How are you today?
How did you start your morning? I used to start my morning with a fresh glass of orange juice, a stretch, a yawn and a new resolve…
That was until I found out that the wholesome orange goodness that I thought I was imbibing was perhaps not as wholesome and authentic as I thought.
When I think of fresh orange juice, l have an image of countless fields of oranges on trees and a happy brown person with broken teeth and a worn out sun hat smiling warmly at the camera as he drops another zesty fresh orange into his full basket.
I have this image because that was what was sold to me since I was a nipper. The truth however is somewhat different. The little brown man and his plump happy wife do not spend all day squeezing juice just so that I can have it fresh the next day! Here is the story of your orange juice and how it gets to your table:
The reality is that when oranges are picked they are squeezed, the pulp discarded and the juice is stored in huge vats. Oxygen is then removed from the juice to enable it to be able to hang around for up to 1 year (hello?) without going off. This process also strips the juice of all it’s flavors.
When they are ready to use the juice, the flavors are replaced using flavor packs designed by the same people that make perfumes for the big perfume companies. They also use industrial chemical processes to recreate the smell of orange.
Often we don’t reconsider what we are buying once the advertising message has numbed our brain into automatic repetitive purchasing. But it stands to reason that any fresh juice that tastes consistently sweet must have had something done to it as it is near impossible to be able to buy consistently sweet fruit.
It also stands to reason that any fresh product that has an unfeasible shelf life will have had some industrial process intervening between it’s natural, simple state and you. Whilst the orange liquid that ends up on our tables might not be detrimental for you, (jury’s still out), for me it does not remotely resemble what I thought I was buying.
Tell me. Does this surprise you?
- ‘What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice‘ Alissa Hamilton