My mom had a juicer. I think I saw it used once. It was sometime in the 80s.
I didn’t grow up drinking juice. We use the word “juice” in Japanese, but it could also refer soft drinks and non-juice beverages.
When I came to the US, I got used to drinking orange and apple juice, which were common options offered at a dining hall or at someone’s home.
I got to juice oranges regularly when I worked at a coffee shop that offered fresh squeezed OJ. The owner let us taste it. I had never tasted anything so good. I enjoyed the 8 oz of sunshine to the fullest.
(all image source for this blog: pexels.com)
Then I got to make one for a customer one day. 16oz was the order. We had a box of oranges in our fridge. I cut up a few oranges and used an old-fashioned orange juicer.
The 3 oranges didn’t make very much juice. I used more than 8 medium-sized oranges to make that order. They were juicy oranges, too.
I was concerned that I had done it wrong, so I talked to the owner. He told me it takes many oranges to make a glass of juice, so it was fine.
It takes 2 Tablespoons (Tbs) to make 1 oz. To make a cup, it takes 16 Tbs. To make 16 oz, you need 32 Tbs.
If you have squeezed lemons or oranges for a recipe before, you know you may use a whole fruit just to get a couple of Tablespoons.
Eating 8 oranges at once
Who does that? Do you? Could you afford such luxury, buying 8 oranges frequently to be consumed in mare 15 minutes? I may eat 8 tangerines. Eating a couple of oranges would make me full. Usually eating just 1 is satisfying.
Because I juiced it, the customer was able to consume 8 oranges worth of vitamins and sugar in just a few gulps.
Juicing misses the point
A good amount of fruits and veggies are recommended to be incorporated into our daily diet. Many people consider drinking a glass of juice as an equivalent to what went into making it. Is it really?
Fiber is all tossed out. Fiber gives you bulk to give you more satisfying feeling from a meal. Fiber is needed for healthy digestive system. Fiber also grabs some cholesterol along the way, and removes it from our system.
If you are a juicer AND taking a fiber supplement, sit with your conflicting actions and think about it for a few minutes.
Juicing is so not 21st century
Juicing 8 oranges may give you 8 oranges worth of nutrients in a few sips, but you do miss;
- fullness and satisfaction from consumption
- oral health benefit from chewing
- digestive system support
Juicing 8 oranges also adds these:
- cost more for your wallet (gone in 15 min instead of taking a week to eat)
- produce more waste
- waste more packaging (if you are not buying bulk)
- increased consumer consumption – more transportation
- increased consumption demand – expansion of ag practice
- commercial ag practice for mass production is usually harmful
What to do instead
1. Just eat it
Try finding ways to incorporate them into your meals and snacks. There is no “right” menu for your meals and snacks. You can have veggies for breakfast and fruit for after dinner as a dessert. You can make veggie dips with veggies. You can add fruits to your salad. My hygienist told me chewing is cleansing, too. Chewing also keeps your facial muscles strong, as well as teeth and gums.
2. drink a smoothie
Smoothie still lets you take a large healthy meal on the road when you have no time, while you still get all the fibers and get more out of each ingredient.
Check out my tofu smoothie recipe.
3. Smoothie Bowl
Okay, so I haven’t tried this yet, but I do like the idea of allowing you to sit down and have a smoothie as a meal, instead of chugging it down. The action of eating in this manner will connect your brain and eating activity, creating a mindful and meaningful self-care moment.
Juicing definitely offers a wonderful alternative when you are unable to eat solid food due to post-surgery or health conditions. You are able to enjoy the fresh produce flavor and its nutrients. For healthy people looking to be healthier physically and financially as well as kind to the planet, it’s just an unnecessary process.
At the end of the day, however, if you do enjoy juicing and you love it regardless of health benefit (or lack of), you should go ahead and enjoy it. I do ask that you find a way to do it more responsibly for the environment (reduce packaging, don’t let produce rot and go to waste, etc). Then you would be able to enjoy what you love even more!