In the produce section of a local gourmet market, literally sitting right next to the blueberries and other fresh fruit, there is a juice blend labeled “freshly squeezed orange and strawberry”. That sounds like something yummy to try, right? But wait! The ingredient list is right on the front of the bottle.
Here it is – orange juice, strawberry pulp and juice, sugar, citric acid, natural and imitation flavors, and FD&C Red 40. Preserved with 1/10 of 1% sodium benzoate.
Why would anyone want to ruin a healthy combination of “freshly squeezed orange and strawberry” juice by adding a bunch of junk to it? More importantly, this juice is IN the produce, not in a grab-and-go cooler with a variety of beverage choices. Sitting there within the fresh produce, it leads consumers to believe they are consuming a product that is as good as fresh produce.
In the stores defense, they do not claim to be an organic or natural grocer. However, this is an upscale market, with beautiful displays, in a very nice part of town. Everything there is priced at a premium and the customer feels they are buying high quality goods.
Moral of the story: read the labels all of the time, you shouldn’t ingest imitation flavors, FD&C Red 40 and 1/10 of 1% sodium benzoate as part of a healthy beverage choice ever! When in doubt stick to eating the whole food or make your own juice.