Arsenic In Apple Juice?
Arsenic Apple Juice
As many have seen flooding the media lately, Dr. Oz has been ridiculed for stating that much of the apple juice on the market has dangerous levels of arsenic. After hearing about the controversy, I felt the need to share my take on it.
For starters, most of the apples used in our apple juice come from overseas, which should raise questions with or without arsenic. We as a nation are capable of growing things ourselves and instead of supporting the hardworking farmer down the road, big companies would rather have it flown in from 10,000 miles away.
Healthy For the Kids
As adults, it's highly important to take care of the younger generation and since many kids don't get the nutrition they need, parents find it easier to give them things like apple juice to serve as fruit. The problem with most commercial apple juice can be noted through juicing. When apples are freshly juiced, they look nothing like what's seen on the shelves and usually taste nothing like it.
I understand that juice has to be pasteurized to keep it from becoming rancid, but with that valuable nutrients are lost. If parents don't want their kids to drink sugary soda, apple juice isn't exactly the best alternative, especially since there are 27 grams of sugar in a cup of apple juice. That's about double the amount of an apple, without the nutritious fiber.
What upsets me is how quickly these companies which weren't willing to defend their product on Dr. Oz's show, were so willing to defend it after the show. Ultimately it's a big deal because I feel that they're trying to silence information. When it comes down to it, many people will buy apple juice anyway and should be able to make an informed decision as to rather or not to do so.
How Bad is Arsenic?
Ultimately people need to understand that the levels of arsenic in apple juice aren't high enough to kill a person and there are plenty of other ways in-which a person can be exposed to dangerous levels of arsenic. At the same time, arsenic in the apple juice people purchase should raise long-term health concerns.
Arsenic in it's purest form is a tasteless, odorless metal( assuming metal has no taste). It's typically found in industrial products and is commonly used with pesticides in places like China. The concern is how much of that ends up in the juice box packed with a child's lunch or the golden drink consumed at dinner.
We as consumers have to understand that in order for something to be considered unsafe, it has to cause a massive outbreak of some sort, but it's considered safe if the negative effects occur down the road. Frequent exposure to arsenic has been known to cause cancer, birth defects, and respiratory problems.
A Better Alternative
So, If you haven't noticed, I've constantly referred to children and the reason for this is because I believe that they are the ones consuming the most apple juice, so the concern should be greater. If you're a parent who struggles to get your kids to eat fruit, I understand your frustration because I hated apples as a kid.
The reason many kids may not like apples is probably because most of the ones at the store taste like crap. There are 3 distinct qualities of a good apple taste wise and they are as follows
CRISP: Biting into an apple should have a distinct crunch and many apples have a chalkiness to them that I wouldn't expect any kid to like.
Sweet: Since apples have natural sugars, they have a sweetness to them (though there are different varieties). An apple, be it green, yellow, or red, should not taste bland.
JUICY: When you bite into a good apple, you should be able to almost suck the juice right out. A chalky apple is a chore to eat.
As you can tell, I have a bias when it comes to apples, but I think a good apple should be vibrant with flavor, not shiny looking and bland tasting. If you can, I recommend getting apples as well as other produce locally and avoid those that travel from thousands of miles away.
For those that want to have apple juice instead, buy organic apple juice, or drink it fresh by juicing the apples yourself.