The Truth About Orange Juice

We drink orange juice because it is a natural alternative to all those sugar drinks, right? Let us have a closer look at the orange delight.

“The leading orange juice companies tell us many stories about orange juice: it’s natural, it’s pure and simple, it’s squeezed from oranges grown on pristine looking trees. But they leave out the details about how most commercial orange juice is produced and processed.” Author Alissa Hamilton explains further: the notion of ‘not from concentrate’ is mainly a commercial trick used by the big juice companies. “The idea was to convince consumers that pasteurized orange juice is a fresher, overall better product and therefore worth the higher price.” Making pasteurized juice – the alternative to the concentrated one – includes complicated technology such as ‘deaeration‘. And now comes the nice part:

“When the juice is stripped of oxygen it is also stripped of flavor providing chemicals. Juice companies therefore hire flavor and fragrance companies, the same ones that formulate perfumes for Dior and Calvin Klein, to engineer flavor packs to add back to the juice to make it taste fresh.”

You can find these information and much more  in Alissa Hamiltons book “Squeezed – What you don’t know about Orange Juice”.

So far for the processing of the juice. Now, another thing: oranges have a seaon. Like every fruit. I know we all have got out of touch with the seasons but it would be a good idea to remember seasonal eating. Because otherwise your oranges will either come a long way to end up in your glass or your juice simply is not as fresh as it seems.

Chances are big that besides all of these stories, your orange juice has another dirty secret: its oranges are quite probably picked in slavery-like conditions. John Bowe, author of the book NobodiesModern American Slave Labour And the Dark Side of the New Global Economy writes “The workers, many undocumented and most speaking little or no English, are reluctant or unable to seek help, so they make perfect victims. Their employers pay them little or nothing, and pass the savings on to the corporations who’ve subcontracted the production of citrus fruits to these shady operators so that they can reap the benefits of this sleazy system without having to worry about public relations.”

Still feel like drinking orange juice? Try these three facts from Squeezed:

  1. There is more vitamin c in a single orange than in a full glass of industrial orange juice.
  2. Truly fresh orange juice only last a few days. It if last for weeks (or months), it’s an industrial product.
  3. Until the Florida orange growers launched a campaign in the early 20th century to deal with their surplus crop, the only people who drank orange juice were Floridians who had a tree in their backyard. There is nothing particularly healthy or natural about drinking orange juice – and the industrial product is a total waste of money.
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