Sometimes, people only introduce this famine food into their diet until their usual food becomes available again. For example, during the siege of Leningrad during the Second World War, the people of the besieged city resorted to making a dough of sorts out of bran and orache, which is a less appetizing relative of spinach, and frying the mixture in machine oil. Of course, once the war ended, the people of Leningrad were happy to trade in their bran and orache pancakes for their usual varied diet.
Some foods that are considered staple foods by one culture will only be eaten as a last resort by others. For example, the people of what is now Indonesia did not normally eat yams and cassava until the Japanese occupation during World War II made their usual staple crop, rice, unavailable, but yams and cassava had been foods of choice in West Africa for centuries. Occasionally, foods that get forgotten after the crisis that has necessitated their consumption has ended get picked up again by business-minded foodies and promoted as fad foods. Dandelions and nettles were originally famine foods, but now you can find supplements made out of them on the shelves of any health food store. If you have been reading Notebook Crazy, it probably comes as no surprise to you that many of these fad foods are used in nutritional supplements sold under an MLM business model. Other foods that were first eaten in times of famine, however, have become integrated into cuisines even after the originally preferred foods became available again.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the cheese fruit, Morindacitrifolia, also known as the noni, the beach mulberry, the great Morinda, and the Indian mulberry. It grows in soil rich in volcanic lava or in coral on the Australian mainland and some of the South Pacific islands. Fruit bats and fruit flies have long appreciated the flavor of the majestic Morinda, but humans have tended to have mixed feelings about it. The flowers of the fair noni are lovely to behold, but its fruit, frankly, stinks. The cuisines of the various parts of the noni’s range have found different ways to make it edible. Some people roast the seeds of the cheese fruit, while others eat the flesh of the fruit raw with salt, like a much less tasty version of a honeydew melon. Some people cook it in a curry, where you taste the spices of the curry more than you taste the cheese fruit itself.
And then someone had the idea of selling the juice of the cheese fruit and making nutritional supplements. I’m not sure whose brilliant idea it originally was to start marketing cheese fruit juice, but Wikipedia credits Herb Moniz with developing a way of making cheese fruit powder and selling the powder in capsule form under the brand name Herb’s Herbs in 1992.
This raises the question that, if the cheese fruit tastes so bad that you have to condense it into a pill that you can swallow whole, why consume it at all? Why not just eat grapes and brie or strawberry cheesecake? Once the nutraceutical industry got involve, claims started popping up about how the malodorous cheese fruit can improve your health. Of course, if you know enough about the MLM industry to have found this page, you know that the MLM industry will say that about almost any fruit. It is telling that the “See also” section of the Wikipedia article on noni juice links to “list of ineffective cancer treatments.”
Of course, you can probably guess that, sooner or later, the fragrant cheese fruit would become the flagship ingredient in a nutraceutical MLM business opportunity, and this is, in fact, what has happened. Now that you know about the main ingredient, we can move onto the parts of my Morinda review in which you find out whether you can actually make money through the Morinda business opportunity.
Morinda: The Company and Its Products
The Morinda company was originally founded in 1996 in Utah, which is a hotbed of MLM activity. The company was originally called Tahitian Noni, which is a more flattering name for the cheese fruit, but it later changed its name to Morinda, which is the name of the genus to which the malodorous cheese fruit belongs. This name change is analogous to if the British chocolate bar which has been variously known as Lion and Big Cat were to change its name to Panthera. (All members of the genus Panthera are able to roar except the pulchritudinous snow leopard, but that is a story for a different day.)
Tahitian Noni, the product line that lists cheese fruit juice and cheese fruit powder among its ingredients, is but one of the many lines of Morinda products. One liter of Tahitian Noni juice costs $38, making it more expensive than most of the wine at the Liquor Barn. You can also buy noni juice concentrate for $17.99 per ounce, although the Morinda website does not specify what you are supposed to do with it. There are also cheese fruit chews. The package of the cheese fruit chews is pretty entertaining. They show a picture of some berries, which I can assume is what the cheese fruit chews actually taste like, with a lumpy cheese fruit in the background. Of course, not all Morinda products contain cheese fruit, and the ones that don’t seem pretty boring. There are various kinds of nutraceuticals and anti-aging skin care products, with more nutraceuticals and even some essential oils coming soon. The new line of nutraceuticals, Whole Food Blends, comes in Red, Orange, Green, and Purple varieties, which is kind of an appealing gimmick. And the essential oil blends all contain at least a little bit of cheese fruit oil. At least I can say that Morinda products take their flagship ingredient seriously. Even the Morinda products in the “apparel” category feature the handsome noni flower. (To my disappointment, none of them feature the lumpy cheese fruit in its mature state.)
The Morinda Compensation Plan
The Morinda compensation plan is explained in a few tiny images, which you can click on enlarge, on the Morinda website. As with most MLM products, there is a sales requirement. In this case, to keep your active status, you have to sell $120 of Morinda products per month, even if that means you have to sell some of them to yourself. That doesn’t sound like too much, but you could quickly end up with a basement full of cheese fruit. In the Morinda compensation plan, you can earn commissions on five levels of downline sales. It appears that the leadership levels in the Morinda compensation plan are called Distributor, Coral, Jade, Pearl, and Diamond Pearl. There is a bonus pool called the Black Pearl Bonus, but it is reserved for people who have extraordinary talent for recruiting people to sell cheese fruit products and cheese fruit memorabilia.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Just try to say the words “cheese fruit” without smiling.
- The Morinda logo, based on the noni flower, is quite handsome.
- None of the studies that have been done on the cheese fruit have shown that it is effective against any disease. It can cause liver damage if high levels of cheese fruit powder are ingested. Cheese fruit does have high levels of potassium, meaning that it is possible to overdose on it.
- Nutraceuticals are my least favorite type of MLM merchandise, no matter which way you spin it, and, interesting as their flagship ingredient may be, Morinda products are still nutraceuticals. The reason fruit bats are able to enjoy the taste of the cheese fruit is that they don’t have to convince other fruit bats to convince other fruit bats to eat it just to break even on the money they invested in the godforsaken lump of vegan cheese. Likewise, the reason shrimp can enjoy plankton is because their financial survival does not depend on their ability to sell Forever Green products. A shrimp is never in danger of its basement piling up with plankton for which the shrimp is financially responsible. If too much plankton accumulates in the shrimp’s living quarters, the shrimp can just swim away.
- The Morinda compensation plan, like almost any other MLM compensation plan out there, makes you jump through a whole lot of hoops before you can get any significant amount of money. For the amount of money you invest in Morinda business opportunity, you would probably have more fun traveling to Tahiti and tasting cheese fruit for yourself. It would probably be easier to recover financially from a vacation to Tahiti than it would from immersing yourself in the Morinda business opportunity, and you would come back with souvenirs that are much more pleasant than Morinda products.
Listen, far be it from me to nominate a nutraceutical company as one of the top ten MLM business opportunities. I guess I should confess my true motives in including the Morinda business opportunity among the Top Ten Money Making MLMs. I have never made money through the Morinda business opportunity, and you probably never will, either, even if you actually sign up to be a Morinda distributor. I just can’t resist a good underdog story, and that is why I had to award the super-fruit beauty pageant crown to the humble cheese fruit.
Want to share your best famine food recipes with me? If it is possible to make nettles taste good, I would love to hear about it. I bet you would like to hear about how to make your home business profitable, so schedule a call we me, and we can brainstorm.