A Better Way to Drink Your OJ

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

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)

  1. Pingback: Healing Foods Guidelines | Honeycomb Cottage

  2. 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!

  3. Linda McNary via Facebook December 5, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    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.

  4. Ginger Jilek via Facebook December 5, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    @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.

  5. Kristin Sanders via Facebook December 5, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    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.

  6. Roxie Curtis via Facebook December 5, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    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. :)

  7. Dismayed American August 5, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    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?

  8. Pingback: Is 100% natural fruit juice like ceres sold in the market truly is without sugar?

  9. 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).

  10. 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.


  11. 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!

  12. 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,

  13. 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!

  14. 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…

  15. Rachel @ No Preservatives Added December 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    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.

  16. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama December 28, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    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!

  17. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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! :)

  20. 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.

  21. 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! =)

  22. 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!

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