Friday, June 5, 2009

Alissa Hamilton

Alissa Hamilton is the author of Squeezed: What You Don't Know About Orange Juice.

From her interview on the New Yorker's "Book Bench" blog:

In your Introduction, you write that most orange-juice drinkers are “misinformed about what it is they are drinking.” Is it the “processed” part that most consumers are misinformed about?

That’s part of it. Most are surprised to hear, for instance, that the big brands, which market their product as “pure” and “simple,” add flavor packs to their juice to make it fresh. But people are also misinformed about the growing of juice oranges. A flight attendant once told me that he gets far more requests for orange juice on flights to Florida, because there’s still a strong association of oranges with the state. Yet most of the juice he’s serving now comes from Brazil, where there are fewer environmental regulations, and labor and land for growing oranges are cheaper.

Woah. Back up to the flavor packs. Why doesn’t orange juice taste fresh naturally, especially if it’s “not from concentrate”?

Flavor packs are fabricated from the chemicals that make up orange essence and oil. Flavor and fragrance houses, the same ones that make high end perfumes, break down...[read on]
Visit the Squeezed website.

--Marshal Zeringue