orange juice
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Fresh Orange Juice, Why Should We Drink It?

Fresh Orange Juice is healthy, delicious, and refreshing. Let’s remember the good old days make freshly squeezed orange juice.

Growing up back home, we always had fresh orange juice and not the storebought. This was so long ago that I almost forgot how wonderful it was to enjoy “real” fresh fruits. I used to love sucking on the pulp and did not mind if the juice was not cold. These days the consumption of freshly squeezed orange juice is almost forgotten.

We grew up in Haiti drinking fresh orange juice, and to us, it was the norm. Every time I travel to the Caribbean, a glass of fresh orange juice is the norm. There are numerous eateries everywhere in the world still serving freshly squeezed orange juice.

I congratulate these establishments and hope many more will follow. But why do we continue buying the “machine-made juice.” I have nothing against it, except that the manufacturers should find ways to avoid adding preservatives to the juices they produce.

Photo Credit: Canva

My concerns about storebought orange juice

Old news first

I have always been concerned with pesticides and chemicals found in our food. On February 3, 2012, ABC Good Morning America delivered the news that most of us feared. The following is an excerpt from the article written by Jim Avila, Kevin Dolak, and Carrie Gann. Low levels of a banned pesticide found in orange juice imported from Brazil are safe for sale in the domestic supply, says the Food and Drug Administration after conducting new tests.

The juice, which is stored in huge, three-story high tanks in Florida, is tainted with the fungicide carbendazim and will soon reach American grocery stores. “In this case, we’ve been cautious in working with EPA to ensure that these residues are posing no safety concern,” said Michael Taylor, deputy director of the FDA.

The FDA has said that the juice is entirely safe to drink and that the amount of the fungicide in the contaminated OJ is far below unsafe levels. To test positive for the pesticide, orange juice samples had to contain at least ten parts per billion of the pesticide.

Carbendazim has been found to cause congenital disabilities in rodents and some chromosome problems in human cells in laboratories. However, it hasn’t been found to have any health effects on people. Carbendazim is a pesticide used to kill fungus and fungal spores. It is not approved for use on oranges in the U.S., but is lawful in other countries.” http://abcnews.go.com/US/orange-juice-safe-fda- carbendazim-safety-concern/story?id=15504105

I still remember how fearful I was when hearing this in the news and reading the article. 

Orange Tree

New information

On March 17, 2021, a new article had the following information.

The two hormone-disrupting fungicides imazalil and thiabendazole, one of which is also a likely carcinogen, were detected on nearly 90 percent of non-organic citrus fruit samples in tests commissioned by EWG. More than half the samples contained both fungicides.

Both chemicals disrupt the body’s hormones, or endocrine system, which regulates metabolism, growth and development, and other important functions. They can also harm the reproductive system, and California scientists classify one of them as a chemical known to cause cancer.

What must we do when we hear or read disturbing information about our food?

Be careful with what we consume every day.

When women bear children, their primary concern is to eat healthy foods to feed their growing fetus.  Also, we try our best to follow any advice and recommendation from our doctors, magazines, articles, friends, and family to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Unfortunately, we wait until it is too late to make an effort to change.

My concerns are not only for pregnant mothers and children but also for every individual young and old. We live in a world where we have become so accustomed to finding ways to make our lives comfortable that we forget what we have learned at a young age and what our ancestors have instilled in us.

When we make our own juice, we are drinking a wealth of nutrients (flavonoids, folates, and thiamine) and reducing the number of chemicals found in “processed juice’ that are absorbed by our bodies.  We have to find time to grab and squeeze a few oranges to make juice… it only takes a few minutes, and not pour the orange juice from a container into a glass.

Orange Juice

Keep up with the Research studies.

Studies have shown that fresh orange juice can protect us against cancer and heart disease and help to lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels.  So next time you decide to buy orange juice, switch to fruit instead. Try going back to basic; it is healthier, and we can be confident that the nutritional value of the beverage is not depleted.

Also, if we can make freshly squeezed orange juice, we can apply the same principle to making fresh juice with other fruits.

Let’s go back to basic and drink healthier juices.

Sources

  • ABC Good Morning America – Is your orange juice safe? FDA Says Carbendazim Causes No Safety Concern. http://abcnews.go.com/US/orange-juice-safe-fda-carbendazim-safety-concern/story?id=15504105
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Risk Assessment for Safety of Orange Juice Containing Fungicide Carbendazim http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/chemicals/carbendazim-fs.htm
  • https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/citrus.php

This article was originally published on May 27, 2013. It has been updated with additional information.

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