(Thomas Dishaw) If you are anything like me you probably enjoy waking up to a cold glass of orange juice in the morning with your bacon and eggs (ala Edward Bernays). In a perfect world this orange juice would of course be GMO free, organic and preferably from a local farm, but unfortunately most of the time it’s not.
Over the years I have gradually progressed into a dangerous consumer (educated). Making healthier purchases has become an obsession as I continue to vote with my dollars and do my best not to support unhealthy labels that seem to flood the marketplace.
Over the years I have been disappointed with the selection of orange juice in the grocery stores, having to choose from various watered down jugs that smell like orange perfume but is supposedly full of vitamin C and, according to new studies, help play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes in people who eat an unhealthy diet.
Like most people you have a carton of orange juice in your refrigerator, hopefully after reading this article it will give you a few reasons to dump it down the drain, vote with your dollars and support a healthier alternative.
- But did you really know that the orange juice you buy, conventional or organic, is basically a waste of money and here is why: 98% of the orange juice in North America is pasteurized or flash pasteurized. If you’re unfamiliar with this practice it’s the process of heating a liquid at an extremely high temperature for a few seconds and up to a half of minute, essentially destroying any nutrients that were left in the juice, leaving you with essentially sugar water. The CDC, better known as the Center for Disease Creation, recommends all juices for consumption be pasteurized, essentially eliminating the threat of disease from the food supply, arguing pasteurization is needed to kill two particular pathogens: E.coli O157:H7 (which is found naturally in the intestins of cows) and salmonella, raising the question why would there be salmonella or O157:H7 on oranges?
- When you purchase a product from the grocery store you consider it to be fresh and of the utmost quality. Well big name orange juice is far from it. According to expert and author of the book Squeezed, Aliissa Hamilton reveals that orange juice is stripped of oxygen, flavor and stored for up to a year in tanks (an industry process called deaeration) then re-flavored before it is packaged and sold to consumers, Hamilton also states that if one were to taste the juice coming out of these tanks, it would taste like pure sugar water, not orange juice. I don’t know about you but this practice sounds absolutely disgusting. I understand big business and supply chain but there has to be a better way than this. Millions of gallons of slop being stored for up to a year and then add on the 30-60 day sell by date and essentially the product could be 14 months old before you ingest it.
- Did you know that fragrance companies like Dior and Calvin Klein are hired to produce flavor packets that enhance the juices taste after it has been stripped of oxygen and flavor providing chemicals. With an obvious loophole in the corrupt labeling system these flavor packs aren’t listed as an ingredient on the label because technically they are derived from orange essence and oil. According to civilets.com the packs added to juice earmarked for the North American market tend to contain high amounts of ethyl butyrate, a chemical in the fragrance of fresh squeezed orange juice that juice companies have discovered Americans favor. Mexicans and Brazilians have a different palate. Flavor packs fabricated for juice geared to these markets therefore highlight different chemicals, the decanals say, or terpene compounds such as valencine .
- One of the more obscure claims made by the orange juice mafia is that every glass is 100% pure Florida orange juice. I guess we didn’t get the same definition of pure because according to the dictionary it defines pure as not mixed with anything else. How can you make the claim your product is pure when you add flavor packs to your juice, even if it’s conveniently excluded from the label. I guess these guys didn’t get the memo that their orange juice is far from pure and could possibly be involved in a class action lawsuit along the lines of Pepsi’s Naked Juice which was forced to pay out 9 million dollars for using the word natural on their packaging.
As millions of Americans are tricked into thinking grocery store orange juice is a healthy beverage, it is nice to know there are a few great healthy alternatives out there. Since I’m an orange juice connoisseur I usually make my way to the local Wegmans where they have one gallon jugs of fresh squeezed unpasteurized organic orange juice for $15.00 a gallon. Although many may argue the price is steep, I guarantee you if you do a side-by-side taste test you will never drink any of the popular brands on the market again. And if you were drinking the orange juice for the vitamin c content you can do much better by incorporating these veggies into your everyday diet: Broccoli, Red Bell Peppers and Kale.