When I was growing up my Mother made Orange Juice by squeezing oranges in a glass juicer. The Citrus Juicer looked something like the one pictured below.
Today that seems old fashioned, or does it? Read on to find out why store bought Orange Juice might not be the best choice for your family.
My friend Elizabeth at Onespot Allergy had a post last week that described some hidden allergens in Minute Maid Heart Wise Orange Juice. You can read her blog by following this link: http://blog.onespotallergy.com/2011/08/minute-maid-heart-wise-orange-juice-allergy-alert. Sadly this information did not come as a surprise to me. The media has played up the benefits of Orange Juice and has suggested that it is part of a healthy breakfast. Spiking your blood sugar by drinking 6-8 oranges first thing in the morning is not my idea of a healthy breakfast. But I digress; orange juice that is 100% pure must be good for you, it is just juice squeezed from oranges, isn’t it?
The problem is that while I am sure that most of you head to the refrigerated section of your grocery store to buy 100% Pure Orange Juice it is not truly 100% pure, nor particularly healthy. Orange growers heavily spray their orange crops with pesticides called cholinesterase inhibitors and organophosphates, and both of these chemical pesticides are neurotoxins. The EPA banned organophosphates in 2001 for residential use; however, they are still used in agricultural settings and sprayed on fruits and vegetables. The EPA is still reviewing the use of organophosphates, but their website states “Organophosphates (OPs) are a group of closely related pesticides used in agriculture and non-agricultural sites that affect functioning of the nervous system. They are among the Agency’s first priority group of pesticides to be reviewed under the Food Quality Protection Act”.
The question then becomes how is 100% pure orange juice made, and what else is in it? When oranges are processed to make juice, the whole orange is placed in a vat for squeezing, so what you end up with is an orange neurotoxin potion. The juice is then held in storage tanks which remove the oxygen, a process called deaeration. This process prevents the juice from oxidizing/spoiling so that the juice can be stored in the vats for up to one year. The juice removed from these vats is now devoid of flavor as the deaeration process strips that away. Not too worry, the orange juice industry developed “flavor packs” to add that yummy orange flavor back into the juice. This is why Minute Maid always tastes like Minute Maid, and why Tropicana always tastes like Tropicana. The companies have worked hard to develop and patent these flavor packs to provide you, the consumer with tasty orange juice. The flavor packs are not listed as an ingredient on the label because technically they are derived from orange by-products. This means that under the FDA labeling laws they do not need to be listed as an ingredient, even though they have been chemically altered. The flavor packs added to juice also tend to contain high amounts of ethyl butyrate, one of the most common chemicals used in flavors and fragrances.
So whether you reach for 100% Pure Minute Maid (Coca-Cola), Tropicana Pure Premium (PepsiCo), or Florida’s Natural (A large Florida Cooperative) you can rest assured that the consistent flavor did not come from nature, rather a process of chemical alteration. Suffice to say we skip store bought juices in our home, 100% pure or not. Why not opt to make your own juice from organic oranges, or have a piece of organic fruit instead, a much healthier choice.