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The Secret Ingredient In Your Orange Juice (foodrenegade.com)
338 points by bradly on July 29, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 188 comments

I don't think that the health conclusions of this piece (don't drink orange juice from the supermarket!) are warranted. All the sources listed in it lead back to Alissa Hamilton's book "Squeezed." While not having read it, all of the information I can find suggest that Hamilton is not trying to suggest that orange juice is unhealthy. For example, this interview in the Boston Globe - http://articles.boston.com/2009-02-22/bostonglobe/29257797_1... :

You'd be better off with a whole orange than a glass of orange juice. It has more fiber and more vitamin C. But I'm not a dietitian. The book is not about whether you should drink orange juice and whether it's healthy. It's about how little consumers know about how popular and - in the case of orange juice - seemingly straightforward foods are produced and the repercussions for agriculture.

Regardless of the health conclusions - you can't deny the amount of sugar in single cup - absolutely contributes to the obesity we are all facing.

I deny that it contributes to obesity for all people. I believe no one can actually claim people understand nutrition --- in the same way we understand Newtonian physics, for example.

I've never cared about what I eat. If I want something, I eat it. When I'm full, I stop. Over the last two years, my weight has stayed between 210lbs and 220lbs. I'm lucky. But I'm also a datapoint.

Since some people can simply not care about what they eat, and they don't get fat, then I'd bet money other people can watch what they eat and still get fat. And of course, for other people, watching what they eat will make them skinnier.

The point is, everyone is different, and no one can say with a straight face that we understand nutrition well enough to make broad claims like "the amount of sugar in a single cup of orange juice contributes to the obesity we're all facing".

I doubt the whole "metabolism" thing. 90% of the people I meet with a "gland problem" also drink about half a gallon of Coke every day, and snack on chips or sweets. Maybe they have a super-cream frappacino after work, but don't watch that because it's just a coffee.

They usually have terrible habits, are are in complete denial about how many calories those habits constitute.

I drink 88oz of coke every day. A gallon is 128oz. I also snack on chips a lot. I'm definitely not skinny, but by your logic, I should be about to overtake Gabe Newell. I'm not.

Most people are arrogant and think they know more than they do. The truth is, we know very little about nutrition (in an absolute sense, like "I absolutely know that if I hit that ball with X force, it will move Y meters").

I drink 88oz of coke every day...I also snack on chips a lot... ...by your logic, I should be about to overtake Gabe Newell. I'm not.

be patient bro you're on the right track

>The truth is, we know very little about nutrition

We know what you're consuming doesn't qualify as nutrition.

Dude, you eat garbage. This isn't a hippy-crunchy-vegan thing; the "food" you eat is trash.

If you want to sooth your sweet tooth, go to your grocery store and buy a metric fuckton of berries. They're in season. Leave your strawberries and blackberries in the fridge, and throw your raspberries (they don't keep) and blueberries (they're fantastic frozen) in the freezer. Grab some bananas and milk while you're there.

Make a smoothy like so: 1 banana, 4-5 strawberries, a bunch of blue-, black-, and raspberries, put 'em in the blender. Fill the cracks with milk. Blend. Drink. You'll have to balance the berries for taste, as raspberries and commercial blackberries are sour; strawberries, blueberries, wild (ripe) blackberries, and bananas are sweet.

Do that, and you can satisfy your sweet tooth and get loads of good vitamins and whatnot in you. It's also easier than walking to the store, and not terribly expensive.

Remember those blueberries you put in the freezer? Next time you want candy or chocolate or something, munch on them. They're delicious (big ones are better).

One last note: stop pretending that your diet is okay. It really, really isn't. Your body is operating in spite of what you're putting into it, not because of it.

How old are you? In your 30s your body most likely will change, significantly.

Besides everything else, you are good to get periodontal disease and have false teeth early on. Nutrition is clear on several aspects. Eating horrible food is not some perceptual mystery. Eventually it will catch up to you. And it often makes you feel bad instantly.

Try changing your diet for 30-days, eat more fruits, vegetables, cut your sugar intake etc and see if you feel different.

And have you seen Tom Naughton's film Fat Head (the anti-Super Size Me doc)? Some bad logic in it but you sound like you could appreciate it. Good luck.

We do know basics though, like "you need vitamin C." If you eat no foods that contain essential nutrients (that our bodies don't produce) you will become deficient.

Certainly. That was an important step in our understanding. And we need to do more research.

I'm merely saying science is harmed when people blatantly decide to overlook reality.

It seems very interesting to me that I can drink 88oz of soda every day for the past 6 months and still be at the same weight. Why is that?

And it raises other interesting questions, too. Like the meaning of "health". For example, I know my muscles haven't been impacted, because I just armwrestled my wife's father and won, and the dude builds pole barns for a living. Like, goes out and actually builds them himself.

So if soda is so terrible, why haven't I been affected? Or is the truth that I'm overlooking some aspect of my health? I'm interested in the answers, but I won't ever find out if arrogant scientists continue with the "soda is terrible!" mantra.

Edit: as pyre points out, if someone reads this and thinks "Gee, maybe I'll try suddenly drinking 88oz of soda every day too!"... don't. I was just pointing out what I do, not saying that it's safe.

* It's also possible that human beings are complex enough that we process foods differently. It's not like all humans are allergic to the same things, for example.

* It couple possibly have something to do with the discovery that all of our digestive tracts can (possibly) be categorized into three different sets of bacterial fauna.

* I certainly hope that you aren't recommending that everyone should just drink nothing but soda because, "it works for me, so it should work for everyone."

I know a person who routinely says "I smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. It doesn't affect my health and I don't have lung cancer, so the doctors must be wrong."

The truth is your habits will catch up to you. Eventually.

OK, maybe metabolism can be a mitigating factor. Some people (fidgety people?) might have a really high metabolism. Perhaps you can have a few outliers who burn excess calories like some kind of rodent; but I doubt there's outliers with with a python-like metabolism who can spend weeks living off the deer they just swallowed. There's a base-line for what a warm-blooded human burns at rest (or at a desk), and not everyone with that slow calorie burn rate is severely overweight.

I add it here, because at your more inner post there's no reply link.

If you think Chicken McNuggets have a lot to do with chicken, think again.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_McNuggets

"As of October 9, 2010, the ingredients are as follows: Chicken, water, salt, sodium phosphates. Battered and breaded with: bleached wheat flour, water, wheat flour, food starch-modified, salt, spices, wheat gluten, paprika, dextrose, yeast, garlic powder, rosemary, partially hydrogenated soybean oil and cottonseed oil with mono -and diglycerides, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, ammonium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), natural flavor (plant source) with extractives of paprika. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane made of silicone[4] is added as an antifoaming agent.[5] The list may be slightly different outside of the United States."

Chicken McNuggets are pure crap with much too much fat and very low nutritional value.

It's your problem in the end, but as some fellow HNers already pointed out you're in for a very bad surprise not too far from now.

Another tip would be to replace the soda with water. So much better for you and you get the hang of it pretty quickly.

Your post does not in any way prove that there isn't a lot of chicken in a McNugget (I don't know anything about them, so not claiming there is or isn't). Just because there are a lot of added ingredients, if the overall mass of the chicken is 95% (some made up number, again I don't know anything about this), it's not true that McNuggets 'don't have a lot to do with chicken'.


From http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/195157/exposing_mcd...

  Here's a fun fact: their "chicken" is actually, at most, 44 percent chicken. The rest is mostly corn, salt, preservatives, and a few other interesting nasties. 
If you can come up with a better source I'm happy to consider it.

Yes, at least that post has numbers - with 44% I guess it's fair to say that McNuggets are not very chicken-like. My point was that the GP didn't offer content that supported that conclusion, but instead only gave the illusion by listing a bunch of ingredients without providing proportions.

Keep in mind I said "McChicken", not "McNuggets". It's a sandwich with mayo and lettuce. But I'm sure it's similarly "bad" for me.

It's made with the same "chicken", which is blended, has fillers added, then pressed into breast-like shapes. It's not at all healthy: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/foods-from-mcdonalds/623...

An 8 oz can of coke has 142 calories, all from sugar. That means you're consuming 1562, or 75% of your daily recommended caloric intake from sugar alone. That's fucking terrible, man. Stop doing that.

I eat the same way as you, but I've realized some of the fat, you just don't see.

When I went to Shaolin to train, I was 174lbs, eating about 2,500-3,200 calories a day (estimate). During my 3 months there, I ate about 5,000-6,000 calories a day (estimate), and ended up 167 lbs. I'm 182 cm. The funny thing is, visually, there wasn't much of a difference other than my abs showing more, and more muscle.

I concluded even those of us who are "lucky" in metabolics, still have fat to lose.

Yeah, "you cannot deny" is drastically overconfident even though a well-to-do, first-world person picked at random is probably better off ingesting less fructose than they currently ingest.

how old and how tall are you?

23, 5ft 11.5in (Hey, the doctor's the one who's always like "11 and a half", not me! Then I'm always tempted to say "You mean 11.5323in")

1/2 inch is still more than one centimeter, so I can imagine that to stay within the tolerance that is used for tracking height globally, this level of detail is necessary. (doctors in places that use sane measurement systems usually round to either the centimeter or 1/2 centimeter even, which is +/- 1/5th of an inch).

Yup 23 is what I expected :)

No offence, but only an American could make the argument that because their weight has stayed "only" between 95kg and 100kg that they are living proof that people can eat what they want and not get fat.

Unless you are a bodybuilder, which I am guessing you are not since they most certainly do care about what they eat, you are likely considered overweight in every other country on earth.

My weight fluctuates between ~90kg and ~105kg. I'm over 200cm. In no sense of either word am I overweight or a bodybuilder. It is definitely possible to be over 100kg and not considered overweight if you are tall.

Well, here I am. Judge for yourself: http://photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/24114_337315700...

I drink over half gallon of soda a day, and survive mostly on $1 McChickens.

So I'm either a freak of nature, or we don't know as much as we think we do about nature.

Dude I hate to break you're little bubble - but you fat. You might not be as hopelessly obese as people you are used to calling fat. But the truth is you are fat too.

You don't look healthy either and with continuing your lifestyle like you do, You are a ticking timebomb of diabetes, cholesterol issues, gout and other nasty metabolic diseases.

Take an example of my mother, she is 70 and has developed both gout and diabetes. Now imagine what you are allowed to eat - to not have issues with your body (hint. For diabetes - sugars are verboten and for gout proteins are denied.). Now imagine that there is a very real risk, that you will be in same condition by your mid 40's.

Wake up. Now.

Edit: I understand that a lot of HNers with our geeky lifestyles deem OP completely "normal" and "healthy" - but this is simply not the truth. And thus everybody might be in a deep denial.

This is very possible too. What's the criteria for judging "healthy"?

I mean, I have no ego, and I'm not doing this out of narcissism or some silliness like that. I genuinely care about "the truth". So if the truth is I don't look healthy, then I'd like to know why.

I was just about run up to the local gas station and buy a $0.72 44oz Cherry Coke, then run up to McDonalds and grab a McChicken for $1.09, then head back and keep programming. Total time: 15min, total cost: $1.81. If you give me convenient alternatives, I guarantee I'll switch. And maybe this thread will help educate other people who are doing similar things as me.

"Healthy" means free of disease.

"Fit" is another matter, and it implies "for a purpose" or toward some goal.

I'd start with a mix of body composition (your body fat percentage, nut just scale weight, and certainly not some crap bogus metric like BMI). You can come up with a pretty good estimate just by eyeballing, or you can take tape or caliper measures and run them through a model. A good online site for same: http://www.linear-software.com/online.html

If you want some fitness basics a good start is here: http://liamrosen.com/fitness.html

For books, "The New Rules of Lifting" is decent. You can do the workouts at home, though a gym helps: http://www.amazon.com/New-Rules-Lifting-Maximum-Muscle/dp/15...

I actually prefer a good 5x5 program for beginners (simpler, brutally effective). Check out http://stronglifts.com or look up Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength .

Fitness metrics: body fat, strength, speed, flexibility, endurance, heart rate, lipids, etc.

I've worked in tech for 20 years. I've contributed to some major open source projects and worked at some significant organizations. I've also taken fitness pretty seriously after letting it slide. I do lift weights, hike, bike, swim and row. What you do with it is up to you, but I've found that the investment pays off very high dividends.

I've eaten at a McDonalds once in the last 20 years. That's not food. Neither is Coke refreshment.

44oz of water: $0.00

Put water in a pan, bring to a boil. Meanwhile cut one onion into small pieces. Put oil in a frying pan and heat, then add minced meat. Add pasta and a bit of salt to now boiling water. When it starts to be a bit brown, add the onion, stir. Add any spices, e.g. thyme and laurel leaf. Add 500ml pureed tomatoes (you can but this you don't have to do it yourself). Add a crushed broth cube, and a teaspoon of sugar. Add crushed, diced garlic. Let it stay on the heat for 4 minutes. Now your pasta should be ready. Eat with Parmesan cheese and some vegetables.

Total time: 10 minutes. Number of meals cooked: 2, so 5 minutes per meal. Total cost per meal less than $1.81.

You are not doing it the convenient way.

Tap water = 0$ 1 Apple, 2 Banana < 1.81$ Problem solved.

Edit: You could also buy 20 apples at once and keep them stored. This reduces your time overhead significantly.

run to the grocery store instead. Buy a can of black beans and a can of rotel (diced tomatoes with green chilies). Open, drain, mix, and microwave. Grab a glass of water and BAM! You've got a healthy and spicy-delicious meal. Total cost? $1.05 if you shop at Aldi. I can get 2 meals out of it. YMMV.

Add chips if you need something extra. Dump them onto a plate to keep yourself from eating the entire bag, though.

While you're at the store, grab a romaine lettuce. rinse it off and just start munching. No need to chop it into a salad, that's a pain in the ass.

Shop the perimeter of the store and avoid the frozen and boxed stuff.

I used to be just like you. I didn't care, and my weight was fine. Until it wasn't, it was very very slow. So slow I barely noticed, but eventually I was overweight.

Now I have to work doubly hard to get it back down.

based on your spice tolerance, thai food is the best option.

It usually uses flat rice noodles (which just need to be soaked... not even cooked) and thousands of stirfries made possible with ready pastes and a few veggies/meat. I would bet that you can whip some up under 5 minutes.

And diet coke will not cause your body to have the same insulin response as sugar based drinks.

Also, go read fittit (/r/fitness)

"And diet coke will not cause your body to have the same insulin response as sugar based drinks."

This has recently been shown to be untrue.

Recent research on rats and humans shows that drinking diet drinks gives the body an expectation of calories that it then does not receive. Perhaps due to a Pavlovian response but physically real nonetheless, the digestive system switches on and gears up to digest. When no calories are received the body reacts by demanding the calories it missed out on: an effect very similar to to the 'insulin' response.

In lab tests: rats fed water + food kept a steady weight; sweeteners + food put on weight; sugar-water + food lost weight.

Hey, thanks. Would you mind linking to the actual studies so I can read them?

The "sugar-water + food = lost weight" bit is especially striking...

Original academic sources:

  Fowler SP, Williams K, Resendez RG, Hunt KJ, Hazuda HP,
  Stern MP. Fueling the obesity epidemic? Artificially
  sweetened beverage use and long-term weight gain Obesity
  (Silver Spring) 2008 Aug;16(8):1894-1900.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18535548 http://www.uthscsa.edu/hscnews/singleformat.asp?newID=3872

here's some pop-sci versions:



I'm still looking for the study on rats. I'll keep looking. I'm sure I bookmarked it somewhere…

On veganism... I only know of one person who was full-stop vegan for more than 10 years. And even he had major health issues, due to absorption problems of some nutrients.

He found a source of said nutrients that works for him. Everybody else returned to a balanced diet.

I do understand that some people can function on purely vegan diet. However most do not.

could you comment on this then - http://www.ajcn.org/content/82/5/1011.abstract

P.S. I'm genuinely asking, most of my knowledge is borrowed from Leangains

Interesting — I hadn't seen that.

This shows that what is going on here may be more complex than first thought. (Maybe it is just a Pavlovian response.) It doesn't change the evidence that people and rats put on weight when drinking diet drinks – it shows that the reason why is still unclear.

<side note> I do worry how many medical papers are based on tiny samples. 5 seems very small to me (when I was doing drug research 100 was a small sample). </side note>

These are interesting, too:

This is interesting but on a different topic: calories:


This is about salt:


This on dairy products:


This is an interesting account of veganism:


And another interesting article on corn-syrup:


Not sure if this is the study previously mentioned, but it seems appropriate: http://professional.diabetes.org/Abstracts_Display.aspx?TYP=...

Hi, I've been where you've been. From early programmerhood I've lived on a steady diet on coca-cola, pizza, crisps and other fast food. It was by no means an extreme diet and probably more healthy than an "all-in programmers diet" Even though the diet was pretty unhealthy I still maintained my weight in my early 20-something years.

When I was 30 my weight ballooned into the overweight area, and this was even when I was doing plenty of exercise. I started experimenting with different diets, wanting to find something that I could actually enjoy, didn't leave me hungry and didn't require preparation. Some diets worked health-wise but was too complicated and too boring, I've finally managed to find a diet that suits me, it might not be the one that suits you but I thought I mention it anyway.

The first thing you need to do is to stop eating sugar and that includes any High fructose Cornsyrup. I stopped having sugars in my coffee and eventually got used to it. Soda's was harder, I've eventually learned to enjoy carbonated water with meals and drink coffee and tea for programming fuel (A habit I plan to experiment with dropping)

The next thing is to cut out any fried food. It's a no-brainer since it's easily one of the most unhealthy things you can eat. Not so much for the fat content (which weirdly isn't as unhealthy as you think) but because fried food is loaded with carbohydrates.

Next you need to find a plan for what you actually should eat. I tried to find fast food alternatives that I could enjoy but that was more healthy, things like wook, thai food and sushi. It'll be a bit more expensive but you'll save lots of money from not drinking soda/candy and other crappy snacks

Eating out all the time is boring and expensive however, and the food isn't always that good so you need something healthy you can cook at home. My rule is to build meals around a quality protein (fish/beef/chicken) and have that with a vegetable that provides carbohydrates. Lenses, spinach and beans are especially good. Mix that with some other vegetables, spices and a non-carb sauce (ie bernaise) and you have a very nice healthy meal for the same price as eating out that you can prepare in 3 minutes. Hamburger patties isn't as healthy but since they're easy and probably more healthy than the alternative feel free to endulge.

Yeah, and no bread, rice, pasta, grain, potates, candy, fruit juice, cereals either if you can manage.

Eat eggs for breakfast, like 3 eggs in an omelett with some sallad and an avocado

The really good thing about this diet in contrast to other I've tried is that I'm not hungry, the cravings for sweets and snacks has essentially dissappeared and I need less portions of stuff.

This might sound extreme and I don't recommend you do everything at once. Start shifting parts of your diet and se what works, try having some of these meals and see if you like it.

Finding a diet that fits one taste and lifestyle is a continous process so take it one step at a time.

I think my diet pretty closely follows the Paleo Diet (though I don't really subscribe to all of it). A really good book to read is Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It by Steve Taub

Indeed cutting out carbohydrates is the easiest way to loose weight in my experience too.

Please note that we are not talking extreme measures here - there are plenty of carbohydrates in food. We're talking getting rid of the crap variety. Avoiding or completely skipping starchy foods (white bread, rice, potatoes) is the key to controlling blood sugar levels. It's not about avoiding sugar drops - its more about avoiding blood sugar spikes these foods cause.

Please note - that potatoes are not necessarily bad - if you eat them whole (much easier with young potatoes) and add extra fiber.

But sugar, white flour and rice are horrible, horrible foods.

On health criteria - I'm not implying that you should be all "Jersey Style". However - for me, first sign of health is muscle tonus - yours seems not very good (as is most geeks). Then your hair seems in a pretty bad shape - that has less to do with washing and more with food you consume. And your general posture does not imply - "I am fit for battle" (you also look sleep depraved).

On convenience of healthy food. It's very subjective for me since I was raised on organic food (farmerboy here, it is quite interesting that our farm was organic waay before "organic" even existed. Industrial farming just didn't seem "right" to my parents) I have a general distaste for any kind industrial food (except various sweets :D). Thus you will not find any sodas and/or McStyle food on my menu - because I just don't like the taste of it. (Yes I will turn into a BK or MD every now and then - just to find out that I don't like it - over and over :))

But - being a geek I also have (or at least had) this problem of seeing food preparation as too mundane for me. However since I quit my corporate job I actually started liking to take care of our garden (40m2 in backyard) and orchard, and I have always liked cooking (I love nice tasty food). So now I have learned to treat it as a stabilizing factor in my life, to just you know - slow down for a while while doing gardening tasks it also provides a basic exercise. I know understand that producing your own food is not an option for you - I'd just like to point out that eating a meal that you produced from ground up is one of best experiences in life - right there with drugs, sex and programming. Just to let you know that if you ever get a chance at producing your own food - you should take it. It's not too much work either. A couple of weeks in spring and one in autumn - in between its mostly about basic maintenance and pest control - nature takes care of the rest. Like mentioned - this last paragraph may not do much for you and you might even see me as (rightly) bragging - but it's here just so you can understand what angle I am coming from.

Now about how you can make healthy food convenient and cheap. 1. Accept that it will take more time than junk-food (thats half of its point), but it will take less time than you expect - especially once you get used to it. 2. Stop consuming sodas and just divert "soda fund" into "food fund" - you are meant to drink water and should learn to do it ASAP. 3. Beans, Pasta, Potatoes, Full corn Bread, vegetables, nuts and dairy products should be the staple of your diet. 4. A lot of home cooking can be done fast or semi-absent (vegetable soup - cut vegetables, add water, put on an appropriate power setting - return after an hour or two - enjoy delicious vegetable soup). Pasta is fast and simple to prepare (also will keep you well fed for quite awhile). To maximise yield, learn to cook larger amounts - don't just cook a single meal worth of soup or pasta. Example: Cook a pound worth of beans (this is 4 days worth of protein) - meal 1: eat some beans with cracklings; meal 2: use some of the beans in salad; meal 3: cook some bean soup with pasta; You can also use your vegetable soup as basis for your pasta sauce, etc. 5. Salads are super fast to prepare. 6. Fruit meals require no preparation.

But you could also view your food preparation as a ritual that will help you stay balanced in your life - and thus not a waste of time.

Oh and to be honest - its perfectly possible to grow fat on healthy food. It's just not so easy and your organism will not have to endure so much stress.

Thank you. It's so rare nowadays to find someone willing to give perfectly honest feedback, like "your posture sucks, and you look sleepy". I didn't realize hair quality might be linked to nutrition. Also, I appreciate how much work you put into your reply.

Do you have any thoughts on using Crystal Light to make water taste less terrible?

Someday, when I have more than $1k of savings, I hope to live in a nice rental house with a garden in the back. What all foods do you grow?

As they say: cheers!

>Do you have any thoughts on using Crystal Light to make water taste less terrible?

Water tastes fantastic. It's sweet. An all-soda-and-mcsquats' diet has killed your taste buds, so anything that isn't loaded with sugar and salt (never mind the Coke, your McChicken has a crazy amount of added sugar) will taste bland to you. Cut the crap out of your diet, and the good stuff will taste good again.

Now, all of this is modulo your local water supply. Here in Vancouver our water tastes great, but we're lucky. You might not be in the same boat. Try grabbing a brita water filter and keep it full, in the fridge.

As for grown foods: tomatoes are great and easy to grow. If you have sun, blackberries are literally weeds and will take care of themselves. Carrots and potatoes are the same way. You should always have some chives growing somewhere; they add delicious flavour to most things. Lettuces and cabbages are fairly easy, but you have to keep slugs and whatnot away or they'll eat them before you get the chance. Same deal with spinach. Peas and beans are pretty easy to grow, although you'll need a lattice. Cucumbers and zucchini are easy to grow, as well. Note, that is in no way an endorsement of zucchini. I don't advocate it's consumption; I'm just pointing out that it's easy to grow.

TL;DR: Yeah, changing your diet is going to feel like you're eating stuff you don't enjoy. Just try to stick to your convictions and give it a month or so, you're very likely to find your tastes change in response to your diet change.

"Water tastes fantastic. It's sweet. An all-soda-and-mcsquats' diet has killed your taste buds, so anything that isn't loaded with sugar and salt (never mind the Coke, your McChicken has a crazy amount of added sugar) will taste bland to you. Cut the crap out of your diet, and the good stuff will taste good again."

This is _so_ true.

I'm still fighting a battle with my own brain which I've been fighting (on and off) for 5 or 10 years now.

I don't actually like french fries, but my brain keeps tricking me into eating them. I spent so much of my life eating them that the smell, their appearance on a menu, even sometimes just the idea of fries; triggers incredibly strong desires to buy and eat them.

If I resist those desires for 3 or 4 weeks, then "give in" and eat some, they're incredibly disappointing - they strike me as slimy/oily salty mush with an unappealing flavour and leave me with an unsatisfying heavy feeling in my gut. This (sometimes) makes it really easy for me to only eat a few, then not buy any again for quite a long time.

But for some reason, my brain retains the "OMG! Fries! I want some!" memories _way_ more strongly than the "Oh, actually they're not very nice..." ones. And it's _so_ easy (for me) to drop back into the habit of eating them, and once I've eaten just half a serve or so, the unpleasant oilyness and flavour somehow doesn't affect me any more. Then I need to struggle through the 3 or 4 weeks of denying myself something I'm strongly convinced I really want to eat again.

The same for sodas - though it's easier for me to (more or less healthily) work around the soda-desire by buying diet soda instead of sugar (of hfcs) laden soda... (which just leave me open to the problems with chemical sweeteners, but for now I'm writing that down as less of a concern than the sugar/calories of regular soda).

At a guess, I strongly suspect the "fast food industry"'s manipulation of fat, sugar, and salt levels; is very strongly targeted at manipulating our tastes and desires to make us think we enjoy their version of "food" over what food really tastes like.

On the positive side, over ~10 years I've managed to get from a high of ~130kg (285lb) down to a fairly consistent 92kg (202lb) - I'm still "overweight", but I've settled on a diet/lifestyle that's a lot healthier than I had a decade ago. I need to "get fit" now, if I can incorporate some proper exercise into my lifestyle, I'm pretty sure I will be able to drop the next 10-15kg to get down to the 75-80kg (165-175lb) that the health industry says is "normal" for my height... (This is also something I've had many more or less successful false-starts at, I manage to get into the habit of walking for 40min to an hour 3 or 4 times a week, and keep it up for a few weeks or months, but then something interrupts the habit and I have to struggle with myself to start it up again...)

I have the same problem as palish: I want my water to taste like something :) (and we do have some excellent water here).

My brain does want me to eat fries and salty stuff, too.

I managed to go down to about 200 lb which is still overweight (and in my country it IS considered overweight, like palish would be as well), I'd like to go down to 75-80 kg as well but I work 12 hs and study 4 (Master's degree, plus it kills my entire weekend). I managed to go down 10 kg in 2 months with a diet of about 1000 calories, but it was killing me (I've since regained 8 of the 10 kgs).

Food did start to taste better at the end of that diet, but I still love the sugary and salty unhealthy stuff.

Thanks for the post and the entire discussion.

Could you explain that comment about zucchinis? I can't find any information about why one wouldn't recommend its consumption.

Pretty sure that was a joke regarding his personal aversion to zucchini.

Not sure what the OP was talking about, but I won't touch them because they're completely lacking in flavor!

Your doin' it wrong. Zucchini is a fantastic filling and flavor carrier. It loves spices, olive oil, onions, tomatoes and what have you.

Thus it should be used as something that adds volume and takes on flavor of other ingredients.

I used to dislike zucchinis too - since people putting them on my plate didn't have a proper idea of how to use them. But once you use it as Lord intended them to be used, they are THE fruit. Zucchinis are in fact my favorite fruit.

That makes it sound a whole lot like tofu, which is another "food" that should be avoided by anyone who isn't a culinary masochist.

No, tofu tastes like nothing unless you saturate it with marinade or something.

Courgette actually has flavour. But just like white mushrooms, they'll be (nearly) flavourless chunks if you just throw them in a sauce and practically boil them instead of frying.

You need to fry them, get them just slightly brown on the edges to get the flavour out.

I had some off the BBQ yesterday and I was amazed how delicious they were. Cut them in long strips, bit of olive oil, and grill them. Season with a tiny bit of pepper and salt.

Then, maybe your courgettes are flavourless, it can very well be. It's like that with tomatoes over here, and then I get to Italy and mmm

AFAIK - Crystal Light at worst, has a lot of same stuff as sodas, minus the sugar. Which is already a substantial improvement. I don't know what the tap water quality in your area is - but it could very well be bad. However there might be ways of getting a good, cheap water supply if you are in mountainous areas. Id recommend that you stick to pure water if possible - otherwise do what it takes (you might even buy bottled water - but note that in some scenarios bottled watter is worse than tap water - I am super lucky here again, since I live in alpine area where water supply is abundant and of extreme quality).

Regarding vegetables: Onions, garlic, potatoes (early variety), cucumber, cabbage, green beans (we buy dry beans in bulk), beet root, tomatoes and pumpkins. I grow various medicinal herbs and spices. Of fruit I have some grapes, apples, plums and raspberries. Its all just standard central European crops really.

With this capacity we are able to satisfy all vegetable requirements for a family of 5 from late April till late autumn. You should plant various strains of lettuce and green-beans so you have a constant supply over whole season.

Hope you will be able to grow your own food someday.

I can't take a look at your photo right now, but in general "healthy" mainly equates to two things: looking alert, and looking like this- http://www.daviddarling.info/images/muscles_human_body_front...

There are of course many variables- body builders are not necessarily healthy, and neither are people on speed- but when you are healthy, you feel bright and sharp, and you look bright and sharp, and your skin does not hide your muscles.

Look at the image I linked to. Consider yourself. Every place on your body you cannot see the crease formed by two muscles next to each other, is a deposit of fat. The key to this is, nowadays if your proportions are correct (no huge belly, etc) you are seen as "in good shape"- but in reality, many people "in good shape" are hiding a lot of fat on the surface of their body, and no-one realizes it because we have lost touch with what muscles really look like.

P.S. skin quality is another, lesser factor that falls in with hair quality. Truly healthy skin is smooth, supple and elastic, almost like velvet or thin high-quality well-oiled leather drawn tight over your frame. Skin products will not get you this, only regular exercise and a good diet.

I will say that I used to drink coke/sodas regularly and was consuming too much sugar and was in the same boat as you that water was not satisfying enough unless I just got done exercising. As other posters have said, this is your body adapting to your diet, but not in a good way. You can train your body to crave the good stuff and mostly intollerate the bad, but it is through slow, daily changes. Don't expect to just stop drinking soda and drinking water as you will start craving it and going back to it. Instead you need to slowly swap good for bad and over time you will naturally desire good choices which will help you avoid any damage you are doing while you are young which you will certainly pay for in the future.

I think most of us were invincible at one time, but we come to realize it is an illusion as we get older and your older self has to pay for it. Also, keep in mind that you really are what you eat, or from a programmer point of view, your results are only as good as your data(i.e. "Junk in, junk out"). Cokes and McChickens are just chemicals and preservatives.

Not sure where you live, but near where I used to live we had this: http://www.waterspring.com/ (we now have similar ones nearby, but this one was the best we've used).

It's basically massively filtered, recycled tap water that tastes better than bottled spring water, and at about $0.25 a gallon, it costs a few dollars a month per person for a much better taste.

>Do you have any thoughts on using Crystal Light to make water taste less terrible?

I suggest tea. Herbal for when you don't want caffeine.

> Do you have any thoughts on using Crystal Light to make water taste less terrible?

That's the zero calorie flavoured carbonized spring water, right? I'd guess it's definitely a step up from soda :) Artificial sweeteners may (or may not) be questionable, but my intuition (not research, sorry) says their health effects should be rather small in comparison to the huge effects of generally healthy eating and skipping sodas.

Additionally, water tastes terrible depending on where you are. I found that places such as Turkey, Spain or New York are horrible cause the water is heavily chlorinated. Other places may not be chlorinated (rare) or just well below the taste threshold. In addition there can be many other factors that can give tap water an "off" flavour. I'm lucky that my tap water tastes great (can't tell a difference with bottled water--which I consequently only ever buy when I'm on the road and I need water, in a bottle :) ). One time when I was in the US though, somebody brought a decanter (?) with a built-in activated charcoal filter, and I was amazed, the previously slightly-off slightly-chlorinated tap water tasted great!! [additionally you keep the decanter in the fridge so it's chilled]

In case you find just water too boring, squeeze a few drops of lemon or lime in it. Or even better--and this is absolutely great--crush a few fresh mint leaves in your decanter (or bottle), sooo subtle, but definitely no longer "just water".

One thing, the other guy said beans, rice, pasta, potatoes, nuts, vegetables and dairy should be the staple of your food. That's correct, though I'd try to focus on the nuts vegetables and dairy, don't go overboard on the starches. And if possible, get whole-grain rice and whole-grain pasta. It does taste different, but it's a world of difference for your body, the "white" version is just simple starches that get converted to sugar very quickly (which is why athletes eat it), whereas the "whole" version is much slower, and the fibers are good for pooping. It's the difference between healthy food that probably still makes you gain some weight and food that doesn't.

Additionally, I read that dairy isn't particularly healthy or unhealthy and that skimmed versus whole-fat hardly makes any difference whatsoever. So if you like it, go ahead. Oh except yoghurt. It's got those probiotic beasties in them, which is extra plus good for you. I suggest you try and find some nice 10%+ fat Greek yoghurt and try a few spoons just plain. The really fat stuff is actually pretty damn good.

And I think somebody already mentioned it, but in terms of sugar content, 100% fruit juices are nearly just as bad as sodas. Real shame, that, I used to think they were healthy :) I still like a glass of OJ before breakfast though.

According to BMI, 95-100kg are all in the normal range. Top of the normal range, but all in normal

BMI is weight in kg / height in m squared, 18.5 – 25 is normal. So for >200cm, even 100kg is in normal.

That doesn't mean he's bodybuilder lean, but that DOES mean his weight is in a reasonable range.

Now at the same time, he's eating total crap foods. I'm sure in a few years, he could be facing some weight gain, but the idea he's even a little overweight is off.

It's a little hard to judge from a fully-clothed shot, but I'd estimate your body fat at about 25%-30% based on your face, and what appears to be a pretty soft abdomen.

Given your weight of 220#, that means you're carrying about 55-66# of fat on you. Drop that to 10-15% (a pretty good athletic range) without losing muscle, and you'd be somewhere in the 170 - 190# range.

"It's a little hard to judge from a fully-clothed shot,"

Be careful there - next thing you know he's going to post a photo in his underwear. All for science, of course ;)

Well, if you insist... But on the other hand, you could get those pictures from your mom. (Hi Sarah! ;))

Not sure if this was an Eddy Murphy imitation or that you mistake me for someone else?

If he does, I'll point him at the T-Nation "Rate My Physique" rules for posing.

Newbies always forget wheel shots.

Click this link instead. He left the ?dl=1 on there.


Ummmmm, nobody is going to check out your photo. It's awesome that diet is working for you (for now) but it doesn't for the other 99% who eat like that. Just look around you...

Dude, don't put me on the spot like that. I'm not going to judge your bloody photo. What is this, hotornot.com?

That said, you're pretty young, and your awful diet has evidently not caught up with you yet. When it does, I predict a swift re-evaluation of your ideas about nutrition and self-exceptionalism.

I'll bite.

Right now you're doing OK because you've got a relatively high metabolic rate. By the time you hit your mid-30s to early 40s, a natural drop in testosterone is going to slow that metabolic rate right down and you'll see a gradual buildup of belly fat. In fact, I can already see the beginnings of it in your photo right now. I can't see your jawline but your cheeks look a little full for a guy your age.

I used to be 140-150# and now I fight to stay at 180#. In all likelihood I'm never going to get back to where I once was. I've redirected my goals to minimizing bodyfat and building muscle. It's not easy but my health has improved markedly.

I'm sorry.

I eat what I want and I have stayed between 130 and 135 for over 10 years.

I was a similar weight. But being 6 foot 3 helps. A BMI of 26-28 is overweight, it's most people don't really notice. It's also really easy to lose, if you can just cut down a little.

BMI is crap:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1062684... Top ten reasons the BMI is bogus

http://www.maa.org/devlin/devlin_05_09.html Do You Believe in Fairies, Unicorns, or the BMI?

http://www.slate.com/id/2223095/ Why doctors won't stop using an outdated measure for obesity

If you want to measure body fat, measure body fat.

BMI is truly shit. Let me tell you an anecdote.

While at Uni I was a semi professional MTB DH racer. I am 188cm tall and weighted 88kg when in best shape of my life - I weigh a lot since my build is super robust (I had <10% body fat at that point) and I do have big bones :) (really you should see my wrists). In December, that means off season for me (athletes tend to pick up some weight during that period), we had an physical exam for Uni - I weighted 94kg at that point. So at the end of all the tests I walk into the doctors office, who while peering into my file commands me to take off my shirt and sit down. She proceeds to comment the results along the lines of: "... everything is perfect, but you are overweight (BMI 26.6) - you absolutely have to loose some weight!" At this time she rises her eyes from the file and looks at me sitting in front of her, top naked. Blushes and says: " but only a kilo or two!".

BMI may work for average. But the sad fact is that people are rarely average. And as others have noted, recent findings indicate that some level of body fat - protects from diabetes and other diseases. Meaning that nutrition is not really that simple.

190cm 98kg. Not feeling fat at all. Dangerous assumptions here. Weight only tells you how much somebody weight's that's it.

189 cm 79 kg, feeling very fat. Anorexia sucks :\

Really? I don't see people getting fat off of orange juice. Coca-Cola, beer, Gatorade, "sweet tea" with enough sugar in it to be poured on pancakes... these all seem like much more egregious offenders.

A glass of orange juice from a store contains as more calories as an equivalent amount of soda:

Calories in OJ: http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-orange-juice-i14425 Calories in soda: http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-carbonated-beverage-i...

Adjusted for the same volume, the soda has 109, while the orange juice has 122.

It's not just about calories but overall nutritional value. The orange juice contains significantly more vitamins than the soda -- hell, the site you linked rates orange juice as healthier than soda, which should be telling.

> absolutely contributes to the obesity we are all facing.

Not me. I'm actually trying to put on weight. And it's slow going.

Hate to be cynical but I suspect the whole point of the article is to sell you on buying a juicer.

The domain is owned by a copy writing firm called http://www.wonderworkingwords.com/ . I can't prove it but I am willing to wager that a juicer firm commissioned the article. The firms motto after all is 'words that sell'.

Good news! I'm not an industry shill. I'm a stay at home mom who homeschools my three kids and earns money blogging. If you read the disclosure statements on my site, you'll see that I never write paid posts or content. I do sell advertising, though, (from which I make a pretty penny, thank you) and the link is a link to a page full of text ads. I used to be a copywriter, but haven't done that since my blog took off about three years ago. It is true that I operate this blog under the business name I created for my copywriting business, but that's mostly so that I don't have to create a new company or tax ID.

Welcome and glad to have you. And while you're not a shill, I find your site misguided, in overly relying on equating natural, traditional diets with healthy, leading you to some recommendations that are orthogonal to healthiness, like fermented veggies and sprouted grains, and some that are unhelpful to health, like red meat and butter. The people of Finland drastically improved their health metrics when they transitioned to a modern mainstream European diet away from their natural, traditional Finnish diet of lots of red meat and butter.

Modern scientific findings, properly analyzed, are an astonishingly better guide to human health than any traditional collection of folk wisdom.

To add to adolph's comment, could you point a citation to back up this?

And while you're not a shill, I find your site misguided, in overly relying on equating natural, traditional diets with healthy, leading you to some recommendations that are orthogonal to healthiness, like fermented veggies and sprouted grains, and some that are unhelpful to health, like red meat and butter. The people of Finland drastically improved their health metrics when they transitioned to a modern mainstream European diet away from their natural, traditional Finnish diet of lots of red meat and butter.

Additionally, how does a "modern mainstream European diet" compare to a traditional Finnish diet?

I've been reading Kristen's blog for a long time. I don't agree with everything I read, and I tend to be skeptical of strong opinions on either side of an equation. That said, I can't help but agree with the basic premise of the post: food producers are not entirely truthful about what's in the stuff they produce and we put into our bodies. And our health and producers' bottom lines do not always line up. For example, did you know that factory farmed chickens are fed arsenic, and that often ends in the meat you purchase from the supermarket[1]? And this went on for many years before the FDA put a stop to it?

[1] http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=13793945

EDIT: Fixed italics.

I was thinking of a scientific study I read a couple years ago, the citation for which escapes me at the moment. How I long for the day when I can install the Google brain history page implant beta. But five seconds on the present-day Google uncovered both: (1) a Wikipedia page on Finnish cuisine that shows a picture of a butter-slathered pastry and mentions stuff about hunting, red meat, buttermilk, and fruits and vegetables being unavailable nine months out of the year until recently; and, also on the first page of results, (2) a scientific review paper in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons by an M.D.-Ph.D. Yale professor indicating that Finland has both the world's highest consumption of saturated fatty acids and the world's highest ischemic heart disease mortality rate, and the highest rate of myocardial infarction of any of the countries surveyed in another study; and that "it is generally established that the Finnish diet of fatty red meats, butter, and bread, is highly conducive to heart disease." The best part is, it's a review article that cites 64 other scientific articles, so you can follow up with those to learn more. Here you go, with my bonus url cruft:


The study I had remembered reading, which I'll track down this weekend sometime when I'm not on Hacker News while getting ready to go to work, was more recent and shows new improvements in Finnish health metrics as they have moved away from their traditional diet and begun eating a lot more food from the rest of Europe.

And I share your agreement with this particular post on Kristen's blog.


My sense, from following Kristen's blog, is that she might be a bit appalled by the traditional Finnish diet, too. She pushes a lot of grass-fed beef and butter produced from the milk of grass-fed cattle, but she also pushes lots of vegetables, among other things.

The red meat, butter, and buttermilk that abounds in the traditional Finnish diet are from moose and reindeer whose own diet in the Finnish woods is at least as all-natural, wholesome, and organic as the grass grazed by Kristen's cattle, but that didn't stop the Finns from being the world leaders in heart attacks. The LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream doesn't care what the cows you ate were eating when they were alive. Kristen's brand of feeling good for rebelling against the food-industrial complex and folksy pattern-matching of traditional must mean good are no substitute for the scientific method, and in this case it's (on average and over the long term) a life-or-death distinction.

Finnish people as whole have never eaten mostly moose and reindeer. You are confusing Finnish with Sami people.

Am I? Are you sure? The Finns, not the Sami in particular, have been observed to be the world's foremost eaters of red meat in general, as noted in my other post. To the degree that non-Sami Finns dieted on pork and beef instead of moose and reindeer, they have tended to consume all the more saturated fat.

At the same time, moose and reindeer are not cattle, and they are cold-weather animals, which means they have a lot of extra body fat. Extrapolating conclusions about moose and reindeer to cattle is not necessarily correct and there are reasons to believe it isn't.

There is a significant difference, but it works the opposite way, so that beef is worse for you. Cattle have been bred under ten thousand years of domestication to have fattier meat, whereas undomesticated sources of red meat are much leaner. Off the top of my head I can point you to the index of Guns, Germs and Steel for citations.

>Cattle have been bred under ten thousand years of domestication to have fattier meat, whereas undomesticated sources of red meat are much leaner.

I can see that applying to deer, elk, rabbit, etc -- but moose? Furthermore, there's a considerable market for lean beef especially in the modern era, and I know that pigs have rather recently been selected for leanness. My current knowledge of the health effects of red meat as a whole is that the data are conflicting:


The fact that Finland's diet was confounded with lots of butter and other fatty things makes the whole thing rather unconvincing as a data point saying that red meat is any more unhealthy than ordinary nutrition labeling (x grams of fat, y grams of carb, z grams of protein) would lead you to believe. I can buy a pound of 90/10 beef at the store with 12 grams of fat, ~3 grams of carbohydrate, and 23 grams of protein "per serving", which really doesn't sound terribly unhealthy next to e.g. a bag of potato chips.

Breeding for leaner red meat is a phenomenon of the last few decades, compared with breeding for fattier red meat which has been going on among domesticated cattle and swine for the last 10,000 years. Relatively leaner and relatively less processed red meat are relatively better for you, and there are various data about how relatively healthier the relatively better red meats are. But there are also clear and unconflicted data that vegetarians have far better health outcomes than omnivores, and that pescetarians, like Steve Jobs, who eat seafood and plant-based foods but no other meat, have still significantly better health outcomes than vegetarians.

I haven't commented on Hacker News for a while now. But let me rake in the downvotes and say that this kind of answer is the reason I can't be bothered anymore. Let's face it, this is a geeky forum. And geeks just can't refrain from giving their opinions and facts. They only need to spend a night reading Wikipedia articles about nutrition to have the right to shit all over someones comments that are marginally overlapping on their new domain of expertise. The tone above, jesus christ. She wasn't even asking for an opinion.

Worst community ever. The arrogance that comes with smarts.

When someone takes it on herself to actively evangelize an analysis she acknowledges is controversial, she should expect to be treated like an adult and be presented with honest opposing views, in whatever venue she chooses to take part in. And I'd find a forum disappointing if its default ethic were to reaffirm to all its participants that their current coding knowledge, startup idea, or pseudoscientific views were equally valid and had no room for improvement by frank feedback. I'll let you get back to your much more civilized forums where people simply present their rational analysis and supporting evidence rather than tossing around exclamations of "shit" and "jesus christ" at other participants, especially as part of a call for civility. Oh wait.

> She wasn't even asking for an opinion.

Bullshit. If you make your views publicly known, they are open to criticism. bfe was incisive but not uncivil. Your pious attitude and haughty implication that bfe's knowledge is only a result of an evening's browse through Wikipedia is far more offensive to me than anything he/she wrote.

I agree that HN would be much, much nicer if people would just show a little respect.

  > properly analyzed
That's the catch.

Citation please!

Modern scientific findings, properly analyzed, are an astonishingly better guide to human health than any traditional collection of folk wisdom.

Really? Um, which body of pre-modern folk wisdom relies on citations to evidence? To be fair there are a few, but their cited authorities of preference are scriptural. I cited a scientific review of large studies of specific health outcomes from specific dietary habits in my other reply, but that itself is the practice of science. If you don't find that explanatory power a convincing epistemological clue, there is no end to the venues more willing than HN to spend time debating the equal dignity of traditional folk wisdom with the scientific method - churches, humanities departments, newspaper op-ed pages, etc.

Originally I was just trolling you for making a bare assertion. After thinking about it a bit, sure, do you have any citations for "Modern scientific findings" being "astonishingly better" than "any traditional collection of folk wisdom" for the purpose of "human health?"

First, I haven't made an assertion that folk wisdom relies on citations. My impression is that folk wisdom is generally broader than religion, but I won't bother you with a citation request for that assertion. "Modern scientific findings" appear to rely on citations and you provided one that says the traditional Mediterranean diet is associated with some positive health outcomes; the Finnish one, not so much. Here's one for you about the negative health affects of a modern science-derived diet and lifestyle on folks migrating from a traditional diet and lifestyle to a modern one.

Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus, migration and westernisation: The Tokelau Island Migrant study


Summary. The migration of Tokelauans from a traditional atoll in the Pacific to urban New Zealand is associated with an increased prevalence and incidence of Type 2 (non-insulindependent) diabetes mellitus over the period 1968-1982. During the same period, a lesser but definite increase is seen among non-migrants in Tokelau. The age standardised prevalence rates rose from 7.5 and 11.7 to 10.8 and 19.9 per 100 respectively in the male and female migrants compared with an increase from 3.0 and 8.7 to 7.0 and 14.3 per 100 in the nonmigrant males and females respectively. The incidence of diabetes is shown to be consistently higher in the migrants compared to the non-migrants giving relative risks of 1.5 in males and 1.9 in females. The factors most likely contributing to this difference, are changes to a higher calorie, high protein diet, higher alcohol consumption, a greater weight gain and altered levels of physical activity in the migrants. A number of populations in the Pacific have been shown to have a low rate of diabetes in their traditional setting, but may have a genetic predisposition for diabetes which responds to factors in the urban industrialised environment and life-style. The social and economic changes taking place in Tokelau are also clearly increasing the risk of diabetes. To reverse these trends and prevent the development of complications of Type 2 diabetes, it will be important to institute preventive programmes and to follow up the population in both environments for long-term outcomes, including mortality.

That is quite the switcheroo you pulled by declaring a "modern science-derived diet and lifestyle" to be the more calories and more booze and less exercise of the Islanders in this study. How is that "science-derived"?

The point I was making is that the scientific method is our best bet in trying to accurately learn about how the universe works, including as it comes to our health and how our diet affects that. That really doesn't have anything to do with Pacific islanders adopting Westernized habits of, averaged over a population, eating more and drinking more booze and exerting less physical activity and having negative health outcomes because of it...

...except that this study itself is also an exercise in the scientific method, and is part of the scientific method helping us learn better how to optimize our health.

Kristen's blog basically espouses the view that there are lots of new, awful health outcomes that have coincided with the rise of modern food industries and habits, so there are obviously major problems with those habits and the industries that are facilitating those awful health outcomes. So far so good. She has done some valid analysis on a terribly urgent problem.

But then she seems to have decided, well, everything in our traditional cuisine from before modern food industry, and that contrasts with today's modern food industry, must have been beneficial. For example, our ancestors seem to have consumed lots of beef and butter, but from free-grazing grass-fed cattle, which isn't how modern food industry prefers to operate today. So that must be part of what was healthy about our traditional diet, that has since been corrupted.

This represents a too-hasty conclusion to the analytical process. It willfully ignores lots of recent, rigorously performed research to the contrary. She bought into an analytical framework that had some partial validity -- modern industrial food processing has introduced some new deleterious health effects -- but then she was satisfied to stop there and not continue searching for further answers in all available avenues of skeptical and rigorous inquiry. She found a pattern that produced some obvious advantage over the status quo, but then fell into premature whole-hearted acceptance of that pattern and is content just to try to keep matching that pattern, instead of continuing to seek out the best evidence and refusing to stop trying to learn from ongoing research. Additionally, since her partial analysis has yielded a clear antagonist in the form of modern food processing industry, she has allowed her pride in rebelling against that antagonist sustain her faith in exactly her present beliefs, instead of continuing to accept ambiguity and an ongoing openness to even better evidence and better answers than the partially better ones she has already devoted herself to.

Her devotion to that insufficient pattern-matching has even become insidious enough that she refuses to consider overwhelming, rigorously obtained, scientific evidence that lots of red meat and full-fat dairy might also be deleterious to human health -- because she has devoted herself to simplistic pattern-matching based on the initial conjecture that modern food processing equals bad and anything from previous to modern food processing equals good, which includes red meat and full-fat dairy. Her devotion to her halfway-valid analysis has left her willfully defying the best knowledge that we are able to obtain.

(By the way I was even shocked to discover how badly everyone's misconceptions are about what the typical American diet was like previous to modern food processing. There wasn't nearly as much red meat and butter being consumed as most people might assume. Did you know that various beans and chili peppers were major diet staples in early 1800's America as far north as the Canadian border? The reality was actually a lot healthier than the Little House on the Prairie TV version.)

The scientific method as applied to nutrition has revealed that certain traditional cuisines were relatively quite healthy, such as traditional Mediterranean and Japanese cuisines. It doesn't by any means mean EVERY traditional cuisine was equally healthy, such as the Finnish lower boundary condition I mentioned above. The scientific method as applied to nutrition also continues to teach us new and better knowledge of healthy cuisine than any traditional cuisine from anywhere on Earth has ever had. Every traditional cuisine came about in an evolutionary process that depended partly on survivors' bias, partly on anecdote, partly on luck, etc. Like any evolutionary product, they are all imperfect, even the healthiest examples. We only even have the capability of evaluating which are the healthier ones and which the less healthy, through our modern methods of science. What does a traditional Japanese cuisine mean? Does it mean lots of white rice and udon noodles, or lots of seafood, soy products, and seaweed salad? Which are the healthiest? The Mediterranean Sea coast has a lot of surface area. What does a traditional Mediterranean diet mean? Paella? Fettucini Alfredo? Grilled fish and Greek vegetable salad with olive oil? Couscous and goat meat? Unleavened bread and hummus? Only the methods of science allow us to compare all the evidence in valid ways and distinguish among the patterns. If we ate largely traditional Japanese cuisine but with little to no white rice or simple carb noodles, or traditional Greek cuisine but without the feta cheese and substituting whole grain bread, could that be even healthier than any traditional cuisine humanity has yet known? There are no simple answers to anything. And only continuing to explore rigorously, with a sound understanding of the most foolproof methods of exploration, and an acceptance in the meantime that our knowledge remains tentative and must remain open to the best analysis of the best available evidence as we continue to search and discover, will yield the best knowledge and the best outcome. That is what I mean by relying on science.

Ok, maybe the migratory Tokelauans ate something other than some hypothetical health-optimized science-based diet. The science behind it was probably production-efficiency optimized. Where's the citation for some science documenting a group of people getting better health benefits from "modern scientific findings?"

Your claim:

Modern scientific findings, properly analyzed, are an astonishingly better guide to human health than any traditional collection of folk wisdom.

A stay at home mom discovers the secret ingredient JUICE COMPANIES DON'T WANT YOU TO LEARN? Sounds just like one of those ads about tooth-whitening or one weird old trick ;)

Welcome to HN from a kindred spirit. I'm a former homemaker and homeschooling mom. Serious health issues caused me to seriously question conventional wisdom about nutrition, so I appreciate the tone of your site. (The standard medical advice for my condition amounts to "live on tons of junk food to increase your fat, salt and calorie count!" I got better in part by focusing on better nutrition. Much of what I have found works flies in the face of what "the world" believes to be true for people like me.)

Count me envious/jealous of your financial success with your blog. :-) You have what I once wanted and never got (in terms of lifestyle -- I still hope to work out the online income thing, though my kids are grown now).


Thank you for the welcome!

Hi, welcome to Hacker News. People around here are a bit conspiracy-theoryish (conspirical?) but overall the atmosphere is good and the conversation is interesting. Thanks for contributing.

Thanks. I wouldn't have known about Hacker News at all, except that you've sent me 2,000+ visitors (and counting) today. Looks like an interesting site.


Well, for context: this is a news-aggregator site run by a venture capital / incubator company, and inhabited by a bunch of really serious techies.

Who would have a rather more diverse range of experiences on health and fitness than your initial prejudices might lead you to believe.

Enjoy your visit.

Apologies, Kristen. dredmorbius has perhaps shown us that we haven't had as many diverse ranges of "not being arrogant" experiences and "she didn't say anything about us so why are you talking about 'initial prejudice'" experiences and "dredmorbius has only been here 15 days" experiences as we've had of health and fitness experiences, apparently.

Did we read the same article? The one I read promoted eating fruit over drinking juice:

"Juice removed from the fruit is just concentrated fructose without any of the naturally-occurring fiber, pectin, and other goodies that make eating a whole fruit good for you [...] So, my first piece of advice is to get out of the juice habit altogether. It’s expensive, and it’s not worth it."

Perhaps you missed the line "My second piece of advice is to only drink juices that you make yourself", which is soon followed by a nice SEO-friendly link on the text "See here for where to buy juicers and Vitamix blenders."?

Why would a juice machine company want people buying juice from shops?

Maybe he missed the part on their website where they said the firm uses 'journalism' to generate publicity for their clients.

I've mentioned on here before but the best book I read in grade school was Vance Packard's The Hidden Persuaders about how PR and advertising people manipulate public opinion. Sorry to say this fifty year old book is out of print, check your library and you won't be sorry.

I already work in advertising ;)

You even skipped right over the Amazon affiliate link to the cookbook.

Even if it is advertising (or motivated by it), it doesn't imply the information is false.

Follow the money for all of this food-related propaganda and you'll find an industry funding it that stands to benefit somehow.

Seriously? The author says you're better off eating only food you grow yourself or that you can verify the origins of. I don't think that's an industry lobby's viewpoint.

With respect, it is an industry lobby's viewpoint, and it belongs to the organic food industry.

Organic farming is not financially sustainable at scale because the costs of production are far too high. There is a very low ceiling, relatively speaking, to the amount of crops that can be produced. Therefore in order to stay profitable organic food has to be sold at very significant premium. Buyers will not pay this premium unless they're convinced that the cheaper, non-organic alternative is an inferior product regardless of whether it actually is or not.

Technically speaking, the author is right: we're better off only eating foods for which we can establish provenance. But for most folks that idea is completely unrealistic...unless you subscribe to the organic concept, where food has a pedigree of sorts, or is at least marketed as such.

Full disclosure: I live in Nebraska and grew up surrounded by agriculture. I worked farming corn/soybeans/milo from the age of thirteen through college. My wife's family is a fifth-generation farm family.

Industrial farming based on huge amounts of cheap oil is not sustainable either. Think about all the oil/gas used in fertilizer production, pesticides, mechanization, harvesting, processing, storage, trucking, packaging.

Every step of the industrial food production process involves fossil fuels, which have a limited production flow, more or less flat since 2005. Large and growing countries like China and India will demand and are receiving increasing amounts of global oil production. This forces prices to rise, and smaller, poorer players are priced out, reducing demand.

Google for Export Land Model, to read about this and other topics.

An example of this predicament is the UK who fairly transparently did a deal with Libya in return for securing gas supplies. Odious, but they had very little choice in order to secure energy.

And as the oil price rises, food costs rise too.

Come now, mechanized farming isn't all bad. Small engines have brought /billions/ of people out of poverty. My late grandfather switched from a dozen horses to one quadbike, tripling output and halving the amount of work he had to do. This 'third world' you are thinking of has been buying small, efficient engines for tractors and pumps for most of the last century. The spike in oil use for that was in the early 60s. Yes, there are some countries where every single farmer doesn't have access or purchasing power to buy a small tractor but they are the exceptions, not the rule.

I don't know why you want to damn billions of people to a life of manual toil when you yourself have access to labour saving machines (you are on a computer). The problem isn't mechanization, the problem is scale.

As for sustainability, I've seen farmers in Papua New Guinea running tractors on coconut oil before biofuels were in vogue. Fuel prices are high, fuel is a significant cost to agriculture. No one in their right mind wants to use more fuel than they must.

Producing the nitrogen for fertilizer is very energy intensive. Thus, food prices will follow the oil price.

Appropriate use of crop rotation and natural fertilizer (cow manure is quite effective) can significantly reduce the amount of fertilizer needed. I don't think we ever put artificial fertilizer on our fields, just spread on some cow dung.

In any sort of farming operation, soil nutrients MUST be replenished. A huge industrial farm can practice crop rotation at least as well as a small farmer, if not better, and of course can afford to have employees devoted specifically to managing and planning fertilizer application when needed.

Farming can be an expensive proposition--it is not cost-effective to apply pesticides/herbicides/fertilizer when not needed!

If nothing else, you've made me think about my position.

"Industrial farming based on huge amounts of cheap oil is not sustainable either. Think about all the oil/gas used in fertilizer production, pesticides, mechanization, harvesting, processing, storage, trucking, packaging."

Believe me, farmers think about that subject far more than you can imagine. They do everything they can to reduce the number of passes they have to make through each row of crops.

Farms like my in-laws leverage technology to the maximum. For example, they have GPS units on their tractors that are integrated with meters that track how much fertilizer is being distributed and they've been tracking this for almost a decade. When they harvest, they have GPS units on the combines and sensors that are tracking yields. At the end of every season they use 2D and sometimes 3D modeling to determine the optimum distribution of fertilizer down to a few feet. The off-season is dedicated to crunching these numbers, plus a mountain of other data that is collected. The goal is to absolutely maximize the efficiency of resource use: fuel, fertilizer, pesticides, etc.

When it comes to the question of sustainability you've got to remember that many if not most farms are generational. Fathers passed the farm to the current generation, they hope to pass it to their sons or daughters. They are far more invested in the economic and environmental sustainability of their operations than the folks that have made sustainability a trendy buzzword.

And understand that I am talking about industrial farms. There is no true distinction between the "industrial farm" and the "family farm." They are one and the same, but there is a lobby out there that has it out for agriculture. You sound like a real jerkoff if you're attacking the "family" farm, but if you use the word "industrial", you conjure images of smokestacks belching pollution and fat white guys in suits lighting Cubans with the money they stole from the pocket of the janitor. It's totally cool to attack those guys.

Think about it this way. Where I live it takes about 1,500 acres to support a family. Let's say you have three families working a farm, a father and his two married sons and their kids. That's three families that need about 4,500 acres to make a living. That is a lot of land and it requires an industrial, in the dictionary sense of the word, operation to farm.

As others have pointed out, there are a bunch of food processing companies around like the Magic Bullet. They don't really care where you get your food from, but if they can convince you to buy/grow more whole food instead of juice or apple sauce or whatever it is you normally buy from the store, they stand to profit because people still want their juice. There are also knife companies, garden care, etc.

Edit: The author has posted here and claims only selling ad space, so it may not necessarily be this author, but it's still aimed at getting viewers and ad revenue. Follow the money trail is indeed good advice, of course just because money's involved doesn't mean there's a problem.

Does the fertilizer industry have a lobby?

Chemical engineer's perspective: This is interesting. I'd learned about the chemical additives required for flavor in from-concentrate orange juice, since the dehydration ("concentration") by nature removes a lot of the more volatile chemicals that give OJ it's flavor. Without looking into it, I'd guess the deoxygenation process works by heating and pulling vacuum to lower oxygen solubility, which would also have the same consequence of removing the flavor compounds.

That said, the addition of chemical flavoring agents is completely irrelevant to health. Again I know more about process design than health science, but I do know that the flavoring chemicals that get removed and added are in such trace amounts that they likely have no health consequence, whether present or absent. In fact, many of the compounds are actually toxic at high concentrations.

And towards the "don't drink juice at all" argument, I feel like the world would be in a far better place health-wise if everyone drank juice instead of soda. At least juice is a fair representation of fruit, while soda is basically fructose dissolved in phosphoric acid. (The article mentions pectin and fiber as missing fruit components in juice - this is true as both are solids likely removed by juicing, but pectin is just a sugar polymer like starch, and fiber is just indigestible solids...nothing special health-wise). The argument reminds me of the people telling everyone not to go to college, just because in their specific case they didn't need it. Potentially decent advice for a small, already advantaged subset of the population, but horrible advice for everyone else.

My point exactly. How do you get juice? You pulverize and squeeze it out! So going the extra mile to extract oils for slight flavoring is bad, how?

Juice is not as good for you as whole fruit. Fine. 20 ounces of any fruit has too much sugar (and would make you shit sideways) anyway. Everything in moderation.

If you're going to drink a glass of Oj, which would you rather have, one they deoxygenate or dehydrate? Wholly or partially? I'll personally take deoxygenation over dehydrations. And the fruit juice industry's method for deoxygenation is not, to my knowledge, done via a full nitrogen sparge (bubbling nitrogen or other inert gas through the liquid to lower dissolved oxygen) or via a membrane contactor deaeration system (used in my field, drug dev, and semiconductor applications - check out http://liqui-cel.com, I've built these systems in a cGMP facility, they're awesome). It's simply vacuuming down the head space in a vat, and maybe replacing it with an inert gas (or just leaving it at negative pressure to reduce soluble oxygen as stated above. I'll take that over an OJ that has more in common with Tang than the fruit that bears it's name, anyway. So what if they tweak the flavor with a bit of ground orange to keep flavor consistent?

The problem is that without the solids and the eating involved in eating a fruit, it's way easier to overdo it and take in too many calories.

> fiber is just indigestible solids...nothing special health-wise

That's possibly the most wrong statement in this entire discussion. Fibre is a critical part of your diet; without enough of the stuff, pooping sucks.

Good point, that bit about fiber is wrong. What I said should probably be amended to mean that juice = (fruit - fiber). But surely that's no reason to stop drinking juice, unless people really use juice as a replacement for whole fruit, and fruit as a primary means of getting fiber. I guess it is a valid concern, though.

juice = (fruit -- [the stuff that makes you feel full eventually] -- [the packaging that limits the rate in which you consume it])

Secret ingredient? It's sugar water.

This is like talking about the chemicals they put into Coke... Yeah, they're in there, and maybe they shouldn't be, but that's not why you drink it and that's not why it's bad for you.

Edit: Downvote why? Sugars in 10oz Coca-Cola classic: 33g. Sugars in 10oz Tropicana Pure Premium original orange juice: 28.1g.

[1] http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-coca-cola-classic-i98...

[2] http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-tropicana-orange-juic...

The articles was about 100% juice. Unless your system of labeling works a lot different in your part of the world you cannot add things to juice and still call it 100% juice.

The blog mentions a ~trick~ to recreate a well-known and stable flavor by adding orange-derived chemicals - but you still cannot add 'sugar water'.

Yes, that stuff contains a lot of sugar. But so does an orange from your own garden (still healthier if you eat the whole fruit, not just the 'sugar water' aka fruit juice).

I understood the article fine. But who cares if it's 100% juice or not? 100% juice is bad. Coca-Cola wouldn't be better for you if it were 100% sugar and carbonated water.

You make a great point about raw fruit— Sugars in a whole orange: 12g. That is to say, a glass of orange juice has the sugar water from two oranges, without the fiber that blocks absorption and sends satiety signals after an orange and a half. Clearly these are comparable things.

Look, we agree on the 'usefulness' of juice. And I didn't down-vote your original comment, merely tried to explain what might seem weird about your post.

Now you're asking 'Who cares if it's 100% juice or not': Well - that's what this article was about. It wasn't about how healthy fruit juice is (as I said before, we agree that it's not a good idea), it was about labeling something 100% (which is interpreted as 'natural' and 'pure' by customers) fruit juice while doing weird and counter intuitive things to the substance in question.

So - this article is exactly for all the people that care about whether it's 100% juice they are consuming.

Sigh... I for one am getting extremely tired of people freaking out because they see organic chemical names among the ingredients that go into food. Lots and lots of perfectly ordinary and harmless chemical compounds (e.g. ethyl butyrate, valencine) have scary-sounding names, and lots of toxic ones don't. If you want to educate yourself, pick up a copy of _On Food and Cooking_ by Harold McGee, and learn about what those compounds actually are.

Or you can run around screaming about the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide.

I for one would not be the slightest bit bothered if somebody added orange juice to my orange juice.

I actually found the article interesting. I've always wondered why fresh squeezed juice tastes so much better, but always assumed it was because it was so fresh. I didn't realize the manufacturers mess around with the flavor. Now I'm curious what packaged OJ in Brazil tastes like.

"I for one would not be the slightest bit bothered if somebody added orange juice to my orange juice."

Me neither but the deoxygenated-reflavored juice just tastes crappy, so I'm all for a law obligating the producers to disclose this practice and stop misleading people with the "100% natural juice not from concentrate" bullshit.

I find that a "100% natural orange" tastes pretty crappy if it sits on a shelf for 2 weeks before I eat it. Plenty of 100% natural stuff tastes bad.

You might further be shocked to learn that all-natural organic farm fresh-squeezed juice might have actually been pressed out of the fruit by a mechanical juicer that ruins the test, and not squeezed out by loving hands.

What's wrong with a product label that calls things what they actually are, instead redefining all nice sounding words to be "stuff that tastes good to praptak"?

I don't think this is about freaking out over chemical compounds, it is freaking out over mislabeling and artificial food, and trusting the food industry.

Lately I've started drinking OJ from a brand called Evolution. They claim to just squeeze it and bottle it, more or less. They use cold pasteurization, a.k.a. irradiation, which doesn't bother me and helps preserve the taste. I've also found all I really need is a small glass in the morning.

It's quite expensive, however.


Although I don't put this below the food industry to do, it is peculiar that the sources listed are all other blogs. Looking through the blog links I found a NYT article sourced but it said nothing about chemically processed orange products being added to 100% orange juice.


Any one have any better sources?

Here's a page at the USDA that talks about the deoxygenation of citrus juices for increased shelf life, so at least that part of the article is accurate:


Tldr; 100% juice like tropicana is deoxygenated to remove all the flavor and make it last a long time and then natural flavor is added to make the taste consistent.

They shouldn't be able to say its 100% juice. WTF.

Why not? When your blood delivers oxygen to your cells, it becomes deoxygenated. Is it no longer blood?

If the natural flavor they add is made of juice (orange or not), and they add it to juice, is the result no longer juice?

When the package says "100% juice," I think most people assume that means that the juice is squeezed from the orange and it goes into the carton without any processing or additives. I'm sure that's the impression that they're trying to give by putting that on the label. The fact that this isn't the case, and that the juice is actually highly processed in a very unnatural manner, is pretty alarming.

Without any processing or additives? I'm for the most part quite glad the juice and milk I buy at the store has been processed--without pasteurization and homogenization, for example, milk would be significantly riskier AND less convenient.

You may be glad that your 100% pure orange juice is in fact highly processed orange juice product, but most people would be rather shocked to find out what is happening.

And you may not be correct about the pasteurization of milk. There are many who feel that natural unpasteurized milk is healthier. Pasteurization is perhaps more necessary in a mass production environment, but it is not necessarily better for our bodies.

This story adds more proof for me that we should consume nothing that "comes in a box", so to speak.

There are also many people who "feel" that vaccines cause autism, or that such-and-such an artificial sweetener causes cancer, despite a lack of any real scientific evidence. Once I see a few real studies about the long-term health effects of pasteurized vs. unpasteurized milk (besides the lower incidence of food-borne illness in pasteurized drinkers), I'll be willing to consider it--but not on the "gut feeling" of "moms", those heroes of anti-intellectual anti-science BS everywhere.

Pasteurization is perhaps more necessary in a mass production environment, but it is not necessarily better for our bodies

It's sure as heck not worse. If boiling things is unhealthy, we've been dreadfully unhealthy for tens of thousands of years.

I can't say I really care about whether or not orange juice is "natural" - it's all made of chemicals at the end of the day, so the only thing that really matters to me is which ones, and how much - but the degree to which truth-in-advertising has essentially ceased to exist does bother me. Exactly how much do I have to modify something before I can't advertise it as "100% Natural!" anyway?

Speaking of which, can anyone provide a good (comprehensive) source for information on the subject from a legal perspective?

"You see, these “flavor packs are made from orange by-products — even though these ‘by-products’ are so chemically manipulated that they hardly qualify as ‘by-products’ any more.” (source) Since they’re made from by-products that originated in oranges, they can be added to the orange juice without being considered an “ingredient,” despite the fact that they are chemically altered."

Does anyone know if this applies within the EU, and more specifically, the UK? I believe our labelling laws are stricter than this.

Not sure if this is an urban myth or not, but I've heard Cheese Wiz is actually grey. Orange food coloring is later added to the goo to give it that cheddar color.

The orange color you associate with cheddar is artificial. Originally it was due to annatto, though they may use something else now.

Is cheddar usually orange? I think all of the cheddar I have ever bought in NH and VT is a pale yellow.

I'm crazy about cheeses, but the only orange cheeses I've ever seen were all very poor brands, unless I'm forgetting something.

Pictures are helpful. http://www.pepperidgefarm.com/Images/Products/prdLarge_12053... for Cheddar Goldfish, this is what's usually in stores: http://staticc.wisegeek.com/images/calories/calories-in-medi...

I (and I suspect most Americans) would never associate something like this with Cheddar Cheese: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Somerset-Cheddar.jpg (or any other pic on the page for that matter, except for "#19": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheddar_cheese )

I'll have to try some VT cheddar sometime. I stopped defending cheddar's taste (which is none, though I still eat it) ever since I was exposed to real cheeses in my junior high French class.

You specifically want a cheddar that has been aged for multiple years; three years is common. Grafton cheddar from Vermont is considered to be very good cheese.

Thanks. I've definitely seen goldfish before but never really associated cheddar with that bright-orange color. I always called those "nuclear cheese" because of how eerily bright it is. I don't recall ever seeing that in normal block-of-cheese form though, but maybe I'm mistaken.

In VT and NH if you buy any cheddar at all from a farm it is the color of the image you posted and must of it is very fragrant.

Really? Everywhere I've been in the States the amount of white cheddar is roughly equal to colored cheddar, and in the gourmet cheese section there is rarely any colored cheddar.

Here's another couple images I've found: http://blog.thenickstevens.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/ch... http://www.flickr.com/photos/claire_waverly/4686708528/ I guess I have seen white cheddar, but most often mixed with the yellow/orange coloring people are familiar with. e.g. "cheddar jack": http://www.osceolacheese.com/catalog/images/hickory%20smoked... In any case I'd bet people associate white cheese more with mozzarella (pizza cheese, cheese stick/string cheese) than cheddar. Another cheddar product I associate with is Mac&Cheese.

The gourmet cheese section/island is different! And I agree there's rarely coloured cheese. I suspect few shoppers who go straight to the Cheese Aisle (which is dominated by yellow cheddar/cheddar varieties) even know of its existence, even if they walk by it, let alone dare sample anything new/different/highly priced.

It actually varies by state in the US, and by country. Cheddar cheese is always "cheddar colored", for local values of cheddar color. Varies from off-white to orange.

No. In my local supermarket, and in every supermarket I have ever been in (live in the Northeast, but have been plenty of other markets in the US and abroad) there is both natural white cheddar and colored cheddar, although sometimes the colored stuff is missing.

Originally it was (allegedly) due to beta carotene in cow's milk. The orange coloring was used to mask seasonal variation in cheese coloring (same as how every other food is now carefully color-controlled) and eventually "orange" became a defining cheddar characteristic.

It's still annatto, which is also used to color butter (among countless other things).

Oh, hey, bad news: even if you don't drink juice, never have any sugar, and spend all your time counting calories -- you're still going to die at some point. Sorry, had to ruin the whole health obsession parade here.

This is coming from a guy who counted his calories, and still logs his weight every morning, and freaks out if he's not unhealthily skinny. I just ate an apple and now I'm obese (in my mind anyway) and I weigh 79 kg. I used to feel skinny when I weighed 95kg but ran 6.5 miles. Funny, isn't it?

If this is the case, wouldn't it be cheaper to take sweetened water, add food colouring and flavouring? I assume someone's probably doing it already.

It's called Sunny Delight. And you would be shocked to learn how many people think Sunny D is real orange juice.

I remember watching a Sunny Delight commercial as a kid. Someone is digging through the fridge listing the drink options... "We got OJ, Purple Stuff, Soda... And Sunny D!"

Before that commercial, I was one of those people who thought Sunny D was OJ.

Call it bad advertising: I looked at Sunny D as "Orange Stuff" after that ad and no longer wanted it.

EDIT: I guess I'm not the only one who remembers the commercials, there's a spoof on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiOaBTpKqnk&NR=1&feat... (and of course the real thing is on YouTube if you care to find it)

I remember Sunny Delight as a kid (shows how young I am, I guess), but that didn't taste anything like orange juice, or the flavourings they put in to orange juice. More like squash? It's so sweet that you would be unlikely to confuse with actual orange juice, surely?

It would be. But then they have to call it something other than "100% Florida Orange Juice".

Or, like they have done with the word "Natural" and its qualifiers, lobby for being able to advertise what normal people would call falsehoods.

I'm surprised that most of the reaction and commentary on this seems to be about either 1. the vague health claims that fresh-squeezed is better than old OJ enhanced with flavoring or 2. the sugar debate

What I want to know is, why should I pay $4.29 for a carton of old flavorless juice enhanced with a flavoring cocktail, rather than $5.99 for fresh squeezed? I personally don't see the value proposition in the Tropicana any more, and while I have been buying the fresh squeezed kind (that they make from the oranges in the store) I definitely won't be buying the Tropicana/Florida's Natural again. I think if this was more well known there would be a lot fewer people willing to plonk down premium money for a fake premium product in the future.

This was covered in a few blogs before, Here's an example from fooducate: http://www.fooducate.com/blog/2009/05/31/on-orange-juice/

There is also a response from the Florida dept. of Citrus there.

Article says deoxidation causes the orange juice to become bland, so what happens to the original sugars? I can understand adding flavors, but that would not bring back the sweetness, if the deoxidation destroyed them, so do they add extra sugars as well?

Why do I drink juice? Because in the morning on my way out the door, I am unlikely to spend the time eating an orange. Because fresh cranberries are nasty.

My own practice to try and avoid extremely fabricated foods: buy the in-house brand. While it will never be 100% pure orange juice squeezed yesterday, they don't have a brand identity to defend, so they seem to engage in fewer food-processing antics.

I stopped drinking juice a few years ago, but had the same annoyance at spending any extra time on complicated foods like oranges in the morning. My solution is I usually eat a handful of fresh strawberries as part of my breakfast - they are denser in vitamin c than oranges, and don't require unwrapping and getting juice all over your hands.

I'm not a juice-drinker myself but I'd like a little more detail on what is actually done to the by-products. I think one thing people forget is that for most of us the choice isn't between natural/industrial, it's the choice between industrial and nothing, at least most of the year. Can you grow oranges in your backyard? In Oregon I can't and I hate grass juice.

I read all this almost a year ago on CBC's website: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2010/09/08/f-whats-in-it...

I stopped buying orange juice entirely because of it. "Perfume packs"... gross.

There is a fascinating documentary - Botany of Desire http://video.pbs.org/video/1283872815/. The video shows that even fruits are grown in ways so as to make them taste better, and therefore more consumption.

i drink brämhults ( http://www.bramhults.se/ ). at least they taste different every time.

Favourite Home-Made 'Juice' Water Kefir[1]. Why?

Can Make massive batches at home.

Add any fruit.

The bacteria eats majority of the sugar.

It's Fizzy.

Slightly Alcholic.

[1] http://nourishedkitchen.com/water-kefir/

...and natural flavors too! I used an exclamation mark so I must be female.


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