We have already received a lot of questions and comments via email asking the opinion of the Blue Heron Team regarding the media fight going on.
In case you missed it, the FDA recently unloaded on Dr. Oz, vilifying him for his assertion that many commercially produced apple juices, such as those you’d drink or give to the grand kids, contain unacceptable amounts of arsenic in them.
Arsenic, you say? And thus the controversy begins. Images are immediately called to mind of rat poison and painful deaths. This is indeed a little harsh and morbid, so one can see why this issue has gotten such a huge response.
However, there are different kinds of arsenic. There is organic, which is an element that naturally occurs in air, water, soil, and even fruits and vegetables. It is easily absorbed, fairly benign, and passes quickly through the body without negative effects.
Inorganic arsenic is the kind that kills. The FDA contends that Dr. Oz’s study doesn’t distinguish between the two and that it’s okay to have higher levels of organic arsenic.
So I guess a little poison is okay as long as it’s the right kind?
This is actually a similar comment to what I have seen in the forums over this issue. People are inherently distrustful of big business and the government, and any time they feel like the two are in cahoots, there are problems with trust.
Given that Dr. Oz is also a renowned cardiologist, best-selling author, and alternative medicine expert, it begs the question if they are maybe correct in their distrust of the FDA’s stance.
But that’s not even the reason I bring up the controversy or why I am not a fan of commercially produced apple juice.
What was noticeably absent from the points that the FDA, Dr. Oz’s camp, and the public were all making was that regardless of whether or not there are unsafe levels of arsenic in the juice, it’s just not a good choice for consumption if you fall into one of the following categories:
- You are a child
- You are a senior
- You are trying to lose weight
- You have diabetes
- You have IBS, Crones, ulcerative colitis, ulcers or other gastrointestinal problems
- You are underweight
- You have kidney issues
- You are in any way concerned about getting optimum nutritional value from the things you put in your mouth
Well, this basically rules out the majority of the people I have ever known, most people I have never met, and everyone in between.
Yes, this is a bold statement, but when you are faced with the decision to either drink this or any other commercially bottled juice, you have to weigh the facts.
These are truths, no matter whose side you are on, except maybe for the profit-hungry juice producers:
Apple juice is extremely high in sugar. It may be a fruit sugar, which is less evil than cane sugar, but it is still sugar, and unless you dilute the juice with a lot of water, it’s simply too much for the body, especially if consumed by a toddler or a diabetic.
The juicing process destroys most of the nutrients the producers claim their products are so high in. Then, the ‘fortify’ it with supplemental nutrients to replace what was lost during the bottling process.
These nutrients, because of the extremely high sugar and acid content, are quickly oxidized as soon as the bottle is opened. Unless you are drinking the whole bottle within 24 hours of opening it (regardless of whether or not it’s refrigerated), you are losing everything they packed into it to make the label look healthy.
You might as well dissolve a pound of sugar in a gallon of water and drink that, since the nutritive value is now the same. This not only keeps overweight people heavy, but it can cause diabetic people serious health problems.
Because of the sugar, people with touchy digestion can wind up with horrible diarrhea from even small amounts of apple juice. This is one reason why doctors and nurses make sure to mention that fruit juice is NOT considered a clear liquid during recovery from an illness.
Studies on the effects of juice drinking versus water on tooth enamel are startling, at best. Even with proper brushing 3 times a day, the assault has been launched. Apple juice is harder on tooth enamel than soda pop, sports drinks, and artificially flavored sugared drinks.
These are just some of the reasons a bottled juice is a bad idea for most people. Yes, it’s tasty and people love it. But if you really want to keep all the nutritive benefits and toss all the risks, including arsenic or whatever else might be in there, juice your own. Get locally grown produce (not apples from countries whose quality oversight and safety are questionable at best) and run them through a juicer.
An investment in a commercial juicer quickly pays for itself if you drink a lot of bottled juice. Drink it within a few hours of juicing and you’ll keep the vitamins, lose the pathogens, and even reduce waste in the environment.