• Sat, Feb 2 2013

If You Think You’re A Better Mom For Avoiding The Soda And Giving Your Child Juice – Think Again

61SrChnXX8L._SL1400_Are you one of those annoying moms who brags about never giving her children soda or processed foods? I am. Turns out I have nothing to brag about. My juice of choice, Simply Orange, is actually a container full of creepy, industrial crap. Yet another failure to add to my already impressive list of mom screw-ups.

Had I done the minimal research it takes to look on the back of the container and see that it is made by the Coca-Cola Company, I would have known that’s it’s probably not the best stuff to be putting into my child’s body. They are the geniuses behind Vitamin Water, right? Remember how when that first came out everyone thought they were drinking something healthy and full of vitamins? And it turned out the stuff is basically as bad as soda with nary a vitamin in it? They are also responsible for years of trauma for me personally, after my seventh grade teacher stuck someone’s tooth in a glass of Coke so we could all watch how long it would take for the sugar to dissolve it. It took 5 days.

The Coca-Cola Company knows that we are all trying to be healthier nowadays. And by being healthier I mean totally buying into any marketing that will make us feel okay about what we know are bad nutritional choices. I admit – I took the bait.

So if they aren’t hiring young, virile farmers to hand squeeze their fresh juices, how the heck are they making them? I know that’s not how it’s done, but it’s a nice thought. The Atlantic Wire reports that the company calls the process “Black Book” because they won’t reveal how they make it. But the consultant that designed the Black Book formula will:

Bob Cross of Revenue Analytics explained to Bloomberg Businessweek that Coke relies on a deeply complex algorithm for every step of the juice-making process. The algorithm is designed to accept any contingency that might affect manufacturing, from weather patterns to shifts in the global economy, and make adjustments to the manufacturing process accordingly. Built into the model is a breakdown of the 600-plus flavors that are in orange juice that are tweaked throughout the year to keep flavor consistent and in line with consumer tastes. Coke even sucks the oxygen out of the juice when they send it to be mixed so that they can keep it around for a year or more to balance out other batches.

“Manufacturing process?” Wait a minute. This is supposed to be “simply orange juice.” There is nothing simple about this. What the heck is the difference between drinking this complex manufactured juice product and drinking juice from concentrate?

Just buy oranges and a juicer. Oh, make sure they’re organic. And harvested locally. Never mind. I give up. It’s still got to be better than Coke.

(photo: Amazon.com)

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  • Katia

    You’re right – the best bet is organic oranges and a juicer!
    But such a Crappy Headline – juice is not pop! Good article
    Though, good to know its not fresh. Can you find out about tropicana?

    • http://www.facebook.com/stina.kolling Stina Wargo Kolling

      All orange juice is so highly processed that it is tehcnically devoid of flavor until the company adds “flavor packs” which are made by the same people that do perfumes. Seriously. Read this article: http://consumerist.com/2011/07/29/oj-flavor-packs/

    • Katia

      Good to know! Thanks
      I just use a hand press for oranges so maybe we should get a juicer and totally stop buying juice. Not going to stop drinking juice
      By the way you can serve juice half sweet with sparkling water- less sugar and more economical =D

    • Kate

      I’m pretty lucky, our local supermarket has a huge juicer in their fresh produce section and someone stands there all day, putting oranges in the top, holding a bottle at the bottom and making 100% orange juice on demand.

      Of course it doesn’t have the shelf life of your other supermarket juices, and the flavour does change with the seasons given that there are no additives or flavourings, but it is a fantastic idea, they sell so much of that juice, people queue up for a fair way back for it. I can’t handle other orange juices now, they’re just too sweet and the flavour isn’t right.

  • Ordinaryperson

    I’ve heard it said that fruit juice is just pop with a multivitamin, because when you juice something you keep the sugars, but get rid of the fibre that would normally balance the sugars out if you were to just eat a piece of fruit. I don’t know if that’s true, but I feel like spreading internet lies tonight.
    Also, drinking fruit juice just seems like a waste of calorie intake to me. If I’m going to drink something tasty and high in calories, I want it to get something out of it, like a glass of wine or beer.

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

      pretty much the only liquid calories I consume these days are alcohol and that’s limited to 3-4 servings of liquor a week. :( Sometimes milk right after a lifting session (easy protein).
      And you’re correct about most fruit juices. Look at the nutrition info on them, it’s horrible.

  • Holla

    Maybe the name “Simply Orange” is just misleading on purpose. Maybe they meant the COLOR of the liquid is simply orange vs, tie-dye from all the other crap they plug into it; they didn’t mean orange as in the fruit! There, lawsuit won!!!!

    • Katia

      Agreed. SUCH a misleading name

  • Miranda

    I don’t dare be braggy about what I give my kids anyway. The fact remains that my two-year-old still goes to bed with a sippy cup nightly, and it’s only been recently that I’ve put my foot down on a “no juice for bed, no chocolate milk for bed” rule. Also he just ate a bunch of Cheetos – oops?