Orange juice has long been praised as a perfect complement to a complete and wholesome breakfast. This “fact” has recently been put under the spotlight with an expose on the orange juice industry. Apparently, O.J. is the latest commercial product to stand trial for it’s claim to health fame.
It’s hard to believe that golden glass of Vitamin C, with all it’s immune-boosting and anti-oxidant properties, may be doing you more harm than good. But according to Alissa Hamilton, author of Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice, mass-production strips the juice of it’s nutrients and leaves you with a nice, tall glass of chemicals. Yum.
A recent Toronto Star article, “What’s wrong with orange juice?” covered an interesting interview with the highly educated author. She says that commercial orange juice “may be heat processed, watered down, sugared up, doctored by flavour engineers (like those create perfume and colognes!) and stored for a year in tanks.
Whether it’s “from concentrate” or “not from concentrate”, Hamilton says the only orange juice out there that will actually do your body any good is the fresh squeezed variety. The `best before’ date is the best gauge as any product with a 60-plus shelf life must be heavily processed. Fresh squeezed orange juice lasts only a few days.
Hamilton prefers to consume the whole orange with all it’s fiber, including the pith, and even saves the rind for cooking! She has a doctorate in environmental studies from Yale University, a law degree from the University of Toronto and she says making the food system more transparent is her particular area of interest.
She’s doing this through her book but also as a fellow with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, where a diverse group of people are working to change U.S. food policies and advance the idea of healthy, green and affordable food for all.
For more information on the processing of orange juice, check out Hamilton’s book. For a great synopsis of her book, read the above linked Toronto Star article, and for the results of an orange juice taste test, read this article.