The Secret Ingredient In Your Orange Juice

Do you buy orange juice at the store? If you do, I’m sure you’re careful to buy the kind that’s 100% juice and not made from concentrate. After all, that’s the healthier kind, right? The more natural kind? The kind without any additives? The kind that’s sold in the refrigerator section so it must be almost as good as fresh-squeezed orange juice?

If I’m describing you, then you’re either going to hate me or love me by the time you’re done reading this post. The truth is, that orange juice you feel so good about buying is probably none of those things. You’ve been making assumptions based on logic. The food industry follows its own logic because of the economies of scale. What works for you in your kitchen when making a glass or two of juice simply won’t work when trying to process thousands upon thousands of gallons of the stuff.

Haven’t you ever wondered why every glass of Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice tastes the same, no matter where in the world you buy it or what time of year you’re drinking it in? Or maybe your brand of choice is Minute Maid or Simply Orange or Florida’s Natural. Either way, I can ask the same question. Why is the taste and flavor so consistent? Why is it that the Minute Maid never tastes like the Tropicana, but always tastes like its own unique beverage?

Generally speaking, beverages that taste consistently the same follow recipes. They’re things like Coca Cola or Pepsi or a Starbucks Frappuccino. When you make orange juice at home, each batch tastes a little different depending on the oranges you made it from. I hope you’re hearing warning bells in your head right about now.

The reason your store bought orange juice is so consistently flavorful has more to do with chemistry than nature.

Making OJ should be pretty simple. Pick oranges. Squeeze them. Put the juice in a carton and voilà!

But actually, there is an important stage in between that is an open secret in the OJ industry. After the oranges are squeezed, the juice is stored in giant holding tanks and, critically, the oxygen is removed from them. That essentially allows the liquid to keep (for up to a year) without spoiling– but that liquid that we think of as orange juice tastes nothing like the Tropicana OJ that comes out of the carton. (source)

In fact, it’s quite flavorless. So, the industry uses “flavor packs” to re-flavor the de-oxygenated orange juice:

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. Flavor packs aren’t listed as an ingredient on the label because technically they are derived from orange essence and oil. Yet those in the industry will tell you that the flavor packs, whether made for reconstituted or pasteurized orange juice, resemble nothing found in nature. 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.

The formulas vary to give a brand’s trademark taste. If you’re discerning you may have noticed Minute Maid has a candy like orange flavor. That’s largely due to the flavor pack Coca-Cola has chosen for it. Some companies have even been known to request a flavor pack that mimics the taste of a popular competitor, creating a “hall of mirrors” of flavor packs. Despite the multiple interpretations of a freshly squeezed orange on the market, most flavor packs have a shared source of inspiration: a Florida Valencia orange in spring. (source)

Why aren’t these flavor packs listed as ingredients?

Good question! As with all industrial foods, it’s because of our convoluted labeling laws. You see, these “flavor packs are made from orange by-products — even though these ‘by-products’ are so chemically manipulated that they hardly qualify as ‘by-products’ any more.” (source) Since they’re made from by-products that originated in oranges, they can be added to the orange juice without being considered an “ingredient,” despite the fact that they are chemically altered.

So, what should you do about it?

First off, I must ask: Why are you drinking juice?? Juice removed from the fruit is just concentrated fructose without any of the naturally-occurring fiber, pectin, and other goodies that make eating a whole fruit good for you. Did you know, for example, that it takes 6-8 medium sized apples to make just 1 cup of apple juice? You probably wouldn’t be able to eat 6-8 medium apples in a single sitting. (I know I can barely eat one!) But you can casually throw back a cup of apple juice, and you would probably be willing to return for seconds. That’s why fruit juice is dangerous. It’s far too easy to consume far too much sugar.

So, my first piece of advice is to get out of the juice habit altogether. It’s expensive, and it’s not worth it.

My second piece of advice is to only drink juices that you make yourself, and preferably ones that you’ve turned into a healthy, probiotic beverage (like this naturally-fermented lemonade my own family enjoys). Sally Fallon Morrell’s Nourishing Traditions cookbook (pictured at right) has several lacto-fermented juice coolers that are pleasant, albeit expensive. (I especially like the Grape Cooler, Raspberry Drink, and Ginger Beer.) Want to make juicing easier? See here for where to buy juicers and Vitamix blenders.

And finally, opt out of the industrial food system as much as you can. If you learn anything at all from this post, it should be that you never know what’s in your food unless you grow it, harvest it, or make it yourself. Second best (and more practical for many, including myself) is to pay somebody I trust to do it — like the farmers at my Farmer’s Market, the cattle rancher I buy my annual grass-fed beef order from, or the chef at my local restaurant who’s willing to transparently answer questions about how he sources ingredients and what goes into the dish I’m ordering.

Edited On 7/29/2011 To Include:

I’ve gotten a number of comments and emails accusing me of being afraid of “science” or “chemicals.” To those readers, I suggest that you are missing my point entirely. As I wrote in a comment below, I think what bugs me the most about the flavor industry is that they manufacture flavor for otherwise flavorless or unpalatable foods. I think if a food needs to have synthetic flavors added to it for us to enjoy it, then we ought to question whether or not it’s actually good for us and worth eating. It’s not so much that I think the flavors are unnaturally engineered chemicals (although sometimes, as with MSG, there is cause for concern). In this post, I’m not questioning the health or merit of added chemicals (“natural” or “synthetic”); I’m questioning the health or merit of so-called foods that are so devoid of flavor or color that we have to add back in chemical flavorings and colors to make them palatable. Furthermore, I’m questioning the judgement of our regulatory bodies which allow misleading product labeling to continue.


  1. Tara Ogg Chaput via Facebook says

    Awesome. The one thing I let my kids have as a treat because it’s real juice. *sigh* Shady, shady, shady…

    • Amy says

      I know, me too. I thought Orange Juice, the expensive Simply Orange is what we buy, was the one OK thing to let them have!

    • Dean says

      I don’t understand someone would give their kids all that sugar in the first place! Not good…rots the teeth (especially the acid in oranges), overloads the pancreas, no nutritional value, generally unhealthy. Some fresh, whole berries with raw cream…now that’s GOOD, and healthy!

      • says

        Many people just don’t “get” how much sugar is in juice. It’s astronomical in the “grand spectrum” of things. They also don’t get that the pulp of fruit slows down the rate of absorption of the sugars. Many others just plain don’t care that they are eating nothing but junk and chemicals. Their motto is “If it tastes good, eat it” and “I want to enjoy my food”. Alright then. :-(

      • Amy says

        I don’t understand why someone would look down on another person for giving their child an occasional glass of juice. Why would you give your child a glass of juice? Because the child enjoys juice. Because it’s recommended by pediatricians to help a child rehydrate during illness. Because mom says so. Seriously, of all the parenting choices you can pick on – juice needs to be a whole heck of a lot lower on the list. My kids get juice once in a blue moon. I prefer them to drink water but they like juice, their dad likes juice, and I like juice. So every now and then, we all have juice with dinner instead of water. We drink juice for the same reason we very occasionally have cake. Because we like it.

        • Shardae says

          I agree! I hate how people shame others for food choices. Nobody is taking into consideration that healthy, whole foods cost more. Not everyone can afford to buy all of these organic whole foods. Obviously indulging a child in copious amounts of juice is going to have negative side effects, but a small amount occasionally isn’t going to kill them. People are freaking out as if you’re pouring radioactive waste into a sippy cup for your two year old.

          • beaware says

            Obviously you are both missing the point. It isn’t that anyone is “looking down” on someone for giving their kids juice, you came to that conclusion on your own. The point is to make people aware. They need to understand that what is being marketed as “natural” or a healthy thing to give the children, is just a glass of chemically processed liquid.

            It’s great that you are both aware that these unnaturally flavored juices shouldn’t be taken in regularly, but the article is geared to those who don’t understand this fact. And if you are only drinking these rarely, then wouldn’t it prudent and affordable to make the real thing yourself as a treat?

            • kathy says

              First and foremost I must say how much I have enjoyed your posts. I came across this one while looking up an article for a company I used to work for which happens to be in the beverage industry: OJ to be exact.
              Juice consumption in our home is seldom, not because of the “unhealthy beverage stigma” but because of a personal choice and quest to eat clean which has earned a 90lb weight loss.

              I’d like to address a few things you have said in your posts. Your description of the De-aerating process of the “squeezed raw material”(Oranges) is correct and serves a few purposes one being and as mentioned that “Concentrate” is stored in large holding tanks and then taken by tankers to the processing facilities. As you mentioned the DE-aerating process does cause the juice to lose some if not most of its flavor and scent, DE-aerating also prevents the OJ from oxidizing in the tanks. Oxidizing will cause the OJ to lose some of its nutrients. You were also correct when you advised that they follow a formula to ensure consistence…when the OJ is brought in, its oil, essence and acidity is tested to adjust the formula….no different than starch content of potatoes in a chip factory. This is how they build their formula.

              Where I feel the need to correct you is your mention of Flavor Packs that are custom(inserted that word, can’t access your blog while writing this-apologies.) This is not true for all brands and making the assumption or this false information is misleading which I know from your post is not the intention. The OJ Process…..once a batch of OJ is blended with the predetermined formulated amounts of OJ, oil(flavor), essence(smell) and water. It is then tested for its oil, essence and acid. “If” any of the “ingredients” are out of specification, they are adjusted accordingly. These ‘batches’ are also tasted against a control sample to ensure it tastes the same, which is typically why each brand tastes different.
              NO flavor packs, no special company to make a pack to artificially flavor your OJ. DE-aerated OJ, Pure OJ Essence, OJ oil.
              You are correct as well, the taste of your OJ when you make it on your own varies….the above explains why.

              Some suggestions for those that decide to make their own fresh OJ…make sure your Oranges are very cold. Use a juicer that is made for juicing….if its a normal blender it will oxidize the juice and you may lose some nutrients and flavor.

              Unfortunately, they make you sign waivers when you leave stating you will not disclose “formula’s” and trade secrets….however, there are no secrets when it comes to OJ.

              Now Ice Cream…….8 years as a manufacturing manager in that industry taught me to never eat that product!!

              Thank you again, I love your posts!

      • Carrie says

        Most people do not have a cow in the back yard, so we cannot get raw cream,and raw dairy is largely ILLEGAL in the US. Most of us do not have berry patches either.
        Personally, make my own juice, with a press, mostly organic veg, some fruit. I don’t eat any refined sugar, and only the occasional low glycemic fruit.
        But seriously judging others for the occasional glass of orange juice,when they are trying to to what is best, and suggesting they make an unrealistic substitution is silly.

    • Rosie says

      That is the same reason I buy… bought simply Orange, I thought I was getting something good. The stuff in the freezer is going on Craigslist now. Bummer.

    • DjangoZ says

      Nice article, thanks.

      I forget that alot of people aren’t aware of how “flavors” are made in mainstream food.

      Yeah, we never touch that stuff. Local, organic, grass-fed, pesticide-free…anything else isn’t really what you think it is.

    • Ann says

      Yeah, it would be nice if the labels were HONEST, not just sticking to the letter of some law written in twisty lawyer language but actually being fully honest and up front about the contents.

      Of course, if that happened more people would begin to ask for something better and they would lose market share and the government would lose the “value added” taxes they probably get for the additions and changes to the juice, so our regulatory bodies have little incentive to stop the fraud.

      I just try to stick with whole foods, organic when possible, locally grown when possible, and in general attempting to get nothing but the real thing. NOT easy!

    • Lisa says

      Oh lovely…I’m going to assume(which I usually don’t do)that this also applies to grapefruit juice.I love grapefruit juice,too bad it’s not really real,tho…smh.If I could afford a juicer or one of those Vitamix thingies that have been mentioned…

      • Mark says

        The rest of the population watches Survivor, Jerry Springer and Dr. Phill.
        They have voted for Bush and even worse Obama twice in presidential elections.
        They think that government spending more than taxing is sustainable, as well as applying that to their own personal lives and living of credit cards.
        If you don’t think that major portion of the population are idiots then you must be part of the herd.

    • Spencer says

      Love the way yahoo recycles 3 year old articles and puts them up in the headlines. 43 years old and been drinking orange juice for almost as many, just like everybody else I know. Pretty sure this isn’t a new process, because I’ve been drinking it year round since I was a kid. Anything in excess can kill you. If you want to live longer..stop smoking!

  2. Madeline Sophia Kraskin via Facebook says

    Well, I stopped drinking juice long ago anyway. Fresh local fruit in season is what I do and here in south Florida that’s so easy. But this is something horrible that i never even knew before!

  3. Veronica Ramirez via Facebook says

    Always new to stay away from concentrates. Now I know why. Thanks for the literature.

    • Judy Cooper says

      Forget about the orange juice and eat the orange! You not only get a REAL orange favor but you get fiber as well.

  4. Angie says

    Does this include organic brands as well? My husband is pretty dead set in his ways. I could set my watch to him. He has to have his glass of orange juice with breakfast.

    • KristenM says

      Angie, I would say this goes for most major label organic brands as well. This is simply the by-product of scaling up and trying to provide a seasonally limited food year round. There is no other way to keep orange juice “fresh” for so long besides de-aeration, and de-aerated orange juice must have the flavor re-introduced via flavor packs. It’s possible that smaller organic brands which only sell their juice seasonally don’t use this method.

      • Brian says

        Is juice from concentrate de-aerated or simply frozen? Yes, I know they use frozen juice as an excuse to add stuff to it anyway, and juice from concentrate loses flavor anyhow. but I’m asking if it’s an alternative production method to using an entirely artificial flavor pack.

        Also, it’s sad to see how reactionary people have gotten that folks criticized the article for being “afraid of chemical additives”. Apparently people think we need these additives.

        I was hoping the author would mention the huge and organized ad campaign that went to convince Americans to drink orange juice for breakfast. Everything about our lifestyle was generated by marketing execs in the 1920s.

        • Glenn Black says

          All orange juices will go terribly rancid in about 4 to 6 hours after making, making it totally unpalatable (think of taste of milk gone bad). As soon as it is squeezed, it is put into giant multi-effect evaporators where all/most of the vitamins and flavors are denatured and/or removed. What is left is a milky-white sugar water which is pumped into million gallon storage tanks, where it sits for up to 1 year, awaiting am order for orange juice.

          All OJ is garbage. Industry has huge multi-million $ budget marketing plan to make it addictive (read “family tradition” passed down from one generation to the next) as to habit and brand of juice.

          Drink juice without fiber and your blood sugars and insulin jumps just thinking about it. Excess juice consumption leads to obesity and in extreme cases, can cause liver failure. The fructose in orange juice is a chronic liver toxin (see Dr. Lustig, USC Medical Centre Sugar: The Bitter Truth).

          • Raven says

            The only orange juice I buy (every few months or so) isn’t even pasteurized. It tastes awesome most of the time. Once or twice it didn’t taste very good; I guess the oranges just weren’t as good that time of year. And it keeps longer than 6 hours. About a week or so.

        • Nikki says

          Better yet, serve him fresher pressed OJ out of love… I’m pretty sure love and honor for our husbands didn’t expire in 2012!

              • says

                I just have to weigh in here & I do so with the best of intentions.
                For many years, I have done & done & done & done for my DH “because I work from home”.
                As the years went by, the more I gave, the more he took. As “will be” in all relationships. It’s just the nature of “the beast”. Regardless if you’re a stay at home mom, a work from home woman or whatever, catering to your DH in every tiny thing is going to some day be a disaster. Unless, of course, you’re a coddler by nature or have a need to enable certain behaviors. At some point you are going to resent them not taking some responsibility for themselves.
                There would not be one thing wrong with DH squeezing his own OJ, IMO.

  5. Pavil, the Uber Noob says

    Thanks for the post. It helps point out the considerable degree to which we humans are enormously gullible and vulnerable. Would it be too paranoid to consider the notion that perhaps the grocery store is not our friend?

    Ciao, Pavil

  6. Veronica Ramirez via Facebook says

    I see. Well, I don’t buy either kind b/c i assumed they were all pasteurized. I don’t have a heavy duty squeezer, so we buy the fresh one from the grocery store. We even try not to drink too much of that due to sugar content and opt to make NTs “Orangina”.

  7. Mihaela Froehlich via Facebook says

    We drink no juice either, sometimes treat ourselves to locally pressed fresh apple cider in the fall, but this just blew my mind!

  8. says

    Very interesting, I always wondered why the juice in cartons lacked flavor. I no longer buy fruit juice. I will occasionally make my own orange juice in my Vitamix, which is just throwing a whole peeled orange in there and blending it up so I’m still getting the whole fruit. I add a carrot also just for even more nutrition. It is delicious!

      • says

        Vitamix’s are expensive, but they are worth every little penny. Try not to break a container tho. I couldn’t find my wet container a few weeks ago & thought I’d have to replace it. $128 PLUS shipping!!! I almost had a come apart. LOL Looked on ebay…..the cheapest one I found there was $80. Luckily I found mine. Whew!!

  9. says

    @Elizabeth — I just answered a similar question in the comments on the actual post. The short answer is: if it’s available year-round, then it HAS to be processed this way. There’s no other way to keep unconcentrated orange juice without it spoiling besides de-aeration, and de-aerated juice needs to have flavoring added back into it in order for it to be palatable.

  10. Sarah says

    I’ve heard that there are companies in Florida who squeeze them fresh and freeze them right away, and then they ship them to you frozen. Do you know of any that are good and trustworthy?

    • KristenM says

      I haven’t heard of any, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Again, though, why would you want to pay for that option when you can make your own juice and maybe even lacto-ferment it so that it’s giving you some nourishment besides sugar? In Nourishing Traditions there’s a recipe for Orangina, which is basically just a lacto-fermented version of orange juice.

    • Lulu says

      Uncle Matt’s Organic Orange Juice. Just checked with them and they say they do not add anything (frangrance, flavor packs) back into the juice. You can call them at 352-394-8737 and have them explain it to you.

  11. says

    I don’t drink a lot of juice, but I do occasionally. Whenever possible I drink fresh squeezed because it’s just so much yummier.

    However, my parents cannot seem to accept the advice I give them on food and beverages, so they still buy a lot of juice (and a million other things I don’t approve of). I have at least convinced Mom to buy not from concentrate, all natural, often organic.

    The other day, I saw a bottle of that new Trop 50 orange juice, the one that says “50% fewer Calories and 50% less Sugar,” in her refrigerator. So I asked her how “all-natural” juice could be made to have less sugar or calories… and why was it a big deal since I’m assuming most people aren’t getting a huge portion of their calories from orange juice. Of course, she couldn’t answer those questions.

    So I looked on the back of the bottle. The Trop 50 has 50 calories and 4% of the “recommended daily allowance” of carbs (sugar). So, inversely, regular orange juice would only have 100 calories and 8% RDA of carbs. Which I feel is perfectly fine for a juice you might have a glass or two of a day. SO much better than soda anyway. But that still didn’t answer the question of HOW they made it less.

    Answer: It’s literally watered down orange juice. The first ingredient is filtered water, then not from concentrate orange juice. Once again, we see the power of marketing. People are literally paying a company to water down their orange juice for them. And not paying half price either.

    The only good thing that comes of incidents like these is that my Mom is starting to believe me.

    • KristenM says

      Oh, Leah! That’s so so tragic. I’m such an obsessive label reader that I find it hard to remember that most people aren’t and will (sadly) fall for this sort of marketing gimmick.

    • Skye says

      Oh my gosh… it’s amazing how sure they must be that people DON’T read labels! Because surely anyone reading that label would say what you said, Leah: “I’m paying them to water down my orange juice.” Incredible!

    • ACsMama says

      Leah, they do the same thing in juices marketed to kids, especially toddlers. I remember reading the label of one of those “healthy” juice boxes, and #1 ingredient is filtered water, then it had fruit and vegetable juices. Then they charge you more for it because it’s healthier. Mott’s for Tots makes no pretense – they tell you straight up it is diluted juice. I really don’t get why people will willingly pay more money for less juice!

    • j dressler says

      Leah, Don’t be fooled by paying for “all natural” it is a marketing ploy, and means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! If you want to be safe, only buy certified organic. Also don’t buy “made with organic ingredients” They can add two organic ingredients, and tons of chemicals. You have to become a smart consumer to avoid the carefully placed wording used by the food industry to trick consumers into thinking they are paying for something they are not getting. Vote with your dollars and support certified organic companies.

    • Zoe says

      The more I see articles like this one the happier I am. I have always been health conscious, but I think I have put too much trust in the food labels. I find I am now reading every line on the label in the store. Natural flavor is another scary chemical additive that is essentially just as bad for you as artificial flavor. They all come from one lab in New Jersey and even though the original flavor is natural, they tweak it with chemicals to get the flavor you want. The scariest thing is that since natural flavor is new to the market there aren’t any regulations on it, so in some cases they may be even more dangerous than artificial flavors. WRITE YOUR FOOD COMPANIES! Question the ingredients on the label, it’s the only way we got anywhere with the organic food standards we have today. BECOME MORE AWARE OF WHAT YOU ARE INGESTING, DON’T LET BIG CORPORATIONS DECEIVE YOU INTO EATING WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO EAT. Make your own choices and speak out!

      • lulz123 says

        Nowadays, chemicals are found in pretty much all kinds of food. Panicking and saying orange juice is unhealthy just because of chemicals doesn’t really sound reliable. OJ has lots of vitamin C and keeps people from getting ill. Can’t see what’s so unhealthy about that. Please explain to me what exactly these “chemicals” do to our body. Then I might be listening.

        • lulz123 says

          I think we should rather worry about the amounts of sugar and fat in today’s food. Way too many are eating unhealthy today, and that is most certainly not caused by OJ.

          • Amy says

            Read Primal Body Primal Mind. All the science you can handle, and you’ll never want to eat 90% of what the standard American diet calls “food” again.

          • Tara says

            You might want to recheck the sugar content of juice. It is full of it. Also, consuming fats (good ones such as fats from grass-fed/pastured animals, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil) is not a bad thing.

        • chels says

          Vitamin c does not keep you from getting ill, specifically.That is just a myth. A balanced diet including all required vitamins and nutrients, healthy lifestyle, sleep regularity and consistent exercise is what keeps you from getting buggies.

          • Glen PDQ says

            One of the duties of vitamin C is to bolster iodide symporters. White Blood Cells can equally use thyroxin or iodide (both are forms of iodine) to phagocytize germs and destroy them. The iodide symporter allows the WBC to concentrate the iodine many times what is found in the blood serum. So while Vitamin C may not keep one from getting ill, it might help keep a person from dying from an infection if the person is getting a proper diet.

    • says

      I thought similarly when they started selling all those 100-calorie snack packs of various junk foods. So they give you less food, more packaging, and charge you more for it?

    • says

      It is worse than what you are saying. The Trop 50 and other “light” juices are not simply watered down. In order to fool you into not noticing they are watered down they sweeten them back up with artificial sweeteners (not to mention the flavor packs and fragrance). I remember when they first came out. I was in college on a choir tour doing a home-stay in Tex. My host family had this half juice on the table for me to drink. I reached for it thinking it was my beloved Trop. pure and premium NEVER from concentrate only to realize that the packaging was a little different. I looked at the ingredients and was appalled! I asked my host-mom (a nurse!) if she thought this was actually healthier than real 100% juice. She simply said, “Of course. It has half the sugar and half the calories.” Boo medical community. Boo, advertising conspiracy. Boo, government (non)watchdogs. Boo, Boo, Boo. I am very sad. And yes I do both love and hate you for writing this article!

  12. Alyx Gille via Facebook says

    I peel oranges and put them in the vita mix. OJ !ta da! and yes it tastes different every time.

  13. says

    I’m beginning to realize why my daughter seems to react to every eating plan except very basic paleo. Even the most “natural” packaged foods have hidden poisons, and sensitive systems are affected more than others.

    • Emily says

      Poisons is a little harsh. “Chemicals” can be good or bad, depending on what you are talking about. Water is a chemical. Just because it sounds bad, doesn’t mean it is!

        • Pete says

          Haha, yes, and I think that article on DHMO is about as valid as the pseudo-dangers pointed out on scare-mongering sites like this.

          • Lo says

            Yes Pete, ignorance is bliss. Anything informative that doesn’t fully support the choices you’ve made is fear mongering. It’s easier to scoff than to admit we might have been mistaken or suckered by a marketing ploy. How else could you twist a basic description of the juice making process into a “pseudo-danger”? Is the earth flat too?

        • Don says

          Go back and re-read that article about “DHMO”, only this time read it in the knowledge that what is being described is WATER

          • Dan Foresman says

            Yeah! But, it’s the industrial “dehydrated” water. That’s what makes it different and so patently much more derangerous.

    • Michelle says

      I think it’s crazy how people pay attention to how “natural” their foods are, but don’t question how completely unnatural it is to have to follow a “food plan”. Eat what God’s given, plain and simple. He never gave us food to figure out which “plan” would work for our body. Just insane.

      • Pam says

        Michelle, when God created man, there was no death in the world, so man did not kill and eat animals. Once sin was introduced, death was also, and man changed his diet. Before Adam sinned, all food was perfect for his body. Now, however, our food choices are very different, and everyone’s bodies are different. Some NEED the flesh proteins, others NEED the carbs (like vegetarians). If we were still perfect like Adam was when he was created, this would not be a problem.

      • says

        Michelle, if you are trying to maintain a caloric deficit (for weight loss) and your body is used to consuming 3000+ calories a day (which is really easy to do just eating whatever you feel like, in the land of excess) then yes, you do need a food plan of some sort at least in the beginning. (Even if that “plan” is just writing down everything you eat and keeping track of calories) Once you’ve retrained yourself to consume less and exercise portion control, life gets easier. I have found this to be true even though I should already know what I’m doing, having done it before. The natural “plan” that humans followed for millions of years involved not having unlimited access to highly processed food.

      • says

        If people only ate foods “provided” by God, as opposed to those provided by Monsanto, General Mills, Campbell’s and other factories, no one would need a food plan.

        My grandmother lived to be over 100 and was never “good” nutritionally (she was addicted to chocolate and ate POUNDS of it weekly the last few decades of her life with never a sign of diabetes).

        But when her mother was pregnant with her, and when she was growing up, when her body was built, there simply WERE no GMOs, no HFCS, MSG, no processed vegetable oils, no “flavor packs”.

        All there was… was food. That’s what she ate, that’s what her mom ate, etc. Regular food… meat, vegetables, fruit, eggs, dairy, ACTUAL whole grains (and if not whole, ground right before using them).

        Food comes from farms or from the wild, not from factories. The vast majority of junk in grocery stores is NOT food.

  14. Arlo says

    It’s articles like these that make me think every product should have a QR code on them that links to a document that fully details the processing steps that went into it. I think a lot of people would stop eating some packaged products if they knew how much was done to their food. “Ammonia bathed chicken parts “, anyone?

    • Hayley says

      Things from local farmers (try to find a farmer’s market in your area) and things you grow or make yourself. That’s about it….

    • Don says

      Everything you eat is processed. Picking fruits and vegetables is a “process” Putting eggs into cartons is a “process” if you want them washed before they are sold to you, that’s an additional “Process”. Freezing is a “Process” so is dehydrating. Grinding is a “process”. Just because something is “processed” doesn’t mean it’s bad.

      • Jurmane says

        Don, Food becomes processed when it is changed from it’s original raw state to some other form. Eggs are not “processed” by putting them in a carton or basket and apples are not “processed” when you pick them from a tree and take a bite. When fruit or vegetables are cooked, canned, frozen, grinded or dehydrated, you are changing them from their original form to something else and so become “processed” albiet very minimally. When unnatural additives like ascorbic acid, xantha gum and various flavorings and preservatives are added to a mixture of food, we consider these to be “processed” and not very healthy.

        • Brian says

          Pasteurization is one of these many “processes”. What some people fail to realize is that in many cases processing makes them safer for you to eat. Raw eggs and milk can contain “naturally” occurring bacteria which can be as harmful or more harmful than side effects of chemical additives.

          I’m not going to say that all processing is good for you. And I will agree that diets in this country are terrible considering the amount of excess sugar and salt.

          Yes, Companies like simply orange mislead with advertising. However, chemistry and chemicals are not always bad as it seems so many on this site have assumed.

          • says

            Pastuerization actually makes milk LESS safe. All milk, once opened, is subject to bacterial contamination. Listeria and other baddies grows MUCH faster in pastuerized milk than raw milk.

            There’s no way for Walmart to sell safe raw milk, too many people handle milk before it gets to the grocery. But… I don’t HAVE to buy my milk from Walmart, and instead can buy it from a local family that drinks it themselves.

  15. Tammy R. says

    It is becoming glaringly obvious anymore that there is absolutely nothing… yes, I said nothing worth spending my money on at the grocery stores!

    • Glen PDQ says

      I still find frozen, wild caught seafood at Wally World. I also bought the pints of raw oysters when I could find them. Hopefully the powers that be won’t find a way to feed oysters a diet of dead chickens and soybeans.

    • Christina says

      I’m not sure the science behind making other juices, but I can tell you our experience from making our own juice. If we don’t drink the fresh juice right away & put it in the refrigerator, it starts to break down, separate and tastes different later. I would imagine all juices would need this type of process described to prevent this from happening on the store shelves.

  16. Skye says

    Wow, I had NO idea about this! Fascinating! And disturbing! ; ) Thanks so much for spreading the information, and for the wonderful suggested alternatives at the end of your article. Much appreciation!

  17. Dorothy says

    No more juice for me! I am going to join those who drink water with their meals and in between meals.

  18. Carol says

    My mom always said juice as expensive junk we couldn’t afford when we begged for it. I am in my late 40’s-guess my mom was a pretty smart shopper even then.

  19. Kelly Mayor says

    huh, odd…I cannot repost this article to facebook, nor the one about the arsenic in chicken. Are you being sensored?! I actually love the boldness of these articles, please keep it up! But I’d love to be able to repost!!!!

    • KristenM says

      Oh that’s weird. Have you tried using the Facebook share button on this page, under the “Sharing is Rebellious” tag line?

  20. says

    My question is why hasn’t the issue of quality control ( meaning were mix all of the oranges together to get one even flavor) hasn’t been brought up? Because you could pose this same exact question to all liquids and even foods such as milk, beer, wine, etc..
    Having the juice is such large vats that is required for large scale production is also going to yield a much more consistent flavor. Because when you think about it, even WITH adding in the extra chemical flavorings you will still get a slightly different end tasting product depending on the oranges that are used. And FTR I do notice a difference in cartons from time to time, especially the ones that have added calcium and vit. D, even thought we haven’t bought much juice at all in ages. Just my .02
    (P.S. If anyone has a Wegmans near them they carry fresh squeezed un-pasteurized OJ and it’s divine! Taste just like an orange. It’s pricey but you should really only be drinking juice for a special occasion anyways so I think it’s ok. I sure hope that doesn’t have the flavor packs added! )

    • KristenM says

      While it’s true that the mixing of liquids in giant vats does make the flavor more homogenous, I still think the point stands, particularly when we talk about drinking orange juice when oranges are well out of season. “Fresh” juice made with out of season oranges shipped from Brazil or kept in cold storage for months on end ought to taste different than juice made “fresh” from perfectly ripe oranges, regardless of whether it’s in a big vat or not.

      Also, supermarket milk & beer are also made using recipes. (Did you know that “whole” milk in the supermarket isn’t even whole? It’s skim milk plus 3.75% milk fat.)

  21. says

    Excellent! I used to buy juice for my husband when we were first married. Eventually I got out of the habit of buying it at all.
    If we’ve done one thing right with our toddler – he’s only ever had a steady diet of fresh well water (filtered) and raw milk from local cows.
    Thanks again, kept your post going…

  22. Susan W says

    Thanks for the article. It explains a lot.
    I don’t normally drink fruit juice but had some orange juice while I was traveling in Europe and it tasted nothing like the OJ in the USA. Now I know why.

    Thanks for posting this.

  23. J says

    …what exactly is the big deal? Do these flavor packets have any qualities known to be detrimental to human health?

    • Karen says

      The bigger question is, do they have anything in them to promote human health, you know, like all the advertisements say they do…

    • Dana says

      Well if the flavor packs were detrimental to health that would not stop the manufacturers from lying or ignoring the science – and doing it with total acceptance from the federal government.

    • D says

      J – I’m with you on this. People read ‘additives’ or ‘chemicals’, and everyone starts panicking.
      I would be more worried about the high amount of sugar in most juices.

    • Hayley says

      I think the “big deal” is that some people try to avoid any proceessed foods, or any additives (some for allergic reasons, some for other reasons) and the fact that such a highly processed ingredient can hide in a “natural” product is infuriating.

      I hardly drink juice so it doesn’t bother me that much, but if I was avoiding all chemical additives for an allergy I can understand being very upset that my “all-natural orange juice” had chemical additives.

      • Hannah says

        I understand people’s concern but the key fact to keep in mind here is that those chemicals (ethyl butyrate, terpenes, etc) are just the volatile flavor chemicals which were already present in the juice. My dad works in the flavor industry and makes these sort of things regularly. You’re not drinking anything that you wouldn’t already be getting when you juice an orange, that’s why the juice companies don’t have to list it on the label.

        If you don’t want to drink juice that’s great, it’s calorie-dense and nutrient-poor. But don’t go assuming that all chemicals are automatically bad for you. If it weren’t for those chemicals an orange wouldn’t taste like an orange when you bit into it.

        • KristenM says

          Hannah, I appreciate your comment. I think what bugs me the most about the flavor industry is that they manufacture flavor for otherwise flavorless or unpalatable foods. I think if a food needs to have synthetic flavors added to it for us to enjoy it, then we ought to question whether or not it’s actually good for us and worth eating. It’s not so much that I think the flavors are unnaturally engineered chemicals (although sometimes, as with MSG, there is cause for concern).

          • Hannah says

            Definitely a valid point, and I fully agree! I just wanted to say something from the food scientist’s point of view :)

            Maybe an alternative would be to push for orange juice to only be available in season? Then there would be no need for elaborate storage and re-processing techniques.

            • KristenM says

              Good luck with that! I can’t imagine us EVER going back to seasonal foods barring a major shift in the way our society thinks about food.

                • KristenM says

                  Well, I’m pretty confident that we’ve already reached peak oil, but I don’t pretend to know what that will mean for the food industry. There’s big bucks in figuring out alternative ways to keep the status quo.

              • says


                Love the post! Your comment about being unable to imagine us EVER going back to seasonal foods barring a major shift in the way our society thinks about food – I can easily imagine us going back to a seasonal, local food supply, and not by choice. In fact, it may be coming to us sooner than most people think – we went through major supply disruptions this past winter for fruits and fresh produce here in South Dakota. At 10 calories of fossil fuel for every 1 calorie of food, it gets expensive once fuel prices spiral upwards again – and they will, soon.

          • Jaytee says

            Additionally, look at the way these premium orange juices are marketed.. they show oranges being picked from the trees and some farmer drinking the stuff like it was fresh squeezed when nothing could be further from the truth. It’s just a lie. A big, fat, legal lie.

      • Hannah says

        Oh, and for the record “natural” on a food label does not have a clearly defined FDA definition. The FDA allows it to be used on foods with no added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances. “Natural flavors” means they were derived from plant (or animal I guess) sources and not synthesized, but the end product is the same chemical. This is not the dictionary definition of natural! Something to keep in mind if you’re concerned about the sources of your food.

    • Steve says

      My concern is more along the lines of deceitful product labeling. If we don’t even know what is in factory-made orange juice, how are we to comprehend what is in other food products?

    • Hayley says


      Is it truly impossible for someone to have a differing opinion from you without being paid by a large corporation?

  24. tina says

    I don’t buy OJ often and now I won’t buy it at all. I don’t think the fiber in fruits and veggies are at all good for people so I will use my juicer for make fresh juice.

  25. Juicy says

    Still a million times better than a glass of coke.

    There’s plenty of juice brands that are nice and thick with the pulp of the orange still in there, organic and healthy.. they might be more expensive though, and in the health food section. These juices are the real deal – they have shorter expiry dates than the supermarket brands, and you feel good after drinking a glass.

    Good point about the high dose of sugars we get from juice though. Probably best in moderation, or diluted with more water.

    • says

      Saying that juice is better than Coke is kinda like saying that arsenic is better than cyanide.

      Frankly, my own suspicions about juice got weird just cause I realized it didn’t go bad for a REALLY long time. It is a liquid sugar solution, it ought to grow bacteria very well. And yes, I realize it’s pasteurized, but that doesn’t apply once you’ve opened it! If a gallon sits in the fridge for a month after opening it and doesn’t grow anything in it, well, that isn’t really food.

  26. Dana says

    Yes! You’re right – I hate you! I could have done without knowing this. Is there a single food sold in the stores today that you can trust to know whats in it???

  27. Francisco Moura says


    I’m a brazilian. I’d like to say that i like the taste of the Tropicana’s Orange Juice, but just like Minute Maid , i can tell that is not 100% natural from the first swallow.

    They don’t taste anything like our freshly squeezed orange juice that we are used to here.

    PS – Juices really are not the best way of consuming fruits. Just , as anything else, don’t drink too much of them through the day. Although it will always be healthier than any soda.

  28. Krissy Hughes says

    Sickening! Normally we are a no juice family; however, the past few months I have been craving grapefruit juice–so I caved and have been drinking some of that. I too always water it down, but how yuck!

  29. Matthew W says

    This is interesting to know. I guess I’m in the minority here though, in that it doesn’t actually bother me, rather I see it as rather ingenious.

    I ask for orange juice out of season and this is how they get it to me. It generally tastes good and is made from natural (not that one would want to rely on the `naturalistic fallacy’) ingredients.

    You might argue that orange juice, or orange juice out of season, is a bad idea, but that’s a separate debate to the question of “is it OK to process OJ like this”.

  30. says

    Why do you advice against using all orange juice from the store? What about the orange juice from the cooled section that’s fresh, has fruit fibers in it and is only good for a couple of days? I don’t think it has gone through the process you describe.

  31. John Evans says

    Yeah, but…Why are you getting upset about these substances? Because they’re “chemically manipulated”? Wow, what a loaded phrase! Why do people assume “chemicals” are automatically unhealthy? It sounds like these are substances that have been used as flavorings for years, so there have to have been lots of studies about how safe they are. The FDA FORCES companies to do LOTS of food safety tests.

    If you’re upset about misleading labeling, that’s fine. If you want people to “get out of the juice habit”, there’s nothing wrong with that. But by trying to get people upset about “chemicals”, you’re telling them not to trust science.

    • says

      The FDA is not the watchdog you’d like to believe – or like to have us believe. They are woefully short-staffed, with frequent reliance on industry data for product releases (only going after bad guys when a threshold of deaths/diseases has been crossed) and the people who run the agency are a who’s who of the industries the agency is supposed to be regulating.

      All of us depend on science – but trusting science nowadays means one has to follow the money trail and ask basic questions like “who benefits from this?” as the days of science conducted in the public interest (like in the days of Jonas Salk) seem to be long gone.

    • Christina says

      I have a very hard time trusting any testing the FDA imposes. They merely say…company 1 do this testing…company 1 produces their own independent results and the FDA files it away. The FDA is relying on the company to be responsible and the company is relying on the FDA to keep them in line…therefore, no one is really keeping the other accountable. And due to the lack of funding and staffing for the FDA this will not change anytime soon. Companies can basically do whatever they want and include whatever they want in their products, especially with loopholes like “natural flavoring” and the various ways to disguise the wording of ingredients like MSG.

    • says

      IMNSHO, it’s not about not trusting science.

      It’s about not trusting science as “interpreted” by the folks who make money by convincing us of the science that makes them the most money.

      Back in the day, the tobacco companies had lots of “science” about how cigarettes didn’t hurt anyone!

      The average person cannot read a single research study and accurately state what it did or did not prove. So saying they are not trusting “science” is utterly irrelevant as they don’t know how to read science, let alone decide whether to trust or distrust it.

      25 years ago, I was diagnosed with T2 diabetes and told by my doctors and the American Diabetes Association to eat a low-fat diet. Yet, veterinarians recommend every OTHER animal eat a low-carb diet when diabetic. This made me curious.

      Since I was a PhD candidate in biochemistry at the time, I spent a week in the library reading the blood glucose profiles of normal, T1 and T2 diabetics eating carb, protein, fat and various mixtures (this was before bG meters were commonly available). And I realized the ADA recommendation and my doctor’s advice had NO basis in science whatsoever.

      In short, I now have 25 years of experience trusting science OVER what the “experts” tell me.

      But… most people simply can’t do that as they can’t read and understand the scientific literature. Most people do NOT trust science, but trust “experts”, who may well be lying or honestly mistaken.

      In the case of diabetics, the lid was blown once we got bG meters and could see for ourselves what various foods did to us.

      But we have not similar “nutrition” meter to tell us when food “science” is full of crap.

  32. Joe says

    “…depending on the oranges you made it from.” This sentence ends with a preposition, which can turn audiences against your credibility. Granted, not many, but in my opinion it isn’t worth it.

    • says

      Of all the nitpicky things to point out while ignoring the actual meat of the article, this is possibly the silliest, especially because it’s not a real grammar rule. The prohibition on ending sentences that way is an import from other languages but it’s too clunky in English to apply across the board, and is not actually a rule in standard English.

      The issue at hand here isn’t what juice you drink, or concentrate vs/ non-concentrate, or any other argument about what things to buy or not buy at the supermarket. The issue is that we live in a country where food is constantly being modified (for good or ill) without our knowledge.

  33. Rebekah says

    Milk or water for us (or homemade iced tea, in the summer). I rarely buy fruit juice, because I know it’s really just sugar without the good stuff! I’d much rather buy whole fruit. Now I have another reason to do so. :)

    @Lori (Laurel of Leaves)– I think J had an honest question. It’s unkind to assume that someone is “being paid” just because he doesn’t immediately agree with you.

    • Colin says

      You do realize that the milk that you buy in the store is also very different than what comes out of the cow, right? It doesn’t taste or smell near what it originally does, but if it did I doubt your children would drink it.

      Sometimes a little bit of processing actually makes a product better to consume.

      • says

        More palatable, perhaps. Better is subjective in this case, and it is far from being “a little” processing, isn’t it?

        • justin says

          well, as long as you realize you are drinking another animals secretions, which no other animal in nature does…

          • Marija says

            I think it is safe to assume that Ann Marie’s children know perfectly well where cow milk comes from. And probably goat milk and other types of milk, too. And so does mine. He’s visited the cows and even watched milking. Unlike most US children, who have no idea that the dead white liquid in the plastic jug actually came from anywhere but the factory where they completely altered the nutritional value and molecular structure of the previously healthy living food. Besides, many other animals would drink cow milk if they were smart enough to get the cow to stand still long enough. (And some do find ways!)

      • Cecilia Long says

        OMG. Where do you get that idea? Raw milk fresh from the grass fed cow and cold chilled is the best tasting thing ever! More kids would drink milk if they had access to good milk and not that store bought crap.

      • says

        Ummm, we DO buy milk as it comes from the cow, not as it comes from the grocery store.

        Your notions about what is palatable are… very inaccurate.

        It is like saying Cremora actually tastes better than cream! Or margarine is really yummier than butter!

        It’s just not so.

  34. Jags says

    A really awesome researched article!
    I firmly believe that 99% of the man-made things around us, actually do us more harm then good.
    A remeber reading an article on harmful effects of soap and why we really dont need it.

    All a business cares about is money. They just dont give a damn to the slow poison they are feeding to kids. And ofcourse it cant happen without the goverment’s silent approval.
    Not sure when this endless hunger for money is going to end.

    apologies for the sad tone of the comment.
    now i am heading off to reading the other posts on ur site.

    thanks for giving me one more weapon to add to my list, which i will use whenever i will tell someone why using things directly from nature is a good thing :)

    • G says

      >> “A remeber reading an article on harmful effects of soap and why we really dont need it.”

      That’s so strange. I remember reading like 20 articles on why soap is a good thing. What do you think most doctors say?

      >> “All a business cares about is money. They just dont give a damn to the slow poison they are feeding to kids.”

      Sure, businesses care about money. I mean, who doesn’t care about money? But I’m pretty sure most CEOs would feel it’s rather unfortunate if they, say, accidentally killed a kid. And they also absolutely care if their business is killing kids.

      Furthermore, products in the US are actually EXTREMELY safe compared to what you see in developing country. Or haven’t you noticed how they took all the diving boards out of public pools, and how our drinking water doesn’t make you sick?

      And nothing at all in this article is saying that this is poison or is killing kids. They’re extracting a chemical FROM oranges and putting it BACK into oranges at a later date. It’s worth recognizing that the product isn’t as “natural” as it seems, but not natural != dangerous.

      • says

        “Furthermore, products in the US are actually EXTREMELY safe compared to what you see in developing country.”

        Considering that many human trials are conducted in “Third World” nations, I’m not sure I trust that we have the whole story there. Seen the documentary “Certain Adverse Events” yet? Those are human trials here in this country.

        “And nothing at all in this article is saying that this is poison or is killing kids. They’re extracting a chemical FROM oranges and putting it BACK into oranges at a later date. It’s worth recognizing that the product isn’t as “natural” as it seems, but not natural != dangerous.”

        True – Kristen’s article simply points out a hidden aspect of how food products reach our table. That this particular business practice hasn’t been widespread public knowledge isn’t by itself shocking – may I suggest you watch “Food, Inc.”? Not natural is the story of what you eat and how it is processed – we’re getting food products, not food (there is a difference). Caveat emptor is not how I want to shop for food, but if we don’t watch out for what goes in us, it can kill us.

      • says

        Ummm… yeah, corporations are perfectly willing to KILL kids for money. Look up the Nestle boycott, where they prefer making money over not killing third world children. Course, they’re not REAL babies, being brown and all.

        On the bright side, Hershey is only willing to enslave children for their profits, not actively kill them.

        I don’t understand how anyone can possibly be so naive about corporations in a world where Kraft Foods owns Phillip Morris… COURSE they want to harm kids, why else would you sell Velveeta and Marlboros?

  35. jokergirl says

    Why am I drinking juice? Because it tastes good, and gives me water and sugar when I feel the need for it.

    And because even if it does not have fibers, it does have vitamin C (I know that Vitamin C is slightly below the “not worth it” bar when it comes to supplements but having a normal supply is still good.)

    The thing with the flavour packs is weird because of the amount of work that goes into it when compared to just making the juice. I don’t really think they’re dangerous, though.

  36. says

    I heard about this initially on CBC radio when they were interviewing the author of “Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice”. Very interesting but not very surprising. We don’t drink juice normally but my husband does occasionally bring home the so-called fresh 100% juice. Sometimes I bring home the real thing from our local farmer’s market for a special treat, but it’s so expensive it’s not likely we’ll over do it!

  37. Melinda says

    Wow. I decided never to give my daughter juice for as long as we could get away with it. We are going on three years and most people think it’s weird. I must admit my reasons were simpler, but now I feel even better about my decision. Thanks!

  38. says

    Weird, I knew about this in bits and pieces but never put it together. My mom’s parents were orange pickers, and they worked from late November through February. I recall asking my grandmother how we could get orange juice year round and she said they either froze it or vacuum packed it. Vacuum packing is de-aeration.

    My mom worked at a Donald Duck orange juice plant in Florida in the 1970’s. Her job was to skim the rats off the top of the vats of juice that were being reconstituted. I never really considered how the juice was processed that it would need to be reconstituted.

    • Andrea says

      Omg… did you say skim the RATS? as in RODENTS? I hope that’s not what you meant to say. I might be sick!

        • says

          Wow, that is truly disgusting.

          What I find interesting is that everyone is getting all worked up about whether or not the orange juice has added chemicals, and whether or not these chemicals are bad for us.

          What about the fact that juice is pasteurized? People drink juice for the antioxidants, but when you pasteurize the juice, you lose the antioxidants. So what’s the point of drinking it?

          • mb says

            Thank you, some one is finally thinking outside the box… another point is all the enzymes are killed, some minerals too. The list probably goes on, the point is eat them fresh or squeeze them fresh!

            • says

              Pastuerization certainly destroys vitamins, other antioxidants and enzymes.

              But it is really not going to effect mineral content at all. Poor husbandry practices depeleting the soil is why our food is mineral-deficient; pasteurization doesn’t come into it really.

  39. Chris says

    So this who big point of this article is that the major orange juice companies have lied to us?

    I mean it’s extremely interesting that these juice companies manufacture the flavor, but how does that affect ones health? The articled ended basically saying that if your trying to be healthy juice is a bad choice anyways (all that liquid sugar your consuming).

    Is this really going to affect the juice that people buy? Its still the same juice, same nutritional content, same flavor (as you are used to) but a different process in which you assumed it was made.

    Maybe its because I’m not a health food advocate, but I just don’t understand the shock people are going through.

    If we found that this process affected peoples health, then that would be something to be shocked about.

  40. ankur sethi says

    Excellent article. My wife is from India and she won’t drink any packaged juices. According to Ayurveda the fruit starts to lose it’s good qualities 15min after being cut. So if we have juice we juice it ourselves ($60 juicer, works great). And we don’t keep any foods in the refrigator to eat the next day. Cook it and eat it fresh. We do have some breads and some frozen soya, but that’s it.

  41. Logical Thinker says

    OMG! Its a CHEMICAL!?!?!??!!?

    Who cares about the flavor packs or manipulation? Is there any *evidence* to believe that this stuff is harmful?

    • G says

      I’m mostly with you there.

      But, many people argue the following: if it’s a natural compound, we have millions of years to say that it’s probably reasonably healthy. (Generally, it’s assumed that we know if something natural is poisonous.)

      But with a new chemical compound, the same sort of implicit “research” hasn’t been known. So, many people believe, we need research to show that it IS okay.

  42. Nichol Miller-Doula via Facebook says

    Yes, yes I can believe that. I get that response from much of my family when I point out the dangers of the food they eat.

  43. says

    Unfortunately, I see that often :( But… you have to press forward. Maybe this will plant the seed in their head… that nagging, irritating voice that you just want to squash that keeps preaching the news… and someday… someday, they’ll listen.

  44. Za Kocher via Facebook says

    That’s so weird, bc yesterday as I read the article I was thinking how not everyone would care, only those who are concerned about the misleading information and have realized how it HAS had an effect on health. How do you prove what’s surrounding us ( sickness, cancer, unexplainable autoimmune disorders )
    Food definitley has been turned into a drug. With all the addictive nonfood ingredients. You go to a crack addict tell them it’ll cause death, they go back to it anyway. The ones who *really* want to quit hear reason. Also, like a smoker, inhalation of smoke is damaging, depletes of water, inhibits mineral absorption, do they care? Meh, when its convenient.

  45. says

    Thanks for the encouragement! I’m easily riled up when I see how our culture is perpetuating the most vast nutritional experiment ever conducted in human history, yet demanding that the burden of proof be placed on the traditionalists (who have the weight of history behind them) and not the innovators (who have only just started reaping what they’ve sown in terms of diseases of civilization).

  46. says

    I was just saying this today about how there are people who simple do not want to be bothered with the facts. I feel that we are all beings that must do our part and help one another when we can. But first and foremost I believe we must take care of ourselves and then we can help those that we are able to. So it is my stance that for those who do not care or want to know the facts – fine – but do not block or interfere with the information and messages of people that do want this material. I realized how frustrating it has become in my own life and career in healthcare when people want to debate. i am not here to debate. I am here to teach; as I learn I teach. We are ever changing and so is information. We must simply remain conscious that is all. Keep this information alive and flowing because we DO need it.

  47. Nichol Miller-Doula via Facebook says

    It is infuriating. I have so many major issues with the FDA and what they get away with not disclosing vs the way they handle real food. (did you see the article about walnuts being classified as a drug?)

    • Jaytee says

      The FDA needs to be seriously scaled back and their mission needs to be redefined as they have their noses in a lot of things outside of food and drug safety. And they are failing us. From GMO foods to helping to wipe out small farmers, the FDA is not trustworthy at all.

  48. Rachel Marchese Roberts via Facebook says

    I don’t find that surprising at all – I think it’s the vast majority of people who don’t care to research or believe any of this information. And they are the same people who will tell you their health is seriously failing and they have no idea why, “probably my terrible genetics” they say. lol

  49. says

    @Debbie — You remind me of a friend of mine who has 5 kids and has to feed a family of 7 on about $500/month. They make an annual grass-fed beef order, buy raw milk, and buy staples (like wheat & coconut oil) in bulk buying clubs. BUT they buy everything else at the grocery store and try to make the best decisions they can with what the store carries. Sometimes this friend would walk into the store to buy groceries… and walk out with nothing an hour later in frustration. She had to send her husband to buy their essentials because she was too avid a label reader and too knowledgeable about how food is processed to feel good about ANY of her choices.

    • J'Nai says

      I hate that it comes down to that. I am 22 and in college. I work full time but it’s hard to afford the natural raw diet I want for myself. I become very obsessive about labels and knowing what’s in my food and there are times I also want to give up and just eat whatever or not eat at all. I know that none of the choices I make will be good they’ll be compromises. I hate that our own government is not here to protect us. It’s hard to network and connect with others when your state could care less about farmers’ markets, real food, bettering the state by local means, etc. I feel like we need to start a support group around here. I am currently studying to become a certified health coach so that I can give to others the knowledge I’m gaining and HOPEFULLY some of them will make better decisions. How do we not let trying to provide a healthier lifestyle for ourselves and our families stress us out?

  50. says

    It’s sad. My brother-in-law is like that. Always poo-pooed anything I had to say on health matters, and now he’s diabetic and I’m not. And he’s likely to stay that way, because he believes the lies the American Diabetic says about “managing” care. Forget managing it; cure it like so many others have!

  51. says

    Thanks for this thread! I was a bit low yesterday after seeing the comments made regarding “blueberries” in processed food items from another forum. They were verging on violent, as if they wanted to tear the heads off of anyone who chooses to discern ethics from complacency. I was just an observer of comments and chose not to participate, however, I am reminded once again that indeed the only thing we can do is provide the info and set the example. There will always be someone who’s ears are primed to hear and eyes are made wide open. They’ve travelled a journey that rendered them able to learn and that’s why we’re here. I am so thankful for this forum, for the real food bloggers, the holistic medicine forums, the politics of food/med bloggers….This is actually an isolating life to lead for many since having an entire family on board may be rare but as long as I have a community to retreat too, one that educates responsibly and lives by example, that’s enough to keep me going. Keep up the amazing work, even amongst the negatives.

  52. Nicole Lynn Kraft via Facebook says

    I know, it’s baffling to me. I just dont get why you need a study to tell you that drinking perfume is not ok. Bizarre.

    • Citrusgeek says

      Let me get this correct. Taking a couple of whole oranges, putting them in a blender and straining the juice and drinking it is like drinking perfume?

  53. Heather Hill-Cantrall via Facebook says

    Even aside from the “flavor packs” I had no idea that they store the juice in vats for up to a YEAR! That grosses me out, I haven’t been a juice consumer for at least 5 years but it still makes me feel ill. How do you call something fresh when it’s been stored for a year?!

  54. Sheri Stubbs via Facebook says

    we are definitely making changes in our home as to what products we buy/use! If anyone is interested I can talk to them about being greener & safer! My website is
    And Keria is right…everyone makes their own choices, you can only do so much! :)

  55. Valerie says

    I learned about one of these plants that make flavors and the chemicals used to make them, its really scary stuff! I am glad we have a juicer it may be messy but at least we know what we’re consuming.

  56. The pragmatist says

    Interesting information, but in reality, most Americans will not benefit from it. We are a family of 6, four kids in college (all of them working part-time to help with tuition). My husband managed to keep his job by accepting a transfer to a city 53 miles away. His salary was trimmed to 39,00 per year; I recently became unemployed. Organic vegetables and fruits, dairy products and meats, not to mention grains, are WAY beyond our budget. We have no suitable space for gardening and livestock is not allowed by local zoning ordinances. Rather than spend about 5/6 of our income on food that’s “better” for us (yes I priced it out), we choose to pay our small mortgage, wear clothing, keep our two older cars running and pay our utility bills.Yes, I shop at the evil, evil local grocer and no, I am not ashamed to do so.

    • Cromulent Croc says

      You’re right, healthier food is expensive, and it certainly seemed even more when I was at college and working part-time like your kids.

      We’re caught in a vicious loop where more of us would buy better food if only we could afford it, but the food won’t get affordable until more of us buy it. I’d suggest looking at some of the recipes on this blog. Kombucha certainly looks fascinating.

      Also, since you seem to have put some thought into this and run the numbers, try and see if changing one or two things might be feasible. Can you change only your milk? Or cut down on fizzy drinks? Every small step helps, and a diet with only one or two healthy components is still a couple of steps ahead of one with none at all.

    • Ellere says

      Uh, it’s cheaper to NOT buy fruit juice and to drink tap water instead. Not really sure what you are arguing about.

    • J'Nai says

      The food is not “better” it’s BETTER. I agree with Croc, you have thought it out so you should find ways to x out small grocery store items that you can live without or replace at a local farmer’s market or health food store. It really isn’t so hard, even when you have a family. And no one is saying grocery stores are evil and you should even be ashamed to go to them. We have to eat, we have to survive, we do what we have to do to make that happen. But making a decision to do that the best way possible is what counts. Kristen also has a blog on if you want to start eating better and you’re new to it all. She emphasizes baby steps. You should check it out, it helped me a lot.

  57. Drake says

    I find this shocking because I always thought the flavor was of freshly squeezed oranges, not a “flavor pack” that is added to emulate the original flavor of oranges; it essentially is an artificial flavor. Realizing that orange juice is no longer authentic has made me reconsider my OJD, obsessive juice disorder, Florida’s Natural with pulp 😉

    Now the question left is whether to get a Vitamix or the blender from Will it Blend?

  58. Mike V. says

    Kristen M. Great column. I drink a lot of orange juice and V8 juice. Will have to rethink the fruit juices! Sigh! Does the same principle for juices apply to vegetable juices/drinks, such as V8? Thanks in advance for any insight!

    • KristenM says

      Hi Mike,

      I don’t know. As I shared in a comment above, most of the information in this post originated from the book Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice, so it all pertains to how orange juice is processed. I don’t know how other juices are processed, only that after this I wouldn’t be surprised to discover something equally as disturbing.

  59. Cromulent Croc says

    So the oxygen is removed to prevent bacterial growth, but also accidentally removes the flavour molecules. Then the flavour is added back by extracting it from oranges. I fail to see which part of this I should be panicking about.

    “has more to do with chemistry than nature” Excuse me? That which you romanticise as nature is still chemistry. I appreciate your sentiment and do try to limit my consumption of juices and pop (they’re delicious, and I’m sure our bodies can take the occasional hit without falling apart), but separating nature from science and setting them up as rivals is a disservice to your readers, and simply incorrect.

    • KristenM says

      I’m not trying to separate nature from science, but rather natural foods from industrial foods. I can see where my language may have been confusing. Long time readers of my site know that I love science, even if I believe that nutrition science is still in its infancy.

    • Cromulent Croc says

      Is it really healthier if I haven’t got my pants on? Oh god, I’ve been doing it wrong all these years!

  60. Anya says

    Truly, truly disturbing. I think what’s more disturbing is that a lot of people won’t care one bit.

  61. Colin says

    This article only presents a narrow view of this. I’ll still have no problem buying juice. If we listen to all this “good advice” we’ll be eating only grass and drinking only water in no time!

    • Ellere says

      There is nothing wrong with drinking water. Grass is not healthy and much to hard for humans to digest.

      If you have some information that can expand the view, please share it.

    • says

      Colin, the vast majority of humans were raised without the “convenience” of foods we have today – and did not eat grass!

      There is real food. Meat raised on grass or pastured, eggs from hens that eat bugs and weeds, there actual milk straight from a cow, butter made from actual cream, vegetables, fruit, even actual whole (unground) grains.

      I eat several times a day and have never eaten grass yet!

      Today, I had homemade juice when I woke, then a cup of coffee. For breakfast, I had scrambled eggs and yogurt (REAL yogurt, made from milk and cultures and nothing else) flavored with honey. For lunch, I had a salad topped with avocado and raw cheese and homemade dressing, an apple/pecan muffin, and some sardines. Afternoon snack was a cup of homemade chicken broth with coconut cream stirred in. Dinner will be grass-fed pot roast slow-cooked with carrots and onions in real homemade broth, red wine and rosemary (I made a BIG batch on Sunday). If hungry before bed, I’ll have a grapefruit, a pomegranate or some cooked apples that are in the fridge.

      The trick is not to eat anything that your great-grandmother (or someone else’s) wouldn’t have eaten. Back then, there was no industrialized food production system making cheap orange juice year-round; there were oranges at Christmas as a special treat.

  62. says

    Nice post. ‘Squeezed’ is a fantastic book, and Alissa Hamilton does a great job of following details of the FDA hearings that led to the current state of orange juice labeling and production methods.

    It should be said though, that the ‘simple’ method you propose for making orange juice (“Pick oranges. Squeeze them. Put the juice in a carton and voilà!”) isn’t even possible without nearly instant spoilage. The problem is that every method that prevents OJ from turning into brown rotten slop also strips it of flavor (pasteurization, concentrating, etc). Hence the science project of reproducing the lost flavors using essence and flavoring.

    Fresh-squeezed is the best way to go, and worth the inconvenience. I did a blind-tasting for a group of friends between fresh-squeezed and a high-dollar packaged brand and everyone was stunned at how superior the fresh stuff was.

  63. says

    Pretty interesting article. Especially the flavor part learning that it is made from an Orange initially.

    OK, so therefore, if I am a chemical wizard, and I can extract at very low-level (atom level let’s say) from a product, and with these atom create another product from scratch, then I can say that it comes from the first product. That is not a lie, but the information about the transformation has not been said and well that could influence the end product. Then we should ask ourself… is there information we are missing in our food labelling law? Probably.

    If they say “Natural Juice”, then can they still alter the product? I guess it all depends of the law. Law are created, law changes over time. I am often not agreeing with it (even the one that seem to be “good” law to people’s eyes, I can understand why they were created, and even why they can work in a mass level, but they are not necessary always right). People also tend to mix fundamentally good/bad with legal/illegal.

    Having said all this… the other question to ask before judging… health-wise, are these “flavor packs” dangerous? not dangerous? unknown but considered harmless? etc.?

    Now as the article say: if we only extract a part of the initial food product, then we are missing other parts of it. If we suppose that these food are naturally perfect (which I cannot say), then we are breaking a perfect food. I used to say nature is perfect, but then naturally we die (and while it might still be perfect, I don’t like it!). It all depends how you define perfect.

    AFAIK on the nutrition facts label of Orange Juice, there is not only sugar in it, there is protein, vitamins, etc.

  64. Aaron says

    as much as i like to be informed, stories like these are useless to me if they can’t cite a single documented fact which supports their thesis. quoting another editorial blog and calling it a “source” is just lazy writing, and doesn’t actually defend what you’re saying. you may as well write, “this is true because alissa hamilton said so”.

    If what you’ve described here is in fact true, then it’s something we should be spreading around and informing people of. unfortunately, with no factual sources to back the claim up, it just goes in the propaganda pile as far as i’m concerned.

    • KristenM says

      Hi Aaron,

      You are welcome to read Alissa Hamilton’s book on the subject, which was published by Yale University Press. The information in this post originated from her book Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice. There’s plenty of thorough documentation in the book.

      You’ll notice that you’re not at a news site, but a personal blog I maintain specifically to challenge conventional wisdom regarding food and nutrition. I’m not a journalist; I’m a blogger. I’m not a scientist or doctor; I’m a homeschooling mother of three. And while I try to blog responsibly and check out the sources I cite, it’s also not my job to write something worthy of a scientific journal.

    • J'Nai says

      I think you need to check the website you came to. This is a BLOG, a personal opinion backed up by some kind of facts and research on either the author’s part or someone(s) who’s lived it or a scientific finding, not a science column written for Harvard research. The problem with Americans is we’re so quick to be defensive and want to see “hard facts” but it really is all right there for us! If you read an article about artificial sweetener, msg, etc it all fits together in the end. I don’t understand why everyone wants to argue. Just sit back and take the information in. If you’re confused, say something, if you have a rude opinion or a wrongful judgement keep it to yourself!

    • sa'ada says

      you are talking to the author about sources and citing when you couldn’t even figure out from the article that it was based on information from a book, not from ‘another editorial blog’?

      well, now you know. it’s sourced and cited; it’s true. so when are you going to start spreading it around and informing people?

    • G says

      I think you can make a reasonable assumption that if it’s available all year round, they’re doing something funky to it.

  65. Terri says

    Really useful and helpful article. Thank you! I would have never known or even thought to suspect that this kind of thing was going on.

  66. Yannis Guerra says

    Very interesting information.
    The only thing that I have against your approach is that you are falling into the fallacy that if it’s natural it has to be better. It is important to clarify that nowhere you have shown that there are any health benefits/dangers in using one type of juice over the other. The fact that it has been processed has no bearing on it, unless you have clear cut evidence of health differences.
    While I agree with your statement about the increased calories due to the concentration of sugar, the rest of the post is more of a food philosophy position than a reality based one. Unless you show us data.
    It’s like the assumption that organic food is better for you just because it is organic. At the moment it seems that there is no difference actually.

    • Merivel says

      You are being fooled by the framing of the article you liked to. In fruits and veggies, it is not the nutrition that is different (organic, grass-fed meats and animal products DO have demonstrably more nutrients, lower fat/cholesterol, etc), but it’s rather what you are NOT getting with your fruits and veggies that make organics superior. Namely, when you buy organic you avoid ingesting carcinogens, hormone disruptors, neurological toxins, etc.

      From which is all nicely annotated with studies and publications:

      “For example, CDC data show that the average American child between the ages of six and eleven carries unacceptable levels of the organophosphorus pesticides, chlorpyrifos and methyl parathion, both of which are known to have neurotoxic properties. It should also be noted that the human health effects of low dose, chronic exposure to many of these pesticides is listed as “unknown” by the CDC.

      Children are especially susceptible to the harmful effects of pesticide residues due to their lower body mass, rapid development, and higher rates of consumption of affected products. In children, exposure to certain pesticides from residues in food can cause delayed development; disruptions to the reproductive, endocrine, and immune systems; certain types of cancer; and damage to other organs. FPrenatal exposure to certain pesticides can affect cognitive development and behavior. Several studies have found that pesticide levels in children dropped to low or undetectable levels when test subjects consumed an organic diet. ”

      If not eating poison isn’t enough of a selling point for organics, consider the farm workers who work with these chemicals because you create demand for “standard” food. Or the land and water of the “farm” where they grown. Or the bees that try to pollinate crops contaminated with pesticides that don’t discriminate between beneficial and harmful insects.

      Honestly, we all need to decide whether we’d rather pay a farmer or a doctor. It really is that simple.

  67. tudza says

    Well, I can’t see anything wrong with the process you have described. Still, if you don’t like the sound of it, making your own is a reasonable solution. A couple things came to mind.

    I see that it takes 2.5 pounds of grapes to make a bottle of wine. That’s actually less than I thought, but still I’d rather drink a bottle of wine than eat 2.5 pounds of grapes.

    Many alcoholic beverages are mixed to create the desired flavor and make a consistent product. Why should producers of orange juice not do this?

    There there are alcoholic products that don’t do this and either assume their buyers can live with a slight difference from year to year or they do lots of work to ensure a standard taste. All the special work required raises the cost of the final product. I’m thinking Johnnie Walker vs single malts here.

  68. Greg says

    you know, MSG is natural not engineered, the MS part is half of sea-salt and the G is organic. Way to go off saying you’re not afraid of science and then sound like a total kook on MSG.

    The reason I drink “fresh OJ” is an economy of scale issue, I can’t make it that cheaply or efficiently. I like the sweetness of some brands and I trust the pulp.

    • KristenM says

      Hi Greg,

      By your definition, just about anything would be “natural” so long as its base components originated in nature. That’s totally besides my point. By using the words natural and unnatural, I’m not trying to pit nature against science, or nature against artificial/synthetic. I’m trying to pit pre-industrial food (what I’m calling “natural”) against industrial food. It wasn’t until 1907 that we learned how to isolate MSG and add it to foods as a flavor enhancer. That strikes me as very much a part of the industrial revolution of food, and not part of traditional cuisine at all. Hence my use of the words “engineered” and “unnatural.”

      The parenthetical(!) point I was making is that while sometimes we ought to be concerned about food additives themselves (like MSG), in this post that’s not my focus.

      I hope that helps clarify my statement.

    • says

      MSG is an excitotoxin…sure you want a lot of that in your system? Naturally occurring is one thing, adulterating food with a product to make one think it is tastier than it normally is (in its natural state) is not natural at all. You can call it what you like; product tampering seems to fit for me.

  69. David says

    Who cares? You state yourself that it has the real orange concentrate in it, albeit it is flavorless. What does it matter what it tastes like after they’ve added an artificial flavor in it? We like the taste, right?

    Unless the “flavor packs” are actually harmful I don’t see why this is a problem. The only thing I see that might be a problem with is that they’re not overly transparent about the process. But why do they need to be if the product is quality and it is proven to be harmless?

    If you want real juice, make it. If you want convenience and a reliable product, buy orange juice.

    Overall, confused by the purpose of this post.

    • says

      @David I think you just made her point.

      To paraphrase:

      If you want convenience and a reliable product, buy orange juice.

      If you want REAL FOOD, make it out of oranges.

      See the difference?

      When you overly process food in factories, they are changed and no longer qualify as “real food”.

      Other cases in point:

      Wonder Bread
      Soy milk
      Canola oil
      Pasteurized, homogenized milk

      I could go on but I’ll stop here.

  70. Rob says

    “I’m not questioning the health or merit of added chemicals (“natural” or “synthetic”); I’m questioning the health or merit of so-called foods that are so devoid of flavor or color that we have to add back in chemical flavorings and colors to make them palatable”

    And yet, you talk about making your own lemonade above. I don’t know about you, but drinking a glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice doesn’t sound very palatable, which is why we add things like sugar (or agave nector or whatever sweetening agent you choose). I honestly don’t see the difference. Just because companies add the chemicals back into the juice that were there before (and many organic aromatic compounds do exist naturally in oranges) doesn’t mean it’s bad for you.

  71. Amanda says

    Does anyone have an suggestion for ‘weening’ my 4yo juice junkie off the….well, juice!?!?!?! I’ve really been wanting to stop juice for various reasons, this just add to the list. I wonder if I should just go cold turkey on her. Any tips would really help.


    • Marija says

      I suggest adding water to the juice to dilute it, (gradually increasing the ratio of water to juice) as well as providing alternatives as Ann Marie suggested. Sometimes we put frozen blueberries into water like ice cubes or other fun things. My 4 year old likes to drink herbal teas. Fruity ones give a lot of color. Also moving to making your own juice is a huge improvement over the store juice. Then work up to more “challenging” homemade beverages like lactofermented ginger ale or water kefir… Good luck!

  72. Beth says

    This sort of thing drives me nuts!! I have a child with many severe food allergies. She is very sensitive to lots of things. I will buy orange juice about twice a year on special occasions and mix it with plain seltzer for the kids. The last time I did this she reacted to it. But she is fine with oranges. Now I know why. I won’t buy it anymore. If I want to do this in the future I will juice my own.

  73. says

    Thanks so much for this post. The issue is informing and educating people. Personally, I think that orange juice advertising and packaging is highly misleading. I didn’t drink much juice before I learned of this process a few years ago I certainly don’t drink it now. I’m wondering what percentage of the general public would continue to buy OJ if they were fully aware of how it was made?

    There is a place for from concentrate juices–I love Minute Maid lime aid in my margaritas when I’m making a huge batch! But I don’t drink them every day and I certainly don’t think if my margarita as a healthful drink.

  74. Elizabeth says

    @John Evans

    “It sounds like these are substances that have been used as flavorings for years, so there have to have been lots of studies about how safe they are.”

    Have you heard of the GRAS list(Generally recognized as safe)? There are many substances that are not adequately tested, and are only taken off the market when a problem arises.The toy industry operates in much the same way.I don’t know if these oj additives are harmful or not, but it is awfully trusting to believe that people who have a profit motive truly have our best interests at heart.

  75. dizizcamron says

    So could this actually be an argument FOR concentrated juice? I don’t know what is involved in that process, other than removing most of the water and making it cold. if concentrated juice is just the actual juice with the water taken out and then put back in it actually seems more natural to me than the process described in the post.

  76. says

    That totally makes sense! The part I disagree with is what you said about juicing in general. Juicing is extremely healthy. In order to eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables each day, one would have to be eating practically all day. And as far as your assertion that it takes 6-8 medium apples to make one cup, that’s completely off. 3 apples will make a serving of juice. Sure, it’s a little more expensive to juice, but you’re able to give your body the nutrients it needs in 1 glass, as opposed to 2 plates (per meal). I juice every breakfast and dinner, and have never felt better!

  77. DerpW says

    Wow, be more inaccurate in your article. For one thing, you cite other blogs, bastions of insight into the food industry and completely unbiased, as your sources. If you’re going to fall back on the book, fall back on the book. Don’t be lazy (this from someone telling me to squeeze my own damn juice). The fact that they call the flavors added “flavor packs” shows just how speculative and clueless you and your sources are. No one in the industry calls them flavor packs. I work for one of the top 5 flavor houses in the world, so I’d like to think I know what I’m talking about, versus some bloggers trying to gather page views.

    You mention throwing away years of development and advances that protect, feed and nourish you. Genius. Let’s all do that and see if we can all stay as well fed and healthy as we are in this country. Oh wait? We can’t. Aww. The fact is that the “industrial food system” in this country is the only reason why we’re not starving or dying of pathogens. There are simply too many people to not have this system in place. How do you think we got to the size we are today?

    Building on top of this, yes, make your own juice. Go ahead. As you said, it takes 6-8 apples to make one glass of apple juice. So after buying all that and taking the time to do so, what are you going to with all the pulp and leftover waste? Since you are probably a useless hippie, you’ll compost it. But most everyone else will throw it away. Do you know that the industry puts everything they get from fruit to work? They don’t waste a damn thing. So while the pectin from the apples is making jam, the pulp is being made into those “horrid chemically altered by-products” that you ramble about. They aren’t altered. If they were, they wouldn’t be natural and wouldn’t be allowed in a product listed as 100% juice. They are simply extracted. Do you even realize that food IS chemicals? No matter what you eat, it is full of scary sounding chemicals. You’d probably shit bricks if you looked at the chemical composition of coffee.

    The labeling isn’t misleading; it’s just not what you want to see or hear. You want to see OJ that just says “Ingredients: ORANGES”. Sorry honey, that’s not how the real world works and if it did, are you going to pay $20 a gallon for that OJ? Do you expect Mr & Mrs Middle of Nowhere Kansas, who both work at Walmart to pay that much?

    The way the OJ producers do what they do is a necessity. For a universally homogeneous product, lower costs and to avoid any crop related issues. While you are upset that the product you drink originally came from something devoid of flavor, so do a lot of things, “industrial” or not.

    Again, you are very uninformed and rely on applying scare tactics (e.g. Oh noes, chemicals!) to make a point. Yet another case of giving people a voice when their voice should not be listened to.

    • says


      “…see if we can all stay as well fed and healthy as we are in this country”

      Wow, you really believe Americans are healthy? Have you looked at the obesity/cancer/diabetes/heart disease/etc. rates lately? Wake up!

    • RightOn says

      Preach on brother. People fear what they do not understand. I read this article, and thought to myself … And you’re point is … what, exactly? This isn’t any kind of “big secret” either. Has anyone viewing this site been to the Tropicana website and read their “Grove to Glass” page? It describes this exact process. What a shocker! The entire process is subject to government oversight, which means it is all public information. If you want to REALLY understand the process go to and read what the actual process is without all the scary allusions. You might be shocked to find that concentrating juice is actually a GREEN concept as it reduces the amount of energy used to store and transport the juice. When you are talking about millions upon millions of gallons of juice, that turns into a LARGE amount of energy very quickly. The documents are full of points such as this, but you have to do more that just read a few paragraphs on a blog to fully understand.

    • sa'ada says

      “The fact is that the “industrial food system” in this country is the only reason why we’re not starving or dying of pathogens. There are simply too many people to not have this system in place. How do you think we got to the size we are today?”

      yes, you’re right. the industrial food system is how we got to the size we are today.

    • E says

      If any points were to be made it your reply, they went out the door immediately when you chose to throw low-blows like “useless hippie”. If you’ll take a look around, she uses everything – such as animal carcasses to make broth.

      She’s not telling people to stop drinking juice. SHE HAS NO AUTHORITY. She is making a point known that many consumers are unaware of. Any responsible person will search into the matter and not just take every single thing – from you, her, or anyone else – at face value. However, she cites a book published by Yale University Press.

      With her compelling argument, the point that juice really isn’t the best way to get nutrients from fruit, and citation of a respected publisher, versus your pathetic insults and sarcasm, I’d say, even from this very skeptical blog reader, that I’d agree with the blogger.

  78. says

    “If I’m describing you, then you’re either going to hate me or love me by the time you’re done reading this post. ”

    A little bit of both, actually. I drink juice fairly often, and I always insist on buying the “100% juice” stuff. But you’re right, the only way to know what goes in your food is to make it yourself.

  79. Sarah says

    Thanks for these articles. So interesting to read. I am so amazed that info like this isn’t common knowledge to most people. It is so easy to leave the blinkers on and not worry. I have three little kids, so i am constantly reading labels and am aware of the traps. I get really angry at what these companies think is ok to feed humans!! But, it comes down to us. We have a choice. When we buy a product we are saying it is ok that you do what you do. Lets make good choices Look forward to reading more.

  80. says

    By the way, even I was wrong in my apples-to-juice estimate. Last night, I took 2 SMALL apples, and it made 1 and a quarter cups of juice. So, 8 apples will make FIVE cups of juice.

  81. ben says

    If the ingredient list on the carton, doesn’t list it, then what’s the difference between,

    “not from concentrate”


    “full strength pasteurized”

    Also Naked Juice and Bolthouse Farms both have orange juices that taste very similar to real juice made at home. So perhaps they have a better added packet formula, or they are keeping the oxygen/non de-aeration!

  82. Morning says

    Well, bummer! Thanks for information, I never knew that. We stopped drinking juice years ago but I do sometimes buy some OJ if we have colds during the winter, not because I feel like it makes us better but it is nice to drink when you have a cold. Now I will have to re-think that. Darn!

  83. Teresa (@PDXsays) Boze says

    Just look at the fruit juice labels. There’s as much calories in six-oz serving of fruit juice to be the average woman’s filling breakfast! That was enough to out me off fruit juice when the kids left home.

    Now that I know it’s stored in vats for *YEARS* I gotta wonder who in their right mind would eat that? The same people who let their kids have lunches of hot dogs and Twinkies? The poor who must subsist on government food programs and church food boxes?

    Last week, studies were released that have doctors thinking that the educational programs on diet aren’t working. With this kind of regulation in our consumer protection food chain regulation, its not hard to see why.

    And basically Eeeewwww!

  84. Michele B says

    Don’t orange/citrus growers also inject oranges/citrus fruits with something to make them “prettier” in the stores? My parents live in FL and used to have an orange tree in their yard. The oranges were kind of “ugly” but made the BEST juice EVER!!! They looked nothing like the oranges in the grocery store, which are bright orange, almost fake looking.

  85. says

    loved your article…Today i drank a full bottle of Minute made-pulp in orange flavor. Now i feel i have been cheated..y do these good for nothing companies fool us. Wish we could punish them.

  86. Charlie says

    you are not just a nut—you are the inside of a nut, a kernal! Oh, I forgot—those are bad for you too LOL

  87. says

    Thanks for sharing this! Just when you think even the simplest of foods, orange juice, is safe! I am so shocked and disappointed. Although really, I should not be shocked. We do not even drink juice, but I do buy oj concentrate to flavor the herb powder drinks I make for us to drink daily for health. I will have to look into alternatives, or just down it with no flavor enhancement. :)

    Nickole @

  88. says

    Wow!! Thanks for the information. Now I understand why I’ve always hated packaged juices and insist on freshly squeezed. My favorite orange juice in the world can be found at train stations in Spain and is made from Valencia oranges.

    Fortunately, I have taste buds that are very discerning, but unfortunately, I don’t have the pocketbook to buy the best of foods, but I do pretty good considering. I always prefer the higher priced butters but can’t afford them. I’m sure there’s something wrong with my land-o-lakes sweet butter, but it’s usually all that I can afford. Sometimes I splurge on the higher priced butters from the smaller farms.

    As an aside, I’ve been eating whole foods since I was 18. I’m now 49. When I went to the doctor in my mid 20s, he was shocked that I had a total cholesterol level of 100, especially since I had a very high fat diet. I suspected that this was due to eating healthier foods than most American’s eat and eating less meat. When I became homeless and dependent upon shelter food and other donated foods, my cholesterol shot up to 160 overnight.

    So in these times of big corporations controlling our food and deceiving us, the majority of American’s will be “poisoned.” My advice: do the best you can to get delicious, healthy food but don’t stress over it. Enjoy life to the fullest, even if you’re not getting everything that you need or want.

  89. says

    My thoughts while reading this post were, more or less, as follows… Uh-oh, duh, {forehead slap}, greeeeaaat, niiice, well that makes sense, we really should quit juice shouldn’t we…

    So, although I’ll never be able to look at a carton of OJ the same way again, thanks for an informative post. Good to know this stuff even if we don’t want to.

  90. deborah says

    Very interesting! I totaly argree that misleading advertising is a very bad thing. Some big companys are starting to become slightly more honest. Waitrose in the UK say on the lables (not under ingredients) of there organic concentrate orange & apple juices “with non-organic added aromas” I wondered what this meant & now I know! Its one thing to read the lables but its hard to understand everything.

    I doubt these aromas are dangerous & I think my kids would totally reble if I stopped buying it altogether, its cost effective & stores well but its another reason for me to find a way to buy a Vitamix!

  91. says

    I am 73yo. I raised two sons now in their 40’s. I never had fruit juice in the house because i could not afford it and instinctively felt that fresh or dried fruit was a better alternative. One processed drink i used daily was skim milk powder as it was more affordable for me than fresh milk. I wonder now what the scoop is on powered and canned milks. Does anyone know?

  92. says

    What a great post, and I’m so happy to have found your site via my friend, chef, and food educator Rachel Duboff. May I link to you from my website? For those readers you were referencing in your comment, in which you were shying away from questioning the health value of “added chemicals” – I recognize your point, which is that you’re focusing on the unpalatability of the food which requires the jazzing up – but personally I go right on ahead and question the health value of synthetic chemicals. I say, if it was cooked up in a lab (rather than the equivalent of a kitchen), don’t eat it! (Or at least, eat it sparingly as a “treat.”) Our bodies did not evolve in a world in which chemicals that have been invented in a lab were prevalent, and by and large, we do not metabolize them well. We should eat the way we evolved to eat.

    And to the person who questioned your advice about avoiding (or limiting) juice: it’s true, frui juice is trouble. Vegetable juice likely has low enough amounts of sugar that it is probably not too troublesome, so go right ahead and juice your kale, celery and beets, with perhaps a modest amount of apple or orange for palatability, but straight fruit juice is a highly concentrated form of too-easily digested carbohydrates, which puts us at risk for sugar dysregulation, Metabolic Syndrome, and ultimately Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease. Stick with the whole food, and skew your produce intake heavily toward vegetables, moreso than fruit. More importantly of course, we should avoid/limit sugars and refined carbohydrates such as flours –this is a far more important strategy than limiting fruit — but fruit juice and other liquid forms of high-carb foods, can certainly cause trouble with long-term blood-sugar and insulin management, especially in a diet already overly skewed toward easily digestible carbohydrates.

    Thanks for the article,
    Dr. Deborah Epstein
    Naturopathic physician,
    Seattle, WA

  93. Elaine G says

    Everything can be broken down to a chemical formula,the question should be is the “chemical” beneficial or harmful?. Let’s face it, until we all grow our own “insert whichever foods you want”, food producers and manufacturers are going to give us what they “think” we’ll buy.

  94. Walter says

    I used to work at a juice plant and I can tell you that although there are recipes for the juice there is nothing sinister as you seem to imply. All juice is different and you simply blend high sugar juice with low sugar juice and your flavor packs as you call them are nothing more that essential oils that naturally exist in the juice. This kind of spin article does more harm than good because it makes suspect behavior out of something innocent and good. Only a moron would think that if you had the ability to keep consistency in a product you wouldn’t use it. Your an idiot!

    • J'Nai says

      Kristen, why do you allow certain comments??
      @Walter that’s extremely rude and mean. It even hurt me a little. I guess you just have to learn not to let insults get to you.
      You’re doing a great job.

  95. DavidG says

    “I think if a food needs to have synthetic flavors added to it for us to enjoy it, then we ought to question whether or not it’s actually good for us and worth eating.”

    Forgive me… but that’s one heck of an assumption.

    We evolved our particular tastes for all sorts of reasons. We like sweets so that our ancestors were driven to get to high calorie hard-to-get foods. This backfires when sweets are all around us.

    Many wonderfully nutritious foods are relatively bland and/or unpalatable. There are probably evolutionary reasons for that as well.

    Many ‘foods’ evolve to be attractive to those animals that consume them and move seeds around. Those ‘foods’ may have some nutritional value but they are most likely to have some bit of taste that gets the food eaten. Nature is not obliged to offer us goodness nor nutrition.

    There is no definite or necessary connection between ‘good for you’ and ‘has taste’.

    The ‘goodness’ in foods isn’t in the taste.

    You may prefer to eat foods with taste. You may prefer to eat foods with their ‘natural’ taste. But don’t correlate that with the nutritional or ‘goodness’ value in the food.

    The reality is much more complicated and subtle than your basic assumption. In fact I’d argue that we’re in a situation where that type of assumption is completely wrong. Both when applied to ‘natural’ or ‘domesticated’ or ‘artificial’ foods.

    Our assumption that our evolved tastes and abilities is good for us is a huge problem.

  96. Peter says

    So, no more juice for me! One Q: I have is that I once heard that they add cellulosa (paper) to mimic the pulp, because it doesnt get spoiled and not absorbed by the human body, is that correct?

  97. Neil says

    The article doesn’t even mention all of the dihydrogen monoxide that’s found in industrially-produced juices, both the “not-from-concentrate” as well as the concentrated versions. Beware! Even “organic” versions have it.

  98. Glid says

    I have a question… If these orange juice is not as natural as they are claimed, do I get as much vitamin and nutritional values claimed in the labels?

  99. says

    Wow…I cannot believe people criticized you for “being afraid of “science” or “chemicals.” Really?! Science does not make Real Food…and chemicals, frankly are scary. We should ALL be very afraid of chemicals in our food and environment, and stay as far away from them as possible. I wish the public would wake up and wade out of the food industry smokescreen.

    Great job, Kristen…keep up the important Real Food work! I actually just posted a link to your post in my new blog.

  100. Bruce Siceloff says

    I had wondered about the consistent flavor of each brand, like Tropicana and Minute Maid. I figured something was going on. Instead of removing water so it can be stored more easily, they remove oxygen so it can be stored more easily. That’s really interesting, and it suggests a need for some truth-in-labeling changes. Thanks for passing that along.

    I don’t find it alarming, though. The sense of alarm was packed into this information — which it turns out is not so fresh but has been stored for two years — as it traveled from the original source ( through a middle(wo)man (, who is falsely labeled as the source for all the long quotes, and implicitly the source of the info itself) to your alarmist (don’t drink juice!) blog.

    Alarm packs, you could call it.

    Meanwhile I do recommend the original source: An extract from a 2009 Yale Press book about orange juice, packed with tasty information and nutritious credibility. When this is available, why waste time on a lazy blog reconstituted with empty-calories opinion and flavored with high-cholesterol exclamation?

  101. says

    Wow, if I didn’t feel the need to get a juicer before, I really want one now!

    In our current time we wonder why there is rising amounts of cancer, autism, etc. in people. Humans were not meant to ingest all of these chemicals and toxins. And the government’s slow reaction to banning them when they prove to be harmful is dismaying (BPA anyone?).

    Thanks for the great article. The best thing we can do as consumers is to become informed about what we are buying. The best answer is to buy local from farmers you know, but that isn’t always possible. Knowing how your food is made and what goes into it is crucial, especially when companies will do anything to keep you coming back for more (even if it means harming you in the process).

  102. says

    I didn’t know anything about this. I’m glad I know now though it won’t be changing my habits. I use “100%” juice as a sweetener for other beverages I drink knowing full well that it’s loaded with sugar. It’s not perfect but it’s affordable and it works for us. I’m glad you wrote this though. Sharing information is never a bad thing. More transparency would do our world a lot of good I think.

  103. Krissy says

    Kristin what a great thing, you do the article and Dr. Mercola picks up the story and gives you credit–reaching even more people. Good job!!!! Keep up the fight for real food.

  104. Josh says

    I’ve gotten juice from Canada and unlike the US where we have the FDA which allows all kinds of garbage to be placed in our food in Canada it is illegal. The juice that I have from Canada is just what it says 100% pure not from concentrate and not pasteurized. If I get any more worried about this or what food I consume in the near future I’ll just grow my own heirloom fruits and vegetables. The GMO food that you already eat from the store is poison, and I’m not just talking about processed food.

    • says

      Josh, I’m a bit curious about where in Canada they grow oranges.

      My husband is Canadian and his aunt says when she was a child, it was a big deal to get an orange in her stocking at Christmas cause… they didn’t have any there.

      I guess times have changed.

  105. says

    now i feel much better cracking open a ice cold coca cola or beef for breakfast ,i always thought that same fake flavor orange juice was from the carton aftertaste,no wonder store OJ gives me the fresh squeezed shits 15 minutes after drinking it,but coke does not:S

  106. peter meadow says

    so what about the small “organic companies”? what about whole foods’ oj? what about grapefruit juice?

  107. says

    “First off, I must ask: Why are you drinking juice??”

    Because it is a special treat for me. I rarely get it since it is so expensive. I think I’m just going to keep my eyes closed on this one. :)

  108. Bob says

    Well, I think it would take about 5 lbs of sugar and half a bottle of tabasco to mask the flavor of asparagus and other vegetables. They must not be good for me.

  109. says

    This is all well and good if you are wealthy and/or have a lot of free time to grow produce, raise livestock, process and preserve your own food. Some have no choice but to indulge in processed FDA poison just to have food in their stomach. I know this because I try to eat organic as much as possible and our grocery bill has tripled since we began. In addition, we only get about a third of the groceries than we did before…and we don’t do everything organic because it’s just too expensive so we do what we can.

  110. BOB says

    I was very unhappy to read this. I only drink about 3-4 oz of OJ per day with my vitamins, so I’m not worried about too much sugar.

    But I was concerned with the oxygen removal, long term storage and addition of manufactured flavors.

    So I called both Tropicana and Florida’s Natural. They both assured me that they use their juice up so fast that they do not store it or add flavor packs.

    I’m thinking that might be done for concentrates, as I was asking only about their “NOT FROM CONCENTRATE” juice.

    These 2 are two of the largest producers of juice.

    So where did you get your information? I would hate to think these companies are being unfairly represented.

  111. Barry Preim says

    Very interesting about how orange juice is processed. Why did you leave out the nutritional value if any of these oxygenated juices. Isn’t that also important? Is the orange juice with pulp, actually orange pulp?

  112. Kit says

    I’m a bit late to this discussion, but I’d like to point out a few things to folks willing to pause and think.

    1. Every component of every food and beverage we ingest, no matter the source, is a chemical. As has been pointed out, WATER is a chemical. Chemical does NOT automatically equal bad. Vitamins are chemicals. Antioxidents are chemicals. Proteins are chemicals, and carbohydrates and fiber and every damn thing else.

    2. People have been chemically altering foods and processing foods to preserve them pretty much as long as we’ve been people. Examples: Smoking and drying; processing foods with heat and pressure; salting; pickling…. For that matter, cooking is simply a variety of methods for processing and altering our food to make it easier to digest and more palatable.

    3. Yes, the food industry is lying to us. All industries lie to consumers in order to achieve their goal, making profits. Caveat emptor applies more today than ever before.

    • says

      Well said, Kit.

      On the one hand, as a chemist, I agree.

      On the other hand, when speaking to non-scientists, I have long given up explaining what the word “organic” means in chemistry.

      I know what they mean by “chemicals” just as I know what they mean by “organic”, and I know when they say “natural”, they are not including arsenic and cyanide. I just translate in my head when speaking to laymen as those words have flatout different meanings.

      Those who are arguing about water being a chemical are really kind of missing the point; I think on purpose. It’s a method of proving superiority cause those silly hippie people are too unscientific to understand.

      Here’s what science showed: whole grains were healthier than processed grains. Here’s what marketing did with it: claimed that Cheerios were a whole grain. Now, I live in central PA, lots of farms here, mostly corn and soy, but truck farming, wheat, and everything from buffalo to llamas are within a few miles of me. Yet, to this day, I’ve never seen Cheerios growing!

      I’m a biochemist. I had an MI and after an unsuccessful angio, then had a CABG several years back and have been disabled since. My husband is a truck driver and makes little money.

      Having actually had plenty of time on my hands to study the science these past 5-6 years, I now eat only pastured beef, pork, chicken and eggs (lots of eggs as they’re the cheapest source of healthy protein), wild fish (and some farmed fish where I understand how they’re raised and approve, oysters and mussels are OK, tilapia and salmon are not), pastured and raw milk, real butter and raw cheese, organic vegetables off the dirty dozen list (bell peppers kill our budget!), lots more of the clean fifteen list where organic is not so important, similar distinctions between organic/nonorganic for fruit (and the apples and berries kill our budget there), nuts, nut meals and nut butters, coconut oil and milk and very little grain. I do not eat hardly any synthetic foods at all.

      And I can reasonably define real vs. synthetic foods without resorting to “chemicals” or “organic” or “natural” – real food comes from farms and the wild, synthetic foods come from factories. It’s a distinction anyone can understand regardless of science background or vocabulary. Wheat berries and oat groats come from farms; Cheerios does not. Similarly for this discussion, oranges come from farms, but Tropicana Premium does not.

      But honestly, even when I worked on EPA pesticide applications for Merck and had about 5% of the understanding I do of nutrition today, I took my paycheck and bought organic vegetables for my daughter. They couldn’t pay ME to eat the crap I was “proving” safe. 😉 Let it be on the market for 10-20 years and see what it does, then I’ll consider it.

      Those who say these foods are “safe” seem to be ignoring that a few decades ago when people ate mostly real food, there was almost no heart disease, much lower cancer rates, less autism, peanut allergies were rare, and there was no obesity or diabetes epidemics.

      In my extremely informed opinion, HFCS and “vegetable” oils have killed and maimed WAY more people than tobacco ever did.

  113. says

    Thank you so much for this article! I know a few people who are totally addicted to Tropicana orange juice and I wasn’t sure why. I’m also finding that ethyl butyrate can be quite addictive.

    Thanks again!!!!!!

    • says

      Butyrate is a form of butyric acid, a fatty acid named that because it was first isolated from butter.

      Butyric acid is utterly necessary to have a healthy gut and to heal an unhealthy one as it is a major component of the GI lining.

      I’m not saying I want ethyl butyrate added to my juice particularly, but it’s not a particularly unhealthy chemical as far as chemicals go. IMO, of all the information shared, that was the least disturbing bit to me personally.

  114. Sarah Jones says

    Thank you for your post! I found it because I recently discovered that Florida Natural makes me incredibly sick yet Tropicana does not. Since they are both supposedly 100% orange juice and not from concentrate, I googled to find out what could be causing this. Now it all makes sense!

    Could you do one for ice cream? The same thing happens there too — some make me sick, others don’t. What a crazy world we live in!

  115. Alice Connell says

    Processed food is processed food. I didn’t realize this about orange juice but when you really think about it, juicing in those factory quantities, how could products such as orange juice survive spoiling if chemicals were not used. As for those negative/critical comments accusing you of being afraid of science, sadly, many people don’t want to believe or even know this kind of thing because they want to believe their ‘processed’ product is really good so they can feel guiltless about ingesting it. This orange juice especially fuels a sugar addiction and addicts are generally fighters for their fix.

  116. carl kimball says

    Did not surprise me none. If they saw some of the things i saw in manufacturing bread….OMG. And hot dogs just drive me buggy.

  117. kipp says

    I was most surprised by the postscript at the bottom, that some pple didn’t like to hear the truth and would actually accuse you of being afraid of chemicals.

    We’re surrounded by people who are sleepwalking thru life here…

    Well, to them I say — I AM AFRAID OF CHEMICALS. I’m afraid becos I’m NOT asleep.

  118. says

    When my kids were young, I gave them small amounts of juice occasionally, always watered with 1/2 water. It wasn’t until they were old enough to visit friends and taste REAL juice that they discovered my evil plot. But by then, they were old enough to be made to understand that drinking any sugary liquid, whether it be juice or soda, isn’t good. It becomes a habit of drinking so much sugar and calories, setting one up for overweight, diabetes and heart disease later. It’s as simple as that. And I did this 20 years ago, in the face of Conventional Wisdom that claimed that juice is ‘healthy’ for our kids. What crap. Since that time, I have never kept much juice or other sugary drinks in the house. My kids have always understood that that should be an occasional treat, and they still treat it that way. Today, my three kids are grown, at a healthy weight, with a balanced approach to drinking sugar. We rely on water, milk, and some tea (both regular and herbal) and coffee in moderation. In the summer, my son loves to make fresh squeezed lemon aid. What a special treat!

    I work at a breakfast house, and without fail, if an overweight family comes in, I can guarantee ahead of time that they will all drink big glasses of juice and ask for refills. No mystery there as to why they are all obese. It’s a mindset and style of eating that is so dangerous.

    If we, as consumers, would stop demanding year ’round consistency in the things we buy, this would become less of an issue. Gone are the days of enjoying a fruit or vegetable in its season, and then having to wait a while to have it again. All previous generations, from the beginning of mankind, have had to do this. We are so spoiled, and it’s too bad. There is something pleasant about living each season, with its weather, its holidays, and its particular crops. Of having to put by some things to last for the winter. Of tasting that first blueberry on the bush when late July finally arrives. We miss out on some of that with our big grocery stores and aisles and aisles of every kind of food imaginable, available all year. We’ve short-circuited the natural rhythm of things to satisfy our own need to have everything, right now. And I have to confess, I am as guilty as the next guy.

  119. Lynds says

    I bought some yesterday morning when my glucose was very low and my energy gone….it helped, and now I understand why it worked so fast! Guess I better (concentrate….SORRY!) on just getting the oranges instead.

    • says

      If bG is actually low, oranges are not a good choice either.

      But we need to know what we are discussing. Are we talking reactive hypoglycemia from an overactive pancreas (which can lead to insulin resistance and T2) or actual hypoglycemia caused by too much insulin or other diabetic drugs where the bG KEEPS dropping and must be corrected NOW?

      In the second case, while all carbohydrates will convert to glucose eventually, if correcting a low, one should use pure glucose. Glucose will correct the low much more rapidly and can be much more tightly titrated to prevent a series of low/high/low bouncing around. I know of no “healthy” source of pure glucose; to me it is medication and used extremely rarely (2-3 times in over 5 years, when my insulin resistance changed drastically). I use Sweetarts, which are handy to keep around cause I don’t like them.

      In general, to prevent lows in reactive hypoglycemia, you must prevent the overreaction of the pancreas by slowing the absorption of carbohydrate. So all meals and snacks must contain significant protein and fat.

      I have a 10-yr-old friend with reactive hypoglycemia and I advise her to make sure all meals and snacks are such that the g protein + g fat > g carb – as it’s a relatively simple rule for her to follow.

      In practice, it means, no you can’t have crackers unless you’re putting peanut butter, tuna with mayo, or cheese on top of them; pour cream over your berries; slather butter on your toast; and always have a glass of whole milk with that.

  120. Janet says

    EUREKA!!! I am ALLERGIC to orange juice in a carton. I get head to toe hives,rash,itching and it gets worse each time. I can eat oranges and have fresh squeezed oj and have never understood why I would react to “100% Orange Juice”. Many docs have theorized that it is the pasturization ( it’s not b/c I can have other pasturized foods) or fortification (same). Now I know it is the chemicals that big agra are slipping in…THANK YOU!!!

  121. katie b says

    I wonder if these Flavor Packs are in ALL concentrated fruit products? I would suspect it so because my Celiac kids got REALLY sick from labeled gluten free ‘all fruit’ bars that are loaded with fruit concentrates!! Tree Top is one provider of concentrates and others provide the other fruits. Hmmmm….I’m not liking the Industrialized Food Industry at all!!

  122. Edmond Dantes says

    There’s a Febreeze commercial where you see blindfolded people hug dirty furniture just because it smells good. But it’s still dirty furniture. Same goes with food. If it has to be made “taste good” in order to taste good, then it ain’t worth my time because it actually does NOT taste good.

    • bob says

      I’ve never heard of anyone that ate all his food raw! No sauces, no spices, no mixing!? I love to make my meals taste good :)

  123. Shelley Erwin says

    Thank you for your honesty and posting. We are still a fast-food loving nation for the worst if you ask anyone in our family. Many Americans prefer believing the “natural labeling” even if it’s a lie. corporate America continues to dupe us into false labeling. Please don’t share my email address or send me any transmissions to my email address-thanks

  124. Shelley Erwin says

    Thank you for your honesty as well as for sharing your information about orange juice production. I am also a label reading consumer and find it disturbing to learn that the FDA doesn’t always require disclosure for some additives. It reminds me of the overused word “natural” in food labeling when used to describe food ingredients and other products. A term in my opinion used loosely as an advertising gimmick by many companies to dupe us into believing false-hoods about their products It seems to me that Americans are still proving our Nation to be a fast-food loving people and food additives tricks are in fact working. For many years the U.S. has been known for having the highest cancer rates in the world, so this leads many of us to question USA standards for food additives, drinking water quality, and air quality safety. Products we produce and consume are cyclical; let’s hope our standards are not diluted due to the weakened economy. My sharing is not meant to offend, just a bit of food for thought.

  125. says

    So, forgive my ignorance, but is frozen concentrate any better? I always figured it was just frozen fresh juice with excess water removed, and therefore essentially pulp. I knew there was “added calcium” or whatever added to some, but I thought getting a natural/organic frozen concentrate was safe – am I wrong here?

  126. Bobby says

    I am just curious….Do those of you commenting research the information posted to verify the authenticity or do you just blindly believe everything the author writes?

    • says

      I don’t disbelieve her. I’ve read her blog off-and-on for a long time and she is usually pretty accurate.

      From my own research, she is mostly right with what she says and a few times I have gone to the scientific literature after reading something here and come away convinced.

      So while I’m sure there’s much she and I would disagree on, I’d be inclined to trust her if it mattered to me at all.

      I don’t personally know how orange juice is processed as I’ve never researched it.

      But I do know oranges are not in-season year-round, so SOMETHING must be done to process them.

      I lived in Florida during my teens; I’ve seen oranges grow, but never seen an “orange juice” tree. So I know cartons of orange juice are not a real food.

      Personally, I’d think freezing orange sections would likely retain more nutrition than any other processing of oranges I can think of. Canning destroys water-soluble nutrients pretty badly and dehydrated oranges do not seem very palatable to me. This is why I prefer processing food myself as I get to decide to freeze the squash, dehydrate the tomatoes, etc.

      I also know the antioxidants and enzymes in juice break down really rapidly, so any juice more than 15-20 minutes old is kinda a waste nutritionally. Not much sense to juicing unless you’re going to drink it immediately.

      And I also know that more than a very tiny serving will raise my bG unacceptably, not from research, but from decades of direct experimenting.

      IMO, the ridiculous amount of lying on food labels (e.g. foods that have zero trans fats yet contain partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredient lists!) indicates… I should eat foods without labels as much as possible, since the labels are worthless.

      But no, I don’t know what they do to make juice available year-round from my own personal research. Doesn’t matter really as it’s not a “food” I would be likely to add to my diet in any case.

  127. Sierra says

    I have been following the “rules” on for a few months now and today I came across your website while looking for new recipes to try. (By the way, they all look amazing and I can’t wait to start trying them!)
    I have a question about juice though. While no doubt there’s nothing like fresh squeezed OJ, I get the organic juice from Whole Foods with one ingredient- orange juice- not from concentrate. Does the same go for this juice? Is all carton OJ this processed?

    • Al says

      yes, it is all processed, but that is not a bad thing! The things they add to the orange juice are the EXACT same things they took out. The real reason the orange juice always tastes the same is because they process so much of it, they can mix it all together and get a consistent taste. Absolutely nothing to worry about here. Chemicals are flavors and flavors are chemicals. Just because they take them out and put them back in does not make OJ any less natural.

  128. maggie says

    Kristen M, this is one of the best post I ever read ,I did read something similar long ago, and since (about 5 years )never ever I got a oj from the supermarket.,anyway my congratulation to you for this post about the famous” store “OJ”,helloooooooooo everyone wake up to reality

  129. Stephen says

    Funny how everyone just swallows what this author writes. There is nothing wrong with juice with flavoring added. It is full of vitamins and fiber and is much better than soda, sweetened teas, or coffee. The author lost all credibility when she touts grass fed beef (much more gamey, tough, and less nutritious than grain fed) and organics which are just manure soaked, salmonella chocked, overpriced foods for stupied city people.

    • Pat says

      Funny how you swallow what the corporate food industry sells. If you want to guzzle foods secretly spiked with unhealthful and unnecessary chemicals, that’s your choice. BUT, everyone has the right to make informed choices about what they put in their body. Selling a food product as natural with secret chemical additives sounds like fraud. The food industry should be required to list their shady practices and not keep it secret. And, orange juice is not full of fiber. Whole oranges have fiber. The vitamin C is gone. Many recent studies have reflected nutritional benefits of coffee, but whether other things are worse is irrelevant to the topic at hand – hidden chemicals and manufacturing process of OJ. Organic foods used to be healthful and beneficial until the food industry saw a dollar to exploit and ruined organics by loosening regulations. Your comment is full of common logical fallacies and it doesn’t look like all those yummy-good chemically processed foods you love are doing much for your ill-temper or your knowledge.

      • Al says

        They aren’t unnecessary or unnatural chemicals! They are the exact same chemicals that were in the fruit to start with that they removed to preserve the juice. Then they just put them back in! Flavors ARE chemcials!

    • tad says

      There is nutrition in beef that comes ONLY when the cows eat their normal diet, grass. When they are fed cheaper alternatives, such as corn or grain, the cows do not gain this nutrition, and thus the resulting beef (and milk, and butter) are ALSO devoid of these valuable nutrients. Get it?

      Grass-fed cows are not “touted” because of how “gamey or tough” they are. It is because of the natural and vital nutrients that the cows receive by eating their normal diet, that are also present in their byproducts such as Milk, Beef and Butter.

    • says

      Grass-fed beef contains higher levels of vitamins A and D3, and a higher proportion of CLA in it’s fat.

      We may disagree about the relative palability of grass-fed versus feedlot beef, but the reserach is clear on the nutrition.

      It also isn’t raised knee-deep in it’s own manure and then everyone is surprised when e coli winds up in the meat…

  130. chrispy says

    Kristen….it’s like you said “And finally, opt out of the industrial food system as much as you can. If you learn anything at all from this post, it should be that you never know what’s in your food unless you grow it, harvest it, or make it yourself.” What is so hard about that? The government is NOT here to protect us!!! For those people arguing about whether chemicals are ok or not…..geez….get a clue guys! We have the right to know what is in our food!!!

  131. Alex says

    Interesting. It’s something I’d always wondered about but didn’t really care to really know. Now that I do know, I really don’t care. I enjoy a glass of OJ in the morning, and it’s not bad for me. The enjoyment of that glass is why I drink it. Enjoying something that is healthy (your subtle hints to the contrary) is fine in my book. Also, it turns out, it’s basically all orange juice, but reconstituted and reassembled. So, basically I’m drinking OJ and I enjoy it. Yeah…not going to stop.

    My dad grew up poor and became a successful doctor. When he got his first position with good pay, he brought home a big thing of OJ and said he always wanted to have OJ in the fridge. Growing up with five siblings, OJ was rationed out in very tiny amounts, and to finally be able to have a full glass each morning with breakfast was one of those little pleasures he really enjoyed. He died too young from cancer, and if I ever asked him his advice on this subject, my bet is that he would sayto keep drinking the OJ each morning if it makes you happy – life’s too short to get bogged down in fighting every trivial battle on the food front. However, if all you over-reactionary obsessive compulsive types want to find one more food windmill to tilt at, well, I suppose it gives you pleasure to be so self-righteous, so go right ahead.

  132. Heatherr says

    Wow. We started down this path via the Feingold diet for an ADHD child. If people would just be interested in learning about how these large food companies are LEGALLY poisining and killing us (with the FDA’s blessing) there would be more mainstream talk about this subject and something would finally get done to correct our food. Another example: dimethylpolysiloxane. What is it? Silicone. What is it in? It is used as an antifoaming agent in FRENCH FRY OIL. Get it? When you eat fast food frys you are eatng silicone. Now that’s what I call good eating! (Sarcaam.) In all seriousness, thank you for the post. And you are darn right I am scared of chemicals…the large majority of them are KNOWN carcinogens. Why are they in our food? No wonder America’s cancer rates are sky high!

  133. Terri says

    This explains why when I would squeeze oranges at home I could never get the same flavour of store bought orange juice. If something sounds too good to be true…

  134. Al says

    There are some good points in this article, however, there are also some misleading points. You say that we should be afraid of drinking the juice because it at one point doesn’t taste like juice, and then also be afraid when the companies add “flavor packs” to flavor the juice?! Rediculous. The “flavor packs” as you call them, along with the chemicals named, are the naturally occuring chemicals already in oranges (and many other foods) that the companies remove to preserve the juice. All they are doing is adding those same chemicals back into the juice. Because they process so much juice at once, they can mix the varying chemicals removed from the millions of gallons and add them back to produce a consistent taste. People, wake up. “Chemicals” is not alwasys a dirty word. Every flavor of every food in the world is a chemical. That’s what flavors are! Guess what, your blood has chemicals in it too!

  135. Pat O'Brien, CAYP, CCH, AADP, AHG says

    As a health care professional, sugar isn’t the problem or enemy in fruit juices. In fact, medically speaking- diabetes is an inflammatory and dehydration disorder and cause, and fruit juices actually help prevent dehydration better than water- as some people just urinate out a lot of water that they drink. Juices have water “holding” properties. Sugar is also an anti-acid.

    • says

      For anyone, whether diabetic or not, prove to yourself this health care professional is either mistaken or lying… you do NOT have to “trust” scientists or doctors or anyone else… you can do the experiment yourself.

      Get a cheapo bG meter from Walmart or Walgreens. Test your bG. Drink an 8 oz glass of water and test your bG again 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes and an hour after drinking. Repeat the experiment with an 8 oz glass of orange juice.

      Even if you have the healthiest pancreas in the world with absolutely no insulin resistance at all, juice will raise your bG. That’s what it does!

      And now the biochemistry… the reason uncontrolled diabetics are always thirsty and pee like crazy is because there is too much glucose in the blood. The body is trying to rid itself of glucose because it can’t burn or store it fast enough and it is dangerous; elevated bG causes organ damage.

      Sugar does not cause the body to rehydrate; rather the opposite. And glucose is a larger molecule than the kidneys are used to filtering, so this excess peeing winds up causing kidney damage, which is why renal failure is a side effect of diabetes.

      So… juice is good for rehydrating diabetics IF you are trying to destroy their kidneys (or cause retinopathy, blindness, heart disease, impotence or any of the other known effects of elevated bG).

      What DIRECTLY causes the body to hold rather than pee water is sodium. When not broken by unnaturally high glucose levels, the body maintains a balance between water and the relative levels of sodium and potassium in the blood ; the hormones aldosterone (an adrenal hormone) and vasopressin (a pituatary hormone) control this tightly in a healthy body.

      This is entirely based on serum levels of these minerals; you can actually have low sodium in your blood and low potassium within your cells. In short, though it’s the balance between these in the blood that matters with regards to rehydration, you can actually be deficient in both! Or you can ALSO be deficient in both AND have edema, the exact opposite of rehydration, as edema (and thus high bp) can be caused either by too much sodium in the blood causing the blood volume to increase, or too low potassium in the tissues causing the cells to leak fluid (in which case, your cells are dehydrated while your blood volume is high!)

      It is NOT a simple equation, and juice is NOT a useful variable – high blood glucose just causes you to be thirsty and pee a lot. Juice does NOT hydrate you better than water.

      However, a pinch of sea salt in your water DOES hydrate you better than plain water. And if rbc potassium levels are low, you will never rehydrate even with lots of sodium without sufficient potassium intake also.

      • Carolyne Thrasher says

        Thank you for setting the record straight! Fruit juice is something diabetics should be very, very wary of.

      • Raven says

        All salt is sea salt. Any white/processed salt as well as iodized salt has been processed into pure sodium chloride causing people to use too much of it because your body and taste buds expect it to be natural salt that is only 80 – 90% sodium chloride “Sea salt” and “salt” both mean the exact same thing, both in actuality and in the food industry (excepting other salts besides sodium chloride, of course).

  136. Twi says

    Great article. When I first read it a while ago, I wanted to know if the organic OJ that my Mom sometimes drinks was doing this also. I contacted the company, Uncle Matt’s Organic and received a response from the owner of the company, which I will post below. They do not use de-aerate and they do not use flavor packs – YAY!! I wanted to be sure your readers know there are alternatives and companies that do take pride in their natural product. I would bet there are other smaller companies (and I would guess that it will only be ones making organic juices) who do the same (don’t de-aerate or use flavor packs) – I suspect that it is going to be only the smaller companies making small batches that can do this. When the large corporations venture into the organic market, they are going to cut corners for mass production. I also wonder if the definition/laws/standards of “organic” might preclude the use of these flavor packs sort of like organic is supposed to exclude any GMO? Probably not.

    Here is the email from the owner of at least one OJ company that we can feel good about continuing to support.
    RE: Question about your organic juice
    Friday, July 29, 2011 11:22 AM
    From:”Susan McLean”
    Thank-you for your email. Uncle Matt’s Organic does NOT de-aerate or add flavor packages! Our product is picked from our trees, squeezed and flash pasteurized at the plant in Florida. It is stored in tanks or drums until we package it for the stores. You can also surf around our website and get more data on our delicious products and how they come to market. We love growing your organic citrus!


    Susan McLean

    Uncle Matt’s Organic
    PO Box 120187
    Clermont, FL 34712
    Main 352-394-8737
    Fax 352-394-1003

  137. Harry says

    I noticed your added entry below the article where you mention MSG. I’m not allergic to MSG and quite like to add it myself to rice dishes I cook like Fried Rice to enhance flavor. I must note that I have read that a LOT of vegies and other foods naturally contain amounts of MSG and that it can be this naturally occurring MSG that upsets people who do not tolerate MSG in food. This includes meals purchased precooked where NO MSG has been added by the chef. Not saying that chemicals are not dangerous, just that some occur naturally in food anyway.

    • Raven says

      Salt = sodium and chloride. Both minerals are extremely essential for body functioning. As in you will literally die without them, and quickly. The body craves salty foods because it needs to get the sodium, and the chloride. MSG contains only sodium, not chloride.. Our bodies do not expect this and so continue to crave salty items no matter how much MSG or sodium there is, causing the body to receiver too much sodium and not enough chloride, which can have extremely toxic effects. Since people do have salt in their house in addition to the MSG from the stores it has not been so common as one might otherwise expect, but MSG is NOT okay, and if I look at what an earlier poster wrote it looks like this “naturally-occurring” MSG does not exist at all but is rather one half is the SODIUM CHLORIDE that foods COULD naturally contain, or else could contain sodium and chloride independently. The molecules MATTER!! H2O is water and H2O2 is deadly. CO (carbon monoxide) is a deadly and silent poison yet CO2 (carbon dioxide) is part of the natural breathing process. You should not add MSG to your food that is dumb and as yet any isolated chemical is harmful in some way in isolation.

  138. says

    Decades ago, juice USED to be served in little 2-4 oz glasses, so it wasn’t quite the sugar/carb hit a big glass is today.

    I do juice cause I’m on GAPS, but I’m also diabetic and can’t do gobs of liquid sugar.

    My daily juice varies depending on what is in my fridge or needs to be used up, but a typical example would be one carrot, one stalk of celery, a big handful of lettuces/greens and 1/4 of an apple in my juicer and it produces… 3-5 oz juice. And I add a drop of elderberry syrup and my daily probiotics (powdered form) to it also.

    To ME, that is a reasonable serving size, as yes, I *could* eat a carrot, a stalk of celery, a handful of greens and a quarter apple (and I do eat more veggies than that at lunch and dinner every day).

    IMO, the big problem with juice is it became a “beverage” that people drank lots of rather than a tiny treat that went along side your bacon and eggs with the “real” beverage being coffee, tea or milk.

    Even without chemicals added, the amount of sugar in even freshly-squeezed juices from organic fruits and veggies in current “typical” serving sizes is crazy. No one needs huge hits of liquid sugar like that.

    And frankly, the vitamin and mineral content isn’t all that useful as your body uses them up processing the sugar anyways. You’d be better off taking a multivitamin and washing it down with a glass of water.

  139. Carolyne Thrasher says

    Wow! Did not know this and now I no longer want to drink my “not from concentrate juice” ever again. Which makes me wonder if frozen concentrate is better. I know, I know get off the juice train but every once in a while during a hot summer day it hits the spot and I don’t have a juicer. Don’t drink enough juice to warrant one being 120 pounds 5′ 3″ and almost type II diabetes I cannot afford to drink much juice or anything else besides tea and coffee and of course water.

  140. jeanette says

    i hate how they try to slide things by us. makes me wonder if this is part of the cause in increase of cancer add autism etc..many of our foods we think are FOODS.. actually are not! dont mess with GODS design… also i wonder if it is a scam when an early freeze comes on the oranges then they say..ohh we will have to raise the price of juice .. since that is not even the main ingredient shame on them…

  141. Nicole says

    To those who ask: Why even drink the juice when one can eat the fruit?

    There are a lot of people who, because of gastrointestinal ailments, colostomies, ileostomies, and other ailments, cannot eat fruit or can only eat certain kinds.

    Those with colonic inertia, colonic dysmotility, delayed gastric emptying and/or gastroparesis will find that drinking the juice is easier for their systems to cope with than trying to digest (and ultimately excrete) a piece of fruit.

    People with ileostomies typically can’t eat any fruits with the skin on (apples must be peeled, for instance), pulpy fruits (like oranges), and fruits with seeds (including strawberries and their tiny little ones) because skins, pulp, and seeds can obstruct their stoma.

    For people with colostomies, which fruits can be eaten and how they can be eaten is by trial and error, as each ostomate’s experience is different. Some can eat an apple without peeling it or devour a juicy orange without experiencing a stoma obstruction; others can’t.

    Some people are on prescribed liquid diets because of their medical conditions. These people obviously cannot simply eat a piece of fruit; they have no choice but to drink juice. Depending on why they are on a liquid diet, they might have to ensure it’s pulp-free and, in the case of something like a fruit juice smoothie, thin it up with water.

  142. John Hobson says

    According to Ray Peat, when the EPA cracked down on waste piles at orange processing facilities, the facilities came up with a good way to use the waste. If you press the waste with an added enzyme you get a liquid that can be added to orange juice. An additional benefit is that the compounded orange juice will not settle. My advice: don’t eat yellow snow and don’t drink orange juice that does not settle.

  143. Beth says

    Isn’t the point that the “food” sat there for a year? In Ayurvedic medicine then wisely consider that food forms “ama” which has no life in it and makes us ill.
    We need to eat foods that are as live as possible. With grains we need to eat them as close to grinding as possible (s/a wheat or flax)

  144. Rob says

    Very interesting information, thanks for the article.

    While I agree that making it yourself and eating fresh is the only way to know how fresh and wholesome a food is, we all can’t do that all of the time. I view this process as a way for the OJ producers to give us an appealing product, and think it’s like putting the OJ in suspended animation until they are ready to bring it back, even if somewhat modified. I’m cool with them doing that, but would have preferred to know that this was how it was “not from concentrate.” I feel duped, that these producers have veiled their process in “happy words.” But we all should remember that marketing is merely the happy mask that goes over the legal department’s stony face.

    As for me, I believe I will start buying fruit and drinking a glass of water with it, as opposed to getting this juice. I don’t think these juices are appreciably BAD for us (I have had some DREADFUL “fresh” fruit), but I simply don’t want to support companies that give an impression that something was squeezed straight into a funnel when it really wasn’t. Honesty, honor, and accountability cannot be substituted with glitzy marketing that is as misleading as these producers are doing it. Say what the food is: Processed citrus cocktail.

  145. Beedoo says

    I have to disagree with the article poster, KristenM, on the whole “avoid fruit juice in general because you’ll down too much sugar” bit.

    Obviously, moderation is necessary, but she’s ignoring the nature of sugar and its function in a whole/raw/organic foods diet.

    Ultimately, our bodies break all sugars and carbs down into glucose – a basic sugar molecule that, if eaten straight, isn’t nearly as sweet as table sugar. You need some glucose in you, or your body will start shutting down to save energy. Diabetics typically have high glucose levels *not* because they’ve piled it onto their plate but rather because their digestive tract’s enzymatic functions got permanently messed up, either in quantity or timing, and they can no longer process the glucose supply in their blood properly. The queue gets backed up, so to speak, until allllll that glucose is finally dumped on the kidneys to deal with as a last-resort cleansing.

    Sucrose, quite a bit sweeter than glucose, IS table sugar. Sucrose gets broken down into glucose during digestion, but, because it has more molecular complexity and is harvested from plants that are difficult to break down in the first place (sap-bearers like maple and sugarcane, or dense sugarbeets), sucrose is hardly beneficial beyond being tasty.

    Fructose has just about the highest “sweetness index” of any single, naturally-found sugar. Therefore, less of it is needed to achieve more sweetness. So, websites like SugarStacks are incorrect when they show you gram-for-gram “hey, look how many sugar cubes equal that supposedly healthy fruit you’re eating!”

    They’re comparing fructose to sucrose, which can’t really be done gram-for-gram if we’re talking about nutritional value. Even fructose has multiple forms, which just a quick spot of Wikipedia research tells. The fructose molecule is simpler in its original form, say inside the fibers of a fruit or veggie, but it turns into a slightly more complex version of itself when heated, as in lightly cooked.

    I’m not sure fructose is any easier on digestion than sucrose (no expert here), but being able to get more bang by consuming less certainly lends to its case.

    So there’s the long of it to go with the short of it as given in the article and some of the other comments.

    As long as you’re not diabetic, a couple glasses of juice – or even diets like the “juice feasting” movement – aren’t nearly as bad as eating the same amount (in weight/mass) of table sugar because it takes a lot more sugar cubes to equal the taste of that fruity, sweet nectar than most casual foodies realise.

    • Beedoo says

      Hmm. Okay, having written the above during the tail end of an all-nighter and then having re-read it, I realise that, technically, eating gram-for-gram can be argued as the same whether it’s sucrose or fructose… if you’re eating it as a food additive.

      Yes, naturally-occurring fructose is usually found in unhealthy amounts in some surprising places, but most of those are processed foods. Those foods could be made a teeny bit healthier by simply cutting back the amount.

      But, in the long run, freshly juicing an apple or orange, even if it gives you the equivalent of two or three sugar cubes, won’t give you a highly processed, chemically-treated, condensed and granulated product like we find most of our sucrose as. Meh.

  146. says

    What about organic oj? I’ve been buying Trader Joe’s cartons of organic orange juice. I hope that is safer…though, who knows since you said its derived from orange and orange oil…

    I might just start buying the concentrated organic oj at Trader Joe’s instead, just to be safe.

  147. Catherine Purington says

    Dont they also add a bromated (probably misspelled) oil also, so the juice doesnt have to be stirred?

  148. Lorelei says

    What do you think of Pomegranted Juice? It is to messy to juice. I use the POM variety – 100% Pomegranted juice. Love to here your thoughts, Lorelei

  149. Matt says

    I have to admit that I have drank store-bought OJ for YEARS, and never thought anything of it. After all, how can one go wrong drinking 100% natural juice with ‘nothing added’? Then something happened. A blood orange tree yhat we planted several years back suddenly produced a bumper crop. Knowing how much I LOVE blood oranges and that I couldn’t possibly eat all the oranges on the tree, I figured I would try juicing some. The flavor was AMAZING! Nothing that you can buy at a store could even come close.

    But then I got the ‘bright idea’ to make several days’ worth of OJ, figuring it would be easier than juicing every time I wanted a glass. To my surprisE, what was awesome when freshly squeezed didn’t taste too good even the next day! All of this had me wondering how ‘all natural juice’ purchased at the store can last a month or more. Well, I guess ‘all natural juice’ isn’t so natural. The moral of the story? If you want good OJ, juice your own oranges whenever possible.

  150. Ben says

    “even though these ‘by-products’ are so chemically manipulated that they hardly qualify as ‘by-products’ any more.”
    Chemistry is not witchcraft. The government needs to fund mandatory chemistry lessons to all adults so that people can have some clarity and stop allowing themselves to be controlled by biased opinions. – The article does make a good point though. If you only drink orange juice for the health benefits then you are better off with a piece of fruit, but drinking OJ isn’t harmful in anyway, it has an acceptable sugar content and it still has plenty of vitamins so if you enjoy drinking OJ then there really is no reason to stop.
    In fact, I’m drinking a lovely glass of tropicana as I write this.

    • says

      like anyone can trust our government, i know i wont.the fact is, why put anything ,chemicals, in your body when you dont want them. but how do you not when they all lie about whats in your food. it wasn’t like this when i was growing up. but how can i really tell when they all lie, crooked, lieing, bunch of scumbags. but thats just my opinion.

  151. Melissa says

    I’ve been fresh squeezing juice for years. This post is spot on. Processed OJ tastes a lot more like candy.

  152. Christi says

    I have never had any type of allergy in my life until recently. Six months ago, I began reacting to some food items that seemed to have nothing in common. It turns out that the foods I react to all contain something which the food industry refers to as “natural flavors”. This was difficult to figure out at first because i can eat oranges all day long without a problem, but I react to products called “100% Orange Juice” which do contain these “natural flavors” but do not mention it on their labels. This non-disclosure is really problematic, because it means I can easily end up eating something I’m allergic to, since I am not always being warned by the product manufacturers. For now I only suffer from very uncomfortable symptoms for several hours, but food allergies can become deadly.

  153. Pam says

    So glad we don’t drink juice. If we ever do it is from organic oranges we squeeze ourselves. LOVE your posts and your FB page! Keep it up! It is my hope that someday the FDA is no longer in bed with Monsanto and they actually CARE about people’s health!

  154. Gary says

    True about fruit juices but juicing vegetables gives you far more of their micronutrients than eating them. A cup of carrot juice comes from up to six carrots, more than most people can eat, but can recharge you with nutrients we don’t get in our overprocessed diets. Same for many other vegetables, but, like with fruits, beware of root veggies as you can get too much sugar.

  155. Samantha says

    This was a good informative article. I had always found orange juice lacking, and now I understand why.

    For those who don’t understand why people ‘freak out’ about ‘natural flavors’ in drinks, think about it from this point of view . . . to determine if something is actually bad for you, scientifically, you would have to consume the thing in question ONLY along with things that are 100% known to be good for you. An experiment that uses a control. Because this is impossible, there is no way to determine how anything one specific thing in today’s diet actually affect us: The excess salt in foods cause an salt/potassium imbalance; The fat-free dinners causes what nutrients that are left in highly processed foods to not be absorbed properly; The carb-heavy, ‘cholesterol free’ meals causes more strokes because of the fluffy cholesterol molecules that are converted from the carbs for your body to use; And maybe that chemical sweetener in that ‘sugar free’ candy is causing havoc on the internal workings of your body because your body doesn’t know what to do with it. Nearly nothing in the nutritional science is fact . . . its all theory.

    But really, your body is really nothing but a big sack of chemicals. A + B = AB, but what if you add in a C? What does A + B + C equal? ABC? AC and no AB? A mix? And what if AB is essential? Honestly, I’d rather not chance it on the off chance that that additive is reacting with something, even on a small scale, that my body might need otherwise.

  156. says

    who wants unnecessary chemicals in they’re food or beverages. just another way to keep us sick, and unhealthy. gotta love our government and the companies who only care about profit not people. they’re all like that, they all have little secrets they wont tell. screw them all, especially our government, bunch of crooks.

  157. nikki says

    This makes me think what is in the food that we buy at the supermarket.If companies can get away with lying about what they add to juice, can you imagine what they had to our food especially the processed stuff.It’s scary.

  158. John says

    My biggest beef is not even that the companies add the chemicals/flavor/other ingredients, it’s that they try to disguise them.

    For instance, one that gets a lot of notice these days is “cellulose”. Sounds official enough. Of course, labeling it “wood shavings” (which is what cellulose in food products is) would be descriptive. They don’t do that because they know if they put wood pulp on as an ingredient no one would buy it. Knowing that they’re masking the ingredients because people wouldn’t buy them if they knew what they actually were to me seems unethical. The food supply needs to be transparent for everyone’s safety. Why shouldn’t we know exactly what’s in our food without any games? It shouldn’t be a research product to figure out how many of the 50 chemicals listed in an ingredient list are derived from corn for example.

    Full disclosure, I drank OJ that came straight out of a plastic jug this morning so though I an opinionated on the transparency issue I clearly still have some of these products in my diet.

  159. renae says

    Thank so much for this article. I grew up in Jamaica so moving here was very different for me. I now as an adult understand why food and drinks always tasted “different” from back home. All the things they add to it. It’s not natural or healthy at all. Orange juice should be orange juice nothing else and no extra processes. I prefer to make my own even if it is more expensive. In my household my children only drink milk and water and at this rate i would prefer to keep it that way. Wish people would wake up and realize what is going on with their food.

  160. Raven says

    …Uh, I’m drinking orange juice because its the best thing you can drink if you don’t want tea. Which, you know, doesn’t go with food. And for that matter isn’t so “super healthy” anyway because it contains large amounts of fluoride.

    I’ve seen several posts about orange juice but not a single one that tells me which brand you should buy instead, or if there are any labels that will indicate a lack of flavor packs. Right now I am using Florida’s Natural, which at least didnt come up on Buycott under GMOs, and does not appear to be owned by any other company. But which brand really IS natural? Is organic orange juice allowed to use these “flavor packs”? Does organic orange juice exist?

  161. Christopher Wunsch says

    Sad testament as to the state of our food industry…as bad as our Drug industry….where there is a buck to be taken, there are many waiting to take it from you….

  162. Ernie Mink says

    I agree that food and drink should be as original and natural as possible, but as your article clearly states, often those choices of true organic and fermented food and drink are more expensive and less cost-effective. That is why the industry does stuff with by-products and processed food. I cannot say I get sick or ever get a flu or cold, and I do not take flu vaccines. However, it is not always reasonable or possible for everyone to do what this article states. Some have a small apartment and not the time to cook 3 means a day. Who does with the current work world or busy forced schedules? And sometimes it is we just get used to buying more ready made foods for speed and not to starve or go hungry. It is a lot of things, and I do not have the space or time to touch on everything here, but I think you get what I am speaking about. I just have faith and trust my Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus each and every day for my life, and those around me. Thank you for this article.

  163. Rose says

    wow. A lot of neurotic people out there. Yes, it’s not the same as a glass of fresh squeezed that you made yourself. And if you have issues with ‘altered’ food, that’s all well and good.
    But all these people saying juice in general is bad for you? OMGosh, people, a glass of juice a day with breakfast is not going to kill our children or rot their teeth(brush daily? hello?) or make them obese. Wow.

    • says

      “Furthermore, I’m questioning the judgement of our regulatory bodies which allow misleading product labeling to continue.”

      This last sentence of your revision is what I was thinking throughout the entire article! Cheers!


  164. Jill says

    I read about this last week and not really surprised. What I don’t understand is people’s (and the food industry’s) fixation with uniformity. What’s wrong with the juice being a different colour or taste at different times of year? Same goes for vegetables in the store. Deformities and misshapes are frowned upon which leads people to believe eventually that anything not fitting the ‘perfect’ shape somehow second best.

  165. Tammie says

    Renegade. Thank you for your posts. Some of us appreciate the information and will assimilate the parts that make sense and work for us at this moment. Think spring and plant some spinach!

  166. Andrea says

    If you can barely eat an apple there is something wrong with you. Article discredited in a single, idiotic line.

    • Linda says

      I can only eat one apple. I simply would not enjoy the second one as much as the first – and I would probably be full from just one. Why is this a problem for you? I would think there was something wrong with YOU for discrediting a lot of information based on one person’s apple preference. Have you read the labels on your OJ containers?

  167. Lori Rothe-Khurana says

    I get a cup of Apple juice from two apples. Those are very dry apples if you need 6-8 of them!

  168. Linda says

    Very informative post. I have heard rumors of this before and continue to see – and question – the statement on OJ containers that say *Ingredient not found in regular orange juice. I’ll have to share this.

  169. says

    Have you ever made the experiment of burning the pulp that is in those artificial orange juice? well let me tell you, you’ll be surprise. You’ll discover that that pulp is plastic and syntetic and it’ll smell and burn just like plasctic by products.

  170. says

    I 100% agree with your comments in red at the end of the article. Food simply can’t be 100% food anymore! There’s always a way to process it (for shelf life), which gives someone in the “fake food” industry a job. The wrong food industry is thriving, while more and more small farms are going out of business. Ugh.

  171. Rachel Lobban via Facebook says

    I buy fresh squeezed (aka not pasteurized, not from concentrate) organic orange juice at a local store. Honestly, it’s a steal at $5.99 for a half gallon. I bought a bag of organic oranges and made my own once and it was a TON of work. Tasted amazing, but far more work. This stuff I buy tastes a lil different every time, but it is so yummy! :-)

    • Mark says

      $6 for HALF A GALLON! You’re too rich. No way in hell I’d EVER pay that much. Plus its unpasteurized! Hello – ever heard of listeria? Farms aren’t magically sterile places. There are vermin living under the trees and fruit falls to the ground and makes contact with their waste. Heating up the juice to kill bacteria isn’t a bad thing.

  172. Lois MacLean via Facebook says

    Florida’s Natural is the best store bought without going organic. 100% USA, Florida oranges!

  173. says

    I’ve had dried, cracking & bleeding skin on *one* of my hands for years, sometimes coming and going without reason. I tried all sorts of creams, some prescribed by my doctor (with cortisone) and none of them worked. Turns out that Tropicana Orange Juice was specifically causing the problem, and since I’ve stopped drinking it I have had no skin problems (and I have had other juices, including two other orange juices, without problems.) Just for the record – I did not try other Tropicana products so I’m not sure whether the problem is isolated to only Tropicana Orange Juice or to other juices in their product line.

  174. says

    Hello, Kristen. : )
    I don’t have much to input to the conversation, but I really did like the article. My younger sister brought up the discussion on phony orange juice, (or at least, misleading orange juice,) so I decided to go snooping.

    It’s sad that so much of the food industry is processed and industrialized, but it’s been going on for a long time, so I’d assume it will take a much longer time to see changes in the future.
    I’d rather not complain while we wait, we’re all different, and there’s other stuff we need to get worked up about.
    Makes for an interesting conversation, though. I'm glad I read the article.

    I just wonder why these orange juice companies go through all this trouble, though…?
    Why spend money on growing, juicing, de-hydrating (or whatever) all these oranges and paying others to add colors and flavors later?

    Y'know, when it would be faster and cheaper to just make a "fresh orange breakfast beverage." Something like, pre-made Tang or something.
    It seems to be a big waste just to get rid of all the pulp, peels and other stuff that oranges have, only for a measly amount of orange juice that they were going to suck all the orange-ness out of anyway.

    Maybe they have a secret surplus of oranges? I don't really know. Just thought it was puzzling, and it could be for a good way to keep up the momentum of conversation in the comments.

    I don't judge either side, though. Juice is juice, and industry changes may take a long time. : )
    I like water more than most juices, to be honest, actually. I also prefer fruit in my uncle's summer fruit salads, too. The ingredients are store bought, but it's still good.

    I wonder what's in Tang.

  175. Crystal Red via Facebook says

    There’s is one line of OJ available at whole foods that is flavor pack free… In the last three weeks each bottle has tasted different and each has tasted awesome.

  176. Tisha Stewart via Facebook says

    I’ve stopped buying OJ. With them adding sugars as well as other additives and the fact that so many oranges are needed to make juice, I just decided we didn’t need it anymore. It’s better for my kids just to eat an orange.

  177. Mark says

    You claim to reveal some secret ingredient in my OJ then tell me the secret is that they add back orange flavor made from oranges. So, the secret ingredient in orange juice is…oranges! OMG the horror! And they mix the sour oranges with the sweet oranges to get a good consistent taste? Those bastards!

  178. says

    Interesting article but here’s where I get, well, ” STEAMED “, no matter WHAT we eat or drink, somebody finds fault with it. ” WORRY ” is the #1 cause of illness so DAMN IT leave us alone. Go take a hike in the woods and eat some POISON BERRIES and drink some nice fresh SPRING WATER with animal, bird, bug and fish dukey in it.
    ” SICK ” OF IT !

  179. John Burlingame says

    I have gotten a Soy allergy response to drinking Simply Orange. It made me look up whats in it, Had no idea Coke made this. Now it all makes sense. Well I will start making my own juices as well.

  180. Charmaine Hurst says

    That is why I eat only oranges and try to buy the Organic ones and not the conventional grown. Organic fruit and veggies always have the code that starts with the number(9) and is a five number code. So I will get my vitamin C by eating an orange every other day by peeling slicing it to eat. Simple!

  181. Charmaine Hurst says

    It is a shock to many upon and thousands of people in knowing the “truth” behind where and how our food and drink comes from and how it is process! This is why it is always good to research and read about food and the process whether it is fruit, vegetables ,meat, drinks such as fruit juice, milk,meat, cereals ,etc. Nothing is totally safe until we as the consumer demand fresh and chemical free food!

  182. Through the Looking Glass says

    You’re traveling down a road to despair.

    I did a paper some time ago concerning industrial products that most people ingest on a daily basis. The facts are frightening. Occasions where the FDA has sold out the American public for it’s own agendas. They allowed the distribution of harmful chemicals used in preservation of foods and flavor enhancement by a Japanese chemical corporation in return for that corporations cooperation in investigations into chemical price fixing (once the US chemical companies involved were put under pressure from the governemt, a void was created that allowed the Japanese company to set up shop in the US and begin mass distribution of it’s future chemicals (msg and aspartame – I know they’re not the only producers, but this company holds the largest share of the markets and was the original developer of these chemicals). Another interesting one was the disposal of agricultural waste in the form of Crisco and margarines (an interesting fact in this is that oils extracted from cotton seed are used in food products, but since cotton isn’t itself a food product, farmers are allowed to bombard them with any regiment of chemicals they choose. Even though those highly toxic chemicals can be found in the oils, the FDA allows them to feed it to you anyway). Another is the use of inedible plastic that breaks down and cuts into you soft tissues, embedding in your body (Crest toothpaste with the blue flecks are actually small bits of plastic). Or a study that was conducted that determined a massive decrease in the amount of formaldehyde required for embalming bodies since the introduction of plastic as containers for food and liquids (formaldehyde naturally leeches out of the plastic and into the food/drink substance over time). Or the break down of aspartame in the body to become methanol (tolerable in small amounts, since your body turns it into formaldehyde, but still dangerous to your nervous system unless you’re an alcoholic (since ethanol pollution of your liver forces your body to expel the methanol, rather than absorb it), and who knows what else studies will uncover with more acceptance and wide use of the sweetener substitute. I’ll stop there. There are millions of cases where products are being produced that will last longer, taste better, grow bigger, all thanks to the efforts of chemical companies. And when we all get various and strange diseases throughout our lives from the moment were a fetus till the day we die thanks to these efforts, who do we turn to for pills to fix the problems… chemical companies. Informing people is all good, but at the end of the day we all follow the same motto: ignorance is bliss. The only way not to get polluted with chemicals is to move to the middle of nowhere and eat only what you grow, hunt, or forage. The FDA and the WHO do not have your best interest at heart. They tend to those with the deepest pockets, as most successful politicians must do to survive and thrive.

  183. tom says

    If there are flavor packs for fruit juice then why hasn’t a company come up with low calorie, zero fat flavor pack flavored steak? Think of how much money companies can make on diet products that taste like the real thing.

    Maybe it’s easier to make flavor packs for juice that taste like juice. I’m skeptical because of all the diet, sugar free, fat free options that taste nothing like their non-diet counterparts that a company hasn’t developed a flavor pack to make them taste more like the real thing.

  184. maven ferringer says

    An excellent article, but one thing I disagree with is this statement: “Did you know, for example, that it takes 6-8 medium sized apples to make just 1 cup of apple juice?” I juice apples nearly everyday and if I juice about 8 apples, it yields about 32 fluid ounces. That would be equal to 4 cups of juice. But again, great article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>