What popular drink is your child consuming daily that may be hurting her? The answer may surprise you. Those neat little juice boxes can be laden with chemicals and additives that may cause cancer, harm your child’s brain and more. The high sugar content and low nutritional value makes these juices suspect too.
So what kinds of things may be hiding in your so-called “all natural” juice?
Consumer Reports did a study in 2011 and found that grape and apple juice contain arsenic in higher-than-expected levels. In fact, the problem prompted Dr. Oz to do his own testing and he, too, discovered that over 50 different brands of apple contained high amounts of arsenic.
That same Consumer Report study showed that a quarter of the samples of grape and apple juice tested also contained lead, at limits higher than the FDA’s limited for bottled water.
- Syrup (aka “Concentrate”)
While we typically don’t think of this product in our juices, according to Food Babe, “concentrate” is really just another way to say syrup and is a result of processing. This processing is then used to store the concentrate for up to a year.
- Flavor Packets or Enzymes
As we reported at Mamavation this spring, “natural” orange juice may not be so natural at all. Because the concentrate itself gets old and stale, manufacturers need to add flavor packets, which can come from orange peels and are usuuall exposed to pesticides. The natural nutrients by now are long gone. Rather than having any healthy value, orange juice is frequently little more than toxins, sugar, and stale liquid.
- Artificial Nutrition
In order to get back the nutritional value, some companies will add back synthetic vitamins into the mix, which are more difficult for your body to accept and process properly.
Is there citric acid in your juice? While this is an ingredient that can occur naturally, according to No GMO 4 Michigan, most like companies are processing it from mold grown on GMO-corn and then, left as it is, it becomes MSG. MSG is a neurotoxin that can damage growing brains.
If your juice does not say organic, it probably contains GMOs. As we see from citric acid, it may not even be a major ingredient, but part of the processing.
- Artificial Color
Like the “flavor packets,” these can be added to make the juice look a consistent color. Artificial colors are linked to ADHD, as well as a host of other neurological and health issues.
- Synthetic Ingredients
Again reported by Food Babe, ingredients such as inulin, fibersol-2 and fructooligosaccharides were discovered in Pepsi’s “Naked Juice,” and after being sued, they were forced to remove the “all natural” label. What synthetic products are lurking in your child’s juice?
Don’t be fooled: a juice that “all natural” little or nutritional value and may contain very little of what actually is in fresh fruit. Instead look for organic, raw, cold-pressed juice for your child or make it yourself. Even better, skip the juice and whet your child’s appetite with a real piece of fruit.