February 7th, 2014

The case against orange juice

If you’ve been reading this blog a long, long time you may remember that I hate juice. All juice. As I wrote in 2009:

To make matters worse, I don’t like fruit juice. Even orange juice. Or maybe especially orange juice.

So I don’t pretend to have been a disinterested observer when I saw this article debunking the popular notion that orange juice is so very very good for you:

Most commercial orange juice is so heavily processed that it would be undrinkable if not for the addition of something called flavor packs. This is the latest technological innovation in the industry’s perpetual quest to mimic the simplicity of fresh juice. Oils and essences are extracted from the oranges and then sold to a flavor manufacturer who concocts a carefully composed flavor pack customized to the company’s flavor specifications. The juice, which has been patiently sitting in storage sometimes for more than a year, is then pumped with these packs to restore its aroma and taste, which by this point have been thoroughly annihilated.

I’m not a good judge; I much prefer to eat any variety of fruit or vegetable rather than drinking it. But I have to say that the few times I’ve tasted commercial “all natural, not from concentrate” juice (the type described in the article), it didn’t taste right to me, not at all like the real fresh-squeezed stuff.

The article goes on to quote an expert as saying that orange juice is “straight sugar,” much like Coke. Poppycock; orange juice has a lot more nutrients (especially vitamins) than Coke, so it’s really not “straight” sugar. Also, its sugar isn’t added but is naturally occurring, unlike the sugar in Coke. So if you care about that sort of thing, that’s a big difference.

I don’t like Coke either. But of course, you already know that I’m a complete dud in the beverage department.

9 Responses to “The case against orange juice”

  1. Sgt. Mom Says:

    I grew up drinking freshly-squeezed orange juice, made from fruit picked from the trees growing in the back yard. I lived in So-Cal – where it seemed as if everyone had an orange tree in the back yard, and really big back yards had three or four.
    The stuff from the grocery store tastes nothing like the fresh-picked, fresh-squeezed juice. Nothing at all.

  2. OldTexan Says:

    You can almost make some of the orange stuff palatable with an in fusion of vodka or champagne at a Sunday brunch.

  3. Gringo Says:

    I don’t drink much fruit juice, though I like most of them. I figure that it is better to drink water, given all the calories in fruit juices. In the summertime I 2 or more quarts of liquid, given the heat. Better to make most of the liquid replacement to be 0 calorie water.

    My citrus fruit fix comes from eating grapefruit. Peel and eat. In season, such as now, one a day.

  4. J.J. Says:

    The OJ served on the airlines was horrible stuff. And it could spoil. Considering the potential for food poisoning in the airline food operation, it’s amazing to me that the only two things that ever poisoned me were OJ and chicken. Have not touched any form of OJ since that day many years ago. Chicken – well let’s say I’m picky about it being cooked properly.

    Most fruit juices give you a big shot of sugar and your blood sugar goes up correspondingly. The pulp and fiber you get with eating the fruit helps slow the sugar spike. Better to get the fiber too. At least that’s the “consensus” today.

  5. southpaw Says:

    Pink Grapefruit Juice an vodka. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

  6. parker Says:

    I eat an orange every morning right after a cup of strong coffee. I follow that up with a glass of homemade kefir while the oatmeal cooks. Eat the whole fruit, not just the juice.

  7. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    My grandmother served fresh-squeezed orange juice every morning, in a little glass beside the oatmeal or the poached egg or the half-grapefruit with a maraschino cherry in the center, each segment carefully separated with one of those bent serrated grapefruit knives. I still have her squeezer. But do I squeeze the oranges each and every morning? No, I don’t, although lord, they were delicious.

  8. neo-neocon Says:


    Actually, I don’t care about that sort of thing. But plenty of people do.

    And I don’t eat orange juice OR oranges, because oranges are one of the foods that give me migraines, unfortunately.

  9. dicentra Says:

    Fruit juice is loaded with fructose, which spikes your blood sugar faster than just about anything. That’s why a diabetic whose blood sugar drops too low drinks fruit juice for a quick boost.

    Spiked blood sugar in the rest of us means spiked insulin, which means more calories allocated to fat than to muscle and organs.

    Fruit juice has more vitamins than sugary soda, but if you’re trying to control your insulin levels, it’s marginally worse for you.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.


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