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.