Monday, October 24, 2005

Ocean Spray Sprays Tons of Sugar into Cran-Grape Juice

It really plays to read the labels on the products you buy. I purchased some Ocean Spray Cran-Grape Juice, thinking it was a combination of cranberry and grape juices.

This morning it finally occurred to me to look more carefully at the label. It turns out that there is more high fructose corn syrup than (a form of sugar made from corn) than cranberry juice. And there is more regular sugar than cranberry juice. No wonder it tastes so sweet.

I'd be curious to know the exact percentages for each ingredient, but the government doesn't require manufacturers to list that much detail. They only have to rank the ingredients by percentage. So cranberry juice could only be 2% of the product and there could be 20% high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and 10% sugar. But only Ocean Spray knows for sure.

Avoiding HFCS is a good idea, as it is another form of sugar and is suspected of causing even more problems than sugar. Its used in so many products in the US instead of real sugar because the government subsidizes the production of corn and has set artificially-high prices for real sugar.

These distortions in the marketplace endanger your health and wealth. And they demonstrate how hypocritical the US is when it comes to free markets.

I think its a good idea to use juices sparingly. The whole fruit is better for you. I just like to put some cranberry juice in my tea instead of sugar. Guess I'll go to Whole Foods and see if I can find something both healthy and palatable.


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