Monday, February 18, 2013

Why We Don't Drink Juice

Juice is another one of those things that we have been tricked into believing is good for us. The reality is that it's not. Here are a few of the reasons we don't drink juice (even 100% real fruit juice).

1. Pesticides- If your juice isn't organic, it's likely loaded with pesticides and fungicides. Do you remember hearing about arsenic in apple juice? The EPA allows levels of up to 10 parts per billion in drinking water. Here is a glimpse of the levels found in 3 major brands:

Lowest Sample for Arsenic: 4 parts per billion
Highest Sample for Arsenic: 16 parts per billion

Juicy Juice 
Lowest Sample for Arsenic: 2 parts per billion
Highest Sample for Arsenic: 22 parts per billion

Lowest Sample for Arsenic: 3 parts per billion
Highest Sample for Arsenic: 36 parts per billion

That's right, some samples of GERBER Apple Juice, which is meant for babies, had 3 times the legal level of arsenic. You can read the full study here.

2. Our good old friends the GMOs. Apples and papaya are now being genetically modified. Who knows what else is? 

3. Sugar and calories- Juice is basically sugar water. It's packed with calories and sugar, almost as bad as soda. Yes, it's a natural form of sugar, but that doesn't mean we should be drinking it every day.

4. Lack of nutrients- Juices are pasturized to kill bacteria before being bottled, which means they are heated to such high temperatures that all the good stuff is killed as well. So then companies add "extra" vitamin C and other artificial vitamins which are hard on your body. Juicing also throws away all the bulk and fiber of the fruit and leaves only the sweet liquid.

5. Yuck factor- Companies buy up all the leftover fruit that is too "ugly" to be sold in grocery stores. Bruised, half rotten, unsellable fruit. While I certainly don't demand gorgeous, unblemished fruit, I also don't trust corporate factories to decide how rotten is too rotten when profits are on the line.

6. We are led to believe that juice is fresh fruit being squeezed and going straight into the bottle. Nothing could be further from the truth. The process of making juice can be mind boggling. I heard a story on NPR about giant warehouses where different batches of juice are stored and mixed together to get uniform taste and fruit is artificially ripened by being sprayed with gas. Hmmm. I tried to make it through this article about how Simply Orange Juice is concocted and eventually just gave up. There is currently a lawsuit against Simply Orange Juice for false advertising, since it claims to be 100% squeezed juice but actually goes through extensive processing and is "reflavored" with flavor packs.

So what about organic juice? Well, points 3 & 4 still apply and 5 & six 6 might. Juice can be a once in awhile treat like anything else, but there is no need to drink it all the time and call it a health food. If you really can't live without juice, buy a juicer and make your own. Or better yet, use a high powered blender to make smoothies. That way you keep all the fiber.

Now for my disclaimer: I still drink juice sometimes, but only if there's a little vodka in it. :)


  1. Hey Devin,

    I'm curious... You say that GMO's might be in organic juice too? I thought organics couldn't have GMO's? Also, what does Miss Evie drink?



  2. Hi, Jen! That was a numbering typo, I fixed it. Thanks for catching it. Wanna be my editor? ;) You are correct, organic food should not contain any GMO's. Unfortunately though, with things like corn, soy, and canola, the seeds blow from one field to another and organic crops can get contaminated by GMO seeds. That's why the Non-GMO certified seal can be reassuring even on organic foods. But I haven't heard of this happening with any fruits yet, so I think we are safe for now. Evie drinks a lot of water! She has fresh fruit and veggie smoothies that we make in our Vitamix. She also drinks organic goat milk for now but I think as she gets older we will wean her off of animal milk completely and switch to nut milks. As you know, we are the only beings that drink milk from another species, and the only ones who drink milk past childhood. Weird ain't it?