Simple Foods: The Story Of Your Orange Juice
How are you today? How did you start your morning? I used to start my morning with a fresh glass of orange juice, a stretch and a new resolve. I am luckier than some in that I rather like healthy fresh food. I don’t see it as something of a punishment or something I must try and make great effort to accommodate. So when I opted to stop drinking fizzy drinks, my liquid intake became just OJ, water and herb tea…
That was until I found out that the wholesome orange goodness that I thought I was imbibing was perhaps not as wholesome, authentic and good as I thought.
When I think of fresh orange juice, l have an image of countless fields of oranges on trees and a happy brown person with broken teeth and a worn out sun hat smiling warmly at the camera as he drops another zesty fresh orange into his full basket.
I have this image because that was what was sold to me since I was young. The truth however is somewhat different. The little brown man and his plump happy wife do not spend all day squeezing juice just so that I can have it fresh the next day! Here is the story of your orange juice and how it gets to your table:
If you are like me you probably go for fresh orange juice that is not from concentrate in the hopes that you are providing your body with a sweet juicy drink with all the nutritional benefits of the fruit itself. However, when oranges are picked they are squeezed and the juice is stored in giant vats. Oxygen is removed to enable the juice to be able to hang around for up to year without going off. This process also strips the juice of flavors.
When they are ready to use the juice, the flavors are replaced using flavor packs designed by the same people that make perfumes for the big perfume companies. They also use industrial chemical processes to recreate the smell of orange. The idea that your juice is not overly processed because we have been encouraged not to buy from concentrate is not quite the whole picture.
Often we don’t reconsider what we are buying once the advertising message has numbed our brain into automatic repetitive purchasing. But it stands to reason that any fresh juice that tastes consistently sweet must have had something done to it as it is near impossible to be able to buy consistently sweet fruit. It also stands to reason that any fresh product that has an unfeasible shelf life will have had some industrial process intervening between it’s natural, simple state and you. Whilst the orange liquid that ends up on our tables might not be detrimental for you, (jury’s still out), for me it does not remotely resemble what I thought I was buying.
Why give up fizzy drinks? – I’ll get into that another time.
- ‘What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice‘ Alissa Hamilton
- Conversations with my own Doc.