Friday, November 20, 2009

WTF Friday


I've decided that I need to come up with a theme that gives me a place to bitch on a regular basis so without further ado, let me introduce you to:

WTF Friday


Might be one long bitch session or rant, could be a break down of several annoyances that have accumulated all week or an injustice or rip off.  Like the idea?  Then join in and let the bitching begin!

So here is my first official post for WTF Friday!

Bursting That Orange Juice Bubble

With all the talk of H1N1 and the cold season approaching, parents are flocking to the grocery stores stocking up on Vitamin C packed cartons of 100% Pure Orange juice.  But before you dig out your wallet and fork over your hard-earned money, do yourself and your budget a favor and read on.

Have you ever wondered how "fresh" orange juice can be available during all 12 months of the year when the popular Florida Valencia oranges are only in their prime during the months of March until June?

If you read from the cartoons of brands like Tropicana and Minute Maid, you will see the words "Natural, Pure and Squeezed from Oranges" just to name a few.  If you watch their television commercials, you will see that refrigerator door open up into a grove of pristine looking orange trees where the farmer will pass through a carton of his finest, fresh orange juice. Problem is, they leave out what happens between that grove and refrigerator.

Now for a little Orange Juice Storage 101

When you compare prices at the supermarket, many of us believe that by spending that extra $2 or $3 for pasteurized juice over the frozen tube you add water to, you are getting a better product. Right?... Wrong!  The truth is that this cost difference is not in the making of the product but rather in the cost to store it. Right now, the popular storage method of pasteurized orange juice, ie that refrigerated carton, is Aseptic Storage. This process involves stripping the juice of oxygen so it doesn't oxidize while sloshing around in those huge storage vats where it can be stored for a full year. The "from concentrate" on the other hand, is a real space saver during storage.

Ever wonder how they manage to keep the flavor consistent from one carton to the next as well as all year round?

Here's where it gets really interesting. When pasteurized orange juice is stripped of that pesky oxygen before being stored, it also loses all of its flavor. So guess what the juice companies did? They hired flavor and fragrance companies just like the ones who develop those $100 perfumes, to "engineer" flavor packs to add to this sugary and tasteless "juice".  These flavor packs not only make the juice taste fresh, but also make it taste how we "expect" fresh orange juice to taste.

The reason we don't see Flavor packs listed on the label is because they fall just under that thin line of being an ingredient. Technically, they are derived from orange essence and oil, sounds "natural", doesn't it. These flavor packs, whether made for reconstituted or pasteurized orange juice do not resemble anything found in nature. As a matter of fact, the packets used in the production of most orange juice being marketed in North America usually contain high amounts of ethyl butyrate, a chemical in the fragrance of fresh squeezed orange juice. Each market, be it American, Mexican, or wherever has a different palate so each flavor pack is designed to appeal to the specific country where the juice is to be sold.

These individual formulas give each brand their trademark taste which is why it remains consistent regardless of when the oranges were at their peak of freshness. For the most part, all flavor packs share the same source of inspiration, that perfect Florida Valencia orange in spring.

So next time you are in the grocery store picking up that expensive carton of pasteurized orange juice, don't be fooled by the picture of that straw sticking out of a perfect orange on the label. Take a minute, close your eyes and then picture that straw sticking out of a bottle of Chanel No. 5.

There, now that's more like it!



47 comments:

singedwingangel said...

Well EWWW although I must admit I am a food detective.. I could tell you things about hot dogs and bacon that would make you never go near a pig again lol..

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

How did you know all of this?? And, this is why I just buy those Sunny D things in the bottles...

Too Many Hats said...

I had no idea. Now this makes me feel a little better because I never buy orange juice and my kids do really like it - bad mom or cheap mom as the case may be.

American in Norway said...

EWW EWWWWW... I am going to have to play along next Friday.. Popping by from Lee's.. Great blog! : )

Erin said...

This is kinda like why I try not to buy things with High Fructose Corn Syrup in them. You'd be surprised the places it shows up---bread, yogurt, etc...UGH! So frustrating.

I am trying to shop more perimeter of the grocery store these days. And we don't drink a lot of OJ, actually. Which doesn't mean we're safe, I know!

KaLynn said...

You go girl! Thanks for enlighting us! After raising many kids, I just go for cheap. Why pay them to add the water? I really appreciate your investigative research!

Martha in PA said...

Don't drink much juice... I get my Vit C straight from the orange!

Interesting!

mama-face said...

Holy Moly...how do you know all this stuff? Number 1- really, people think drinking OJ will stave off H1N1? Garsh, the thought never occurred to me. Number 2-I am the only person in the universe who loathes OJ so if isn't all about me, then I don't think about it.

But I have a few words to say to the Hubs; who buys that fancy Simply OJ in the refrigerator section which is 17 times more expensive.

Tiffany said...

looks like we're moving over to the cheap frozen stuff. we LOVE the Simply Orange brand and it is uber expensive. It's like getting a treat when we buy it. Ah well...more money for the shoe fund!

glitterbygrammie said...

I was raised with frozen orange juice and I prefer it. The thing that people don't like about it is, you have to make it. We live in such a hurry up and get things done society that making frozen orange juice isn't at the top of the things we hurry and do first thing in the morning.So we can hurry out the door.

Theta Mom said...

Holy research batman! Thanks for sharing that with us. ;)

Jessica said...

wow, nice post! This is important information to know. I don't usually buy them the orange juice or apple juice, now I will not for sure!

Trish said...

Thats crazy but scary, I guess its time to whip out my juicer...errr.

Tamara said...

Um yuck....and yes I have wondered how each carton of juice taste exactly the same. When I was in Florida last time visiting my parents, there is an orange grove on every corner, but the oranges are small kinda green and don't look apetizing so I asked why they look like that. I was told those oranges are used for juice only and you aren't supposed to eat them! WTF are you kidding me??? Eeewwww So combined with what you are saying...ummmmm...i'm squeezing or taking a chewable from now on. lol
And I'm also joining you on the Friday thing...I love it!!
Hugs!!

Noelle said...

very enlightening...think i'll stick to the vitamin c in the tablet form. waaaaaay cheaper and no sugar.

Heather said...

Thankfully, I don't even buy orange juice. Great imformation, thanks.

raquel roysdon said...

I drink orange juice. I also take 1000 mg of Vitamin C. Good B*tching I can't wait to read next weeks!

yonca said...

Great search! Thanks for sharing!

kys said...

How did you get so smart? I don't drink oj because I have reflux so I'm off the hook on this one.

Don't talk about Reese's Peanut Butter Cups next week, m'kay? I will already be emotionally fragile from my family's visit.

I like this theme. I'll be sure to do it when I come back to Blog Town.

blueviolet said...

I feel so duped! However, I have to admit that whatever formulas they're using, it works. It tastes good!

Lissaloo said...

I will never be able to look at oj in the same way ever again. I always just buy whichever in on sale or cheapest :)

Life Laugh Latte said...

Hmmm. So are you saying that frozen is better for you, or just the same but smaller to store? Good info to ponder for sure. We don't go overboard, but we do try to make changes that really matter. Holly

ZenMom said...

Yuk? Who knew?

Except you that is. Thanks for the info. It will definitely make me think next time I pass the OJ section.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

This girl will stick to just eating the orange instead. Go figure. Flavor packets?? Ewww.

Rabbit said...

Well, gee thanks, I USED to like Orange Juice... LOL! I ♥ the WTF Friday idea. I may just have to borrow it! On my old blog I used to have OFIF! (Oh Fart it's Friday) because I didn't like my large and smelly roommate very much at the time and it was always home on the weekends... So every Friday I always felt like "Oh Fiddlesticks, it's Friday." I really like WTF much better, though.

Janie B said...

Juices are too sweet for you anyway. Just eat oranges.

Carol said...

We like the frozen concentrate. Stores easier, little less $$.
Great information - got another product in mind for next weeks blog?

staceyjwarner said...

who knew? very interesting...

much love

Holly said...

I use the frozen juice now...but we hardly drink juice at all. I had no idea about this though.

Holly

Maya said...

Good because I never buy juice. Now when my kids ask why not? I dont have to say "just because" and they might never ask again.
How do you know all that?

HeartsMakeFamilies said...

OM I had absolutely no clue. Thanks for sharing that. I think I'm going to like your Fridays.

gayle said...

Don't buy oj very often..good info!

Rasha @ and this is what she said... said...

haha ya how do you know all this... I sure didn't lol.

but i do love me some oj!!!!

Anita said...

Eating has become so complicated. :)

Connie K said...

Gotta love your WTF Fridays LOL ! Great post i love Orange juice now i dont know ! Might just have to do freshly squeezed :)

Menopausal New Mom said...

Thanks everyone for checking out my first official WTF Friday post, some of you asked how I found out about this.

It was last Summer, we were listening to a radio program about this very topic. I was so shocked, I had been buying cartons of orange juice for years thinking it was fresh. I jumped on the internet, did some research and there it was. Up until that radio show I had no idea to even bother thinking about it. Figured I wasn't the only one being ripped off so decided to share the info.

Thanks for not only taking the time to read such a long post but for also leaving your comments!

Matty said...

This is very interesting. I'd love to hear where you got this information. Thanks for the tip. I guess now I need to get the canned stuff.

Martinis or Diaper Genies? said...

go organic! makes a difference.

Dreamfarm Girl said...

wow. I sincerely hope that the organic orange juice doesn't use this same process. gross.

Dreamfarm Girl said...

Bad news for organic OJ drinkers who thought this might not apply to us. Quoted from an article about the ew book, Squeezed, from whence all this orange-exposure came: see
http://yalepress.typepad.com/squeezed/2009/07/behind-the-label-orange-juice.html

"So is organic orange juice a better option? The answer is yes - and no. Growing organic oranges does not involve the use of pesticides and fertilisers and therefore it may have a lower carbon footprint and lower impact on the environment. However if it comes in a carton or bottle it will have gone through the same industrial process as non-organic juice and is therefore still less nutritious than eating an actual orange or squeezing juice from an organic orange for yourself.

Organic standards of course do not legislate for how the workers are treated. Your organic juice may well still have been picked by an exploited child who should have been in school.

If you absolutely need orange juice, then squeezing it fresh at home from an organic orange may be your healthiest and most environmentally friendly option."

Bummer. But thank, MNM for getting the word out.

Frugal Vicki said...

I almost hate to say this in light of what I may learn in a future post of yours....but give me the vitamin c in a pill, I am happy. Am I naive?

Helene said...

Well, that's definitely a WTF for me too!!! I had no idea...wow, this was very enlightening! I drink a glass of OJ every morning, thinking I'm getting all these wonderful nutrients!

I think I'll just start buying oranges and sucking the juice out of them directly!

Just Playin' said...

Gotta check out those "new to me" blogs. Always fun. Thanks for the OJ info too! Man, oh man!

Laynee said...

Wow! No wonder my stomach hurts when I drink that stuff! Now I really will buy the feozen stuff. KaLynn told me about your blog. I love it!

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Karen said...

Dear Deb,

Please allow us to share further information on behalf of the Florida Department of Citrus.

Approximately 68 percent of Canadian orange juice comes from the United States. This orange juice is processed in strict compliance with all Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulations. By utilizing state-of-the-art technology, Florida is able to provide a consistent supply of high quality, nutritious orange juice year round.

One of the healthiest morning beverages, people choose orange juice for its great taste and nutrition benefits. By law, 100 percent orange juice is made only from oranges with no added sugars or preservatives. Additionally, one 8-ounce glass provides at least 100 percent of the Daily Value of vitamin C.

Please visit www.OrangeJuiceFacts.com for more information about orange juice.

Karen Mathis
Florida Department of Citrus

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