Extract the goodness, to put some of it back

Wonder Bread signWhen I was a kid, and maybe still today (I don’t care enough to look it up), Wonder Bread touted that it “buil[t] strong bodies 12 ways.” What was really going on is that its food technologists had started with grain products of nature, “refined” it beyond recognition, and then tossed in a bunch of nutritive additives to make up for what they had taken out. In effect they were saying, “look at all the goodness we’ve added, so you won’t notice all the goodness we took out.”

What resulted, of course, were slices of blindingly white near-paste that could be compressed into a ball that would have hurt if launched in a food fight. It seems so ‘60s, but check this out:

PepsiCo is seeking to patent a method of adding fiber- and polyphenol-rich co-products from fruit and veg juice extraction back to juices and other beverages in a bid to improve their sensory and nutritional profile, and minimize waste from the juice extraction process. ~ FoodNavigator-USA.com

Still crazy after all these years — breaking what’s good down into its parts, and then trying to figure out how to put more of it back in. How ‘bout, don’t break it down in the first place?

Fruit juices enjoy an enviable halo of healthiness, but if you’re paying attention, you know that they are refined sugar, not very different from, say, table sugar. To make both, you start with a fruit of the earth (sugar cane, beets, oranges, apples, whatever), separate out the fiber and some or all of the moisture, and serve what’s left.

This isn’t hyperbole. Juices are refined sugar. And they will still be refined sugar, even when Pepsi figures out how to restore those “polyphenol-rich co-products” that they took out in the first place.

Author and wellness innovator Michael Prager helps smart companies
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