Monday, April 20, 2009

Oranges on the Juice

I'm not a very mechanical person. I admit that. Even simple tasks tend to challenge me. I can follow directions on a ready-to-assemble piece of furniture, or a grill--to about 95% accuracy. But there's always one tiny step I'll miss or misunderstand or read the diagram wrongly, and whammo--I've just added an hour to my work time.

Yet I always thought I understood where orange juice came from. Thought I had a handle on how it was made.

You squeeze juice from oranges, no?

It's cute how naive I am, isn't it?

The orange juice people are out of hand.

As far as I know, we grow basically one kind of orange in this country. The kind with a peel on the outside, the pulpy fruit on the inside, and, well, isn't that pretty much about it?

Oh, and some have navels, some don't.

Some are bigger than others, I grant you. Some are easier to peel than others. Some have a few more seeds inside them than others.

I get all that.

But beyond that, an orange is an orange, isn't it?

Then how can the OJ companies produce so many different types of juice from the same fruit?

Here's a list of some of the different kinds you can find in your grocer's fridge, right now.

Concentrate; Not from Concentrate; Pulp; No Pulp; Some Pulp; Lots of Pulp; Calcium; Omega-3; Vitamin D; Selenium; Anti-Oxidant; Fiber; Vitamin A, D & E; and Low Acid.

Where do they grow the Omega-3 oranges? In outer space? Are the anti-oxidant groves somewhere near Roswell?

Low acid oranges? Are those trees planted with spoonfuls of sugar?



Just a partial look at today's OJ section

Yogurt is starting to take itself way too seriously, too, by the way.

Time was, you opened up a tiny cardboard pail of Dannon, mixed the fruit up into it, and enjoyed. Or Yoplait, which was pre-mixed. Fine.

Now yogurt is being marketed as the panacea for what ails us.

There's yogurt for fiber. Yogurt for your blood. Yogurt for your bones. Yogurt to, as Wilford Brimley would say, "help you live a better life."

And they're not even trying to give all these yogurts catchy, aesthetic names. The manufacturers are boldly placing scientific-like terms on the cartons.

Dannon has something called Activia. I went to a yogurt website, and Activia supposedly contains "helpful bacteria that keep the digestive tract healthy." Activia also promises to "boost the immune system" with its "probiotics (beneficial microorganisms)".

Who knew?

Bacteria. Microorganisms. Live, active cultures.

This is the yogurt talk of today. The jargon.

I don't care how "helpful" it is--I'm leery of consuming bacteria, microorganisms, and live active cultures.

What if it turns out that stuff's not so helpful, after all?

Yogurt now terrifies me. And it used to be something I enjoyed buying a bunch of, because of all the yummy flavors. And I actually enjoyed stirring all that fruit up from the bottom. It was a good way to get out some aggression.

I heard a comedian once say about yogurt, "It looks better than the name sounds, and tastes better than it looks."

But now they'd have us take yogurt, like prescription meds.

"Ask your doctor about Dannon Activia."

It's YOGURT!! Get over yourselves!

Same with you, OJ people. You pick an orange. You squeeze the bejeebers out of it. You get juice.

Omega-3? Selenium?

The folks down in Florida are having a little too much fun experimenting, if you ask me.

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