Yesterday someone started a thread about toxic apple juice in the lottery discussion, so I'd like to make a comment on this matter. I am unaware of this problem, so I'm curious where that story originated.
I was in the food packaging business for over 20 years and visited several large juice manufacturers. So to briefly give you my "Reader's Digest" version of juice processing..
First Mother Nature grows her apples on our lovely trees and the grower delivers them to the juice producer. The apples go through an inspection process and are then washed by industrial strength washers. (In other words, you wouldn't want to shower in one of them!) Then they are mashed and mashed by a hammer mill. The mash is sent to an hydraulic press where the juice extraction takes place. It is then filtered and pasteurized. The juice is heated to very high temperatures just below boiling point and then cooled. During the bottling process the bottles are washed & sterilized and a vacuum is created as the cap is applied to the bottle.
Okay, I hope this makes everyone feel just a little better. So, in other words - by the time you get bottled juice into your fridge, it probably has no toxins in it whatsoever, but it also has little nutritional value unless supplements were added to the juice.
Bacteria can come from a picker who doesn't wash his hands after using the bathroom. Whether it's here or in some foreign country isn't the issue. It's how careful are we to insure that the American consumer gets clean, safe food? If juice has been converted into concentrate, then it's likely it came from China, since it has cornered the market on juice concentrates. However, even the companies that buy these concentrates follow the same careful processing method to destroy bacteria that might be in the fruit. Still, with so much of our produce coming from China and South America, I don't see how we can regulate the safety of our food. Why not simply give this job back to the American grower?
Now, what can make us sick? I hate to say this, since I believe in eating natural foods, but that fresh, organic juice is where you're going to find most of your toxins. I mean, if you ate raw meat, there would be a much higher risk of getting something like E. coli, right? So that's why we need to cook all meat products thoroughly. It's much less common in fruit because of its high acid content. However, when you buy unpasteurized products in the refrigerated section, you no longer know where the apples came from and if they contained some little microorganism that's going to give you a tummy ache. Actually, the good news is that if you get diarrhea, your body washes out the poison. The bad news is that some of these toxins are deadly.
So my advice to you is, if you are going to buy juice from concentrate in the refrigerated section, make sure the fruit is grown in the United States or at least that's where the concentrate is from. in other words, start drinking filtered water! LOL Soon home grown juice will be sold on the Black Market. Anyway, this won't guarantee the absence of any unwanted contaminants, but at least you hope one of the factory workers didn't piss into the concentrate because he hates Americans.
I started to write a short paragraph and now this is turning into a novel. I just want to mention that the FDA doesn't tell us the truth. It is not our friend. Years ago when I was in the biz, almost everything was packaged in glass. Glass breaks and is heavy to ship, so plastic helps to keep the price lower and is easier to handle. The problem is (no matter what baloney they try to tell you) plastic breaks down over time and small particles will migrate into the food and juice. We knew this 25 years ago, but there was too much money in plastics and nobody was going to stop progress, even if it meant affecting the health of the consumer. The reason I mentioned the FDA is that they are still allowing DuPont to make cookware with Teflon, even though it's been proven beyond doubt to contain carcinogens that break down when heated. Duh? So when they tell you it's okay to cook everything in plastic, they're full of manure, because that only speeds up the transfer of the chemicals into your food. If you buy something in a plastic container, scoop it out and cook it in a glass or ceramic dish. I guess I shouldn't have used "manure" because at least that's natural and there's nothing natural about using the same product on the pots and pans in which we cook our children's food as they do on carpet to prevent stains. For years tests have shown that the gases emitted by Teflon-type products cause death in birds. So get out your cast iron pans and learn to scrub!
I'll stop here, because I might never stop if I start writing about styrofoam. You should see what a hot cup of coffee or a bowl of chili in styrofoam looks like under a microcope after 20 minutes. But the FDA says the people who post warnings about these things are "alarmists." Hypocrite yes, alarmist no. I am only writing about what I know to be true, not necessarily what I practice. After all, I'll never give up my non-stick skillets and my microwave oven because I'm much too lazy.