A Better Way to Drink Your OJ

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist Breakfast, RecipesComments: 60

Calamondin Orange TreeThere’s no doubt that a glass of orange juice is firmly entrenched in our cultural psyche as an important part of a healthy breakfast.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

Let’s start this New Year by debunking a glass of OJ as the Holy Grail of a healthy breakfast, shall we?

Oranges Are a High Spray Crop

First of all, oranges are a heavily sprayed crop and the sprays that are used are called cholinesterase inhibitors and organophosphates – both are serious neurotoxins.  When the oranges are placed into a vat for squeezing (the entire orange is used), guess what ends up in the juice?

You guessed it!    Orange juice a la mucho pesticides!

Organophosphates in the use of cow feed has been linked to degeneration of the bovine nervous system and brain.    Are these residues affecting you and your children like they are affecting the cows?

Common sense would surely dictate this as highly likely!

A study in Hawaii found that fruit and fruit juice consumption was the number one dietary factor in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.   Researchers conducting the study speculated that pesticide residues becoming concentrated in fruit juice due to modern processing techniques is the likely reason for the link.

The moral of this story is that store bought OJ is clearly not the healthy start to the day that conventional health experts would have us believe.

So what IS a healthy way to drink OJ?

How about freshly squeezing your own organic oranges as a truly healthy alternative to store OJ?    Freshly squeezed organic orange juice retains all the wonderful enzymes and nutrient cofactors destroyed by the violent processing in juice processing facilities.

Don’t have a local source of organic oranges?   At the very least, then, purchase ONLY organic orange juice from the store.    It has been pasteurized and so has lost much of its nutrition, but at least you have avoided the cocktail of pesticides along with the fruit juice.

Lower the Glycemic Index when you drink OJ

Once you have either sourced a local supply of organic oranges or found a decent brand of organic OJ at the store, you are ready to make a really healthy glass of juice!

Add a few TBL of heavy cream to your glass of OJ and NOW you have a glass of juice that is truly nourishing, very filling, and won’t spike your blood sugar into the clouds in a matter seconds only to drop it like a stone 30 minutes or so later leaving you irritable, super hungry and dopey.

Yum!    Fresh OJ and cream in a glass!    It tastes just like a drinkable orange creamsickle!

Take THAT Tropicana!

Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist.com

Source:  Dirty Little Secrets of the Food Processing Industry

Picture Credit

Comments (60)

  • Sarah

    Very interesting! Check out our video on how most packaged ‘fresh’ orange juice is made with ‘flavor packets’ http://www.parentearth.com “How to Drink an Orange.” Happy holidays everyone.

    December 27th, 2010 9:08 pm Reply
  • sara

    I am going to have to try that cream and OJ, it sounds delicious!

    December 27th, 2010 9:16 pm Reply
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  • Ginny

    I read that oj is often kept in large vats for up to, and sometimes more than, a year. They have to add flavor back into it, so that it tastes “fresh”. I hadn’t heard of the link between Alzheimer’s and fruit juices, though. Scary! Thanks for the article!

    Btw, OJ and cream sounds really yummy!

    December 28th, 2010 12:16 am Reply
  • Adriel

    I had no idea! We’re not huge orange juice drinkers (mainly because of the cost… expensive!!), but this is definitely some food for thought! Thanks for the info! =)

    December 28th, 2010 2:26 am Reply
  • Beth

    I haven’t been able to find organic orange juice so I can’t even remember the last time I’ve actually bought OJ. Dh brought home some regular OJ last week. Sure, it tasted great, but… Normally we just eat the orange :). I like to get the ugly *real* looking local oranges. Every once in while a dc will want some OJ and go through the effort of making a glass.

    Same for lemon juice – I only buy organic lemon juice for the same reason you mention. Fortunately that’s inexpensive and readily available.

    December 28th, 2010 7:24 am Reply
  • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    On The Healthy Home Economist Facebook page, there is a thread of comments going around about this blog and a few of the comments suggest that this article shames folks who can’t afford anything but store OJ. I would like to say that any sort of judgement is, of course, not the intention at all in writing this article. It is simply an attempt to shed light on a very toxic yet very popular processed food and to suggest alternatives to those who have the budget and time for better alternatives. If organic orange juice or buying oranges and squeezing them yourself is not in the budget or schedule, then the best alternative is to not buy store OJ at all. It was meant to be a very simple message! :)

    December 28th, 2010 9:59 am Reply
  • Joan Smith

    I just finished drinking my fresh-squeezed OJ. Now I know how much better it is than store-bought. I live with my 85-year-old mom and have been steadily improving her diet in an effort to give her the best last years that I can. Since we moved to Texas we have had added raw milk to our mostly organic produce and mostly grass-fed, pastured meat, but finding your blog has really opened my eyes. I’ve got homemade cream cheese and sour cream in the fridge and kefir on the counter. I’m working up to attacking grains in our diet, not that easy, but your easy-going, affirmative teachings are helping me to gentle into it. Thanks, Sarah!

    December 28th, 2010 11:21 am Reply
  • Grandma Betty

    Does the sprays penetrate the skin of the orange? I can only get store bought oranges and thought if I cut them open and squeezed the juice out it would be okay. Is this a bad theory?

    December 28th, 2010 11:23 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      HI Grandma Betty, the way you squeeze oranges at home would be much safer and better than the way its done in the factories where the entire orange is squeezed in the vat so that all the pesticides on the skin get into the juice. If you wash the oranges carefully using a pesticide removing wash or soak them for a few minutes in the kitchen sink with white vinegar, water, and hydrogen peroxide and then cut in half and squeeze that way, that would be HEAPS better and safer.

      December 28th, 2010 12:01 pm Reply
      • Belinda

        Sarah, I know this is a very old post but I was wondering if you could give more specifics on the pesticide wash. Increments of the ingredients and how long you soak the fruit/veggies would be very helpful. Thank you! I’m learning so much frequenting your blog and I’m very grateful!

        July 13th, 2012 12:29 pm Reply
  • Patty

    I get unpasturized oj in the frozen section at Whole Foods. (Also grapefruit juice). We don’t drink it very fast, just to help us get our fermented Cod Liver Oil down. I have discovered that over time it ferments in the fridge further reducing the sugar content and adding in beneficial microbes.

    December 28th, 2010 12:01 pm Reply
  • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    We use OJ sometimes in the morning to make smoothies. Mixed with organic fruit and homemade, raw milk yogurt, raw pastured egg yolks, it’s not so bad. :) Fresh-squeezed would be ideal, and I have a whole box of clementines we’re not eating fast enough so I might make some to go with our brunch today!

    December 28th, 2010 12:47 pm Reply
  • France Morissette

    Really interesting Sarah. Well kind of scary really. I never drink the stuff but my husband does….not anymore though!
    Thanks for sharing.

    December 28th, 2010 2:01 pm Reply
  • Rachel @ No Preservatives Added

    My mom always had us drink OJ growing up – every morning she was resonate, ‘Don’t forget your OJ!’ She still does this today, and every time one of us gets sick, she claims it was because we forgot to take our orange juice. I wish I could get through to her how bad this stuff really is!

    The main thing that steers me away from OJ is all the added sugar. It’s way too strong for me now, but I used to be addicted to that morning sugar-rush.

    December 28th, 2010 5:24 pm Reply
  • Lovelyn

    Orange juice and cream sounds great. It reminds me of Orange Julius and I used to love that when I was a kid.

    December 29th, 2010 1:05 am Reply
  • Anastasia B

    Oh, oh! Thanks for the heads up, my toddler loves orange juice and I usually give it to her once a day (diluted), but I never thought of buying organic because I thought they squeeze the inside of the orange without the skin! I’m rapidly running out of the ‘ok to buy non-organic’ items on my shopping list :( Don’t know how much we can afford…

    December 29th, 2010 1:43 am Reply
  • Pure Mothers

    It’s better to just eat an orange with your breakfast. The size of an orange juice glass has gotten so big that no one would eat the amount of oranges it takes to produce such a huge glass. Do you notice how many oranges it takes to squeeze out even a small glass? If we do fresh squeezed juice it is only 2 oranges and no more. No wonder the blood sugar spikes!

    December 29th, 2010 9:29 am Reply
  • Julie

    I’ve got to try the cream in some OJ! Yum!

    December 30th, 2010 4:53 pm Reply
  • Organism as a Whole

    I didn’t know that oranges are sprayed that many pesticides. If the oranges are peeled before eating, then it wouldn’t matter.

    December 31st, 2010 12:29 pm Reply
  • Margaret Iverson

    Well, it almosst sounds like we shouldnt eat any foods at all that at the grocery stores. Like the boxed cereals, , I was going thru them all the other day at the grocery store wondering which is good, there were some organic ones,

    December 31st, 2010 9:44 pm Reply
  • amanda

    yup…there isn’t much in the way of conventional processed food that is actually good for you :wink we stick to fresh produce at the grocery store, for the most part. also, remember that the pesticides used are not simply sprayed onto the picked crop. they are sprayed throughout the growing season, on the plant and ground. so its false that the residue is only on the outside an that peeling makes it safe. the dirty dozen is based on foods as you eat them….so oranges and bananas after they are peeled, for example.

    thanks for another great post sarah!

    January 1st, 2011 1:30 am Reply
  • Rosemary

    I wouldn’t have thought to add cream – interesting – it doesn’t curdle the cream?

    I blogged a little last year about how packaged, processed OJ is brainwashing us into thinking it’s a healthy drink you should drink large portions of… I’m happy to report that soon after I wrote it, our family kicked the OJ habit – my husband started having herbal tea in the morning instead, and eventually gave that up, too. I never drank it in the first place because it made my blood sugar feel off. We cut the kids off cold turkey (ages 5 & 3) – they begged for it for a couple weeks, but we just kept saying were were out, and they finally gave up.

    We do have a bunch of conventional Florida oranges around the house right now that we got in a fundraiser. I wash them well, then slice off the top and bottom with a sharp knife and cut into 6 or 8 segments. So much quicker and cleaner than peeling them, and easy for the kids to eat.


    January 4th, 2011 11:17 pm Reply
  • april

    Hi Sarah, Do you buy the OJ from the Grove on Bearss? I saw that it’s unpasteurized. My husband used to work there in high school and attests to freshly squeezing the oranges, one by one (not sure what their process is today).

    March 23rd, 2011 4:44 pm Reply
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  • Dismayed American

    Oh my goodness! I was wondering about that strange “high” feeling I was getting from Florida’s natural oj! I felt like I was floating around by my head. It made me a little suspicious and this article just put it together. Since when do oranges make you feel high?

    August 5th, 2011 7:41 pm Reply
  • Daniele K

    Won’t the acid in the OJ cause the cream to taste bad/ sour milk taste?

    May 18th, 2012 1:53 pm Reply
  • Abby Lawson via Facebook

    What would you recommend for the person who wants to drink something other then coffee during the day?

    December 5th, 2012 8:31 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    @Abby have you tried dandelion tea? It is very cleansing and tastes quite rich similar to coffee.

    December 5th, 2012 8:34 pm Reply
  • Abby Lawson via Facebook

    Thanks! Where can I buy this? Yes I have tried and heard about!

    December 5th, 2012 8:34 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    By the way, I love OJ and it really should and can be healthy .. just the stuff from the store is really not what it’s cracked up to be for the reasons I list in the post.

    December 5th, 2012 8:34 pm Reply
  • Abby Lawson via Facebook

    Yes, well the house is on GAPs but I sneak out to have coffee and Shhh other things!

    December 5th, 2012 8:36 pm Reply
  • Abby Lawson via Facebook

    Oh and by the way I love your videos! They have been huge in helping with food prep in our house!

    December 5th, 2012 8:36 pm Reply
  • Roxie Curtis via Facebook

    I haven’t bought o.j. in years but my husband being from Florida loves it and now my daughter does as well. I don’t just let her chug glasses of it without cutting it with some sparkling water of we make homemade ice cream with freshly squeezed o.j. in it and a little coconut oil. The kids love it. :)

    December 5th, 2012 8:46 pm Reply
  • Matt LaRoche via Facebook

    If you squeeze your own, then organic is a waste of money as you will not use the peel.

    December 5th, 2012 8:55 pm Reply
  • Kristin Sanders via Facebook

    We have three organic orange trees in our backyard. Store bought really doesn’t compare. I’ve only been able to find unpasteurized oj in one store.

    December 5th, 2012 9:03 pm Reply
  • Sarah Couture Pope via Facebook

    @Abby the healthfood stores carry it in the herbal tea section.

    December 5th, 2012 9:13 pm Reply
  • Holly Sullivan Musgrave via Facebook

    I’m sure everyone else knows, but what does the cream do to the IJ to keep your blood sugar from spiking??

    December 5th, 2012 9:13 pm Reply
  • Holly Sullivan Musgrave via Facebook

    Sorry, OJ…

    December 5th, 2012 9:13 pm Reply
  • Holly Sullivan Musgrave via Facebook

    My mom buys her dandelion tea on-line and its called Dandy Blend I think.

    December 5th, 2012 9:15 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    @Matt organic OJ will be higher in nutrition (you can taste the difference) … but if you want to squeeze your own, wash the oranges carefully before slicing and juicing. Oranges are very highly sprayed.

    December 5th, 2012 9:15 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    If you stir in some cream into the fresh squeezed OJ and then freeze in popsicle containers they make incredible snacks .. orange creamsickles!

    December 5th, 2012 9:17 pm Reply
  • Rachael Wooten via Facebook

    Unless I squeeze it, no OJ for me (and my fam).

    December 5th, 2012 9:22 pm Reply
  • Sheri Hennings via Facebook

    We haven’t had store-bought OJ since we saw a Modern Marvels episode years ago about the production process. Thanks for the info on washing them.

    December 5th, 2012 9:33 pm Reply
  • Ginger Jilek via Facebook

    @Holly- the cream contains fat in it so when you add it to the OJ it allows small amounts of sugar to be digested at a time and allows balanced glucose levels in your body.

    December 5th, 2012 9:34 pm Reply
  • Holly Sullivan Musgrave via Facebook

    Thanks Ginger

    December 5th, 2012 9:41 pm Reply
  • Melinda Nelson via Facebook

    We pick from our trees and make it fresh. You should have some orange trees where you are Sarah. It wipes away a cold coming on for my husband. I really have to live where I can have avocados and orange trees!

    December 5th, 2012 9:42 pm Reply
  • Holly Sullivan Musgrave via Facebook

    We have orange and clementine trees and really look forward to the winter months when they are in season. They are almost ripe and we are so excited. As if about 6 months ago I started the family on raw milk and always have extra cream. So glad to know about this.

    December 5th, 2012 9:43 pm Reply
  • Larry Johnson via Facebook

    Orange juice is not healthy for diabetics.

    December 5th, 2012 9:53 pm Reply
  • Adam Brushaber via Facebook

    Ray Peat has something different to say.

    December 5th, 2012 10:11 pm Reply
  • Linda McNary via Facebook

    I can not drink OJ from the store. It makes me very sick. I can juice a orange and thats ok but being diabetic I perfer just to eat the orange.

    December 5th, 2012 10:29 pm Reply
  • Kiki Bacaro

    Last year I sat next to a Florida Orange grower and asked her if it is true about the orange juice sitting in vats for over a year and then “natural” flavors added and she said absolutely true!

    December 5th, 2012 10:41 pm Reply
  • Yummy Spoonfuls via Facebook

    To truly enjoy a good cup of OJ it would have to be freshly made.. funny, wrote a post in March about this http://yummyspoonfuls.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/a-good-cup-of-oj-one-of-many-things-i-never-compromise-on/

    December 5th, 2012 10:44 pm Reply
  • Morgaine Donohue via Facebook

    Frankly, juice isnt really that good for you anyway. You should be eating your fruit, not drinking it.

    December 5th, 2012 11:23 pm Reply
  • Anita Messenger via Facebook

    We quit drinking store bought OJ several years ago. Now we just eat the orange…

    December 6th, 2012 12:41 am Reply
  • Annabeth Macy via Facebook

    I love fresh cream, will try this breakfast creamsickle idea!

    December 6th, 2012 2:36 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    @Morgaine fresh juice is very nutritious and was consumed by traditional cultures. It’s the store bought pasteurized dead juice with no enzymes that is loaded with toxins that is the problem.

    December 6th, 2012 9:07 am Reply
  • Brittany Hughes Ardito via Facebook

    Never thought about adding cream for fat content so that the sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream slower. Excellent idea!

    December 6th, 2012 11:50 am Reply
  • Tina Anneliese via Facebook

    Orange juice makes me nauseous more often than not. As much as it is tasty on occasion.

    December 6th, 2012 9:58 pm Reply
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