Friday, October 28, 2011

I Drink Juice

A trending topic in the natural parenting community is the vilifying of fruit juice. Fruit juice, even 100% juice, leads to obesity, fights between parents and children, and tooth decay. Any self-respecting parent should refuse to bring such a substance into their home or only do so under duress.


I understand that over-consumption of juice is unhealthy. I know that a piece of fruit is better for you than strained, processed fruit juice. But avoiding juice at all costs? That seems to be taking things a bit too far.

Back when I was a kid, I had orange juice with breakfast every morning, as did my brothers and my dad. Often, I had juice with lunch also. I never remember wanting to fill up on juice, nor was my juice consumption limited by my parents. It was available and we drank it sensibly, just like milk.

My juice-drinking brothers (and their friend in the middle)

None of us have ever struggled with obesity. We all were very active as children and maintain a healthy level of exercise as adults. We learned healthy eating habits that we continue to this day.

I'm not condemning parents who don't want their kids to drink juice. That's fine by me. I'm not disputing the science out there linking juice to health problems. But correlation does not prove causation.

If we're going to cast stones at others' decisions, can't we at least pick more important issues?


  1. When we were children the juice was actually juice for the most part, now you can hardly find a juice that is not sporting corn syrup and a large percentage of white grape juice which is nearly pure sugar.

    Fresh squeezed and what we get now days in juice containers is very very different. Which is why we don't do much juice in our house.

  2. Thank you for writing this post. I felt the same type of questioning and confusion. Our family does find juices that have no HFC and few processed sugars, so it surprised me to read too.
    I think the more important issues with obesity tend to reside in the cost of healthy food. You can get a pack of Capri Suns for less than two dollars, but fresh squeezed orange juice, is likely at least five.

  3. I have to agree with Ann, there is no such thing as freshed squeeze or unprocessed juice in this day and age. The 'fresh squeezed' oj, like tropicana, sits in huge stainless steel vats, sometimes for a year at a time, they add flavor packs and all sort of other 'industry standards' ingredients that don't have to be labeled. Almost all apple juice comes from China, from left over apples, the ones that are moldy etc. Ascorbic acid, many times used as a preservative, is nothing more the GMO corn syrup + hydrochloric acid. Sodium benzoate is also used as a preservative, industry standard, so no labeling. Sodium benzoate + vitamin c = benzene, an EPA class A carcinogen.

    I don't really care if someone chooses to drink juice, but ppl should really know exactly what they are drinking. We drank juice all the time when we were kids too, but today's foods are not the same as when we were kids. We buy number 2 juicing oranges by the case and make juice cubes out of them to put into kombucha for 'juice' for breakfast.

  4. I'm having trouble commenting on your blog lately for some reason!

    I wrote this long comment about the reasons why I give my son juice, even though I know it's not that healthy. I just am aware that I can't be perfect in everything, and juice is helping us wean him (which we kind of have to do), so, even though it's not the "best," it's the best *in our situation.* That's something every parent has to figure out for themselves. None of us are perfect, but no one cares about our kids like we do.

  5. @Amanda: Hey, stop casting aspersions on my teeth. You just WISH you had as many teeth as I do.

    @Ann: I agree that many juices seem to have more additives than juice. The orange juice at our local supermarket is just juice and water, at least according to the label. Here's hoping this is truth in advertising!

    @Aubrey: Yes, we've been able to find good juice, but it's certainly more costly than the sugar water marketed as juice. It's frustrating that healthy eating means more expensive eating.

    @Megan: Thank you for a thoughtful, informational comment. I was unaware of the additives that don't need to be labeled. I wish more people were focusing on that instead of "It has sugar! It must be bad!" (Continuing to pray for Jairden and your family)

    @Sheila: I appreciate your perseverance! :-) Thanks for your support. I need to remember the explanation that was is best is not necessarily best for a given situation. Good advice.