Tuesday, February 22, 2011

You can have any flavor you want - as long at it's grape

I drink a small glass of orange juice each morning while making my coffee.  Other than that, it's rare that I buy fruit juice.  I tend to think of it as "nature's soda pop," and I doubt my body needs the extra sugar.

This morning, however, was one of those times that I was in the mood to buy some juice to keep at work.  Having read about the health benefits of pomegranates and cranberries, I liked the idea of a blend of those two.  Unfortunately, while many labels prominently featured those two fruits, a closer look at the ingredients revealed a disturbing trend in the juice aisle - you can't get what you want.

If you want pure apple or grape juice, you're in luck.  There's plenty of that.  Everything else, however is either a "juice cocktail," which may contain some concentrated form of the fruit you seek, but the first two ingredients will be water and sugar, or it's 100% juice - but mostly grape or apple, and only a little of the fruit you want.

The next time you're in the supermarket, pay a quick trip to the juice aisle (yes, there's a whole aisle devoted to juice), and look at the choices.  In addition to pomegranates and cranberries, there's raspberries, blueberries, grapefruit, pear, apple, and of course grape.  But look more closely.  If the bottle doesn't say it's "100% juice," it's not.  It's going to be a "juice drink" or "juice cocktail," and the primary ingredients are water and sugar (if you're lucky, that is, and they're not using high-fructose corn syrup).  If the label does boast that it's "pure juice" or "100% juice," turn the bottle around and see what type.  I'll bet that the first two ingredients listed are not the one or two featured on the front of the bottle.  The fruit in the big colorful pictures?  They're in there, but in much smaller quantities than the manufacturer would have you believe.

Now, I know there are a few companies out there making "designer juices" or the pure products that I would like to consume.  But they charge an arm and a leg for it.  We complain about paying $3 per gallon for gasoline.  How about $5 per quart for pure juice?  Who are you kidding?  I like my body, but before I spend that much on juice, there had better be gold flakes in it.

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