A week ago, I was invited to a friend’s house for brunch.
Both of us have somewhat healthy and eco-friendly lifestyle. We take care of our nutrition, we eat mostly organic and local produce, we do not eat meat, we exercise regularly, we drink water. All in all, we try to take good care of our health.
I guess it was not a surprise that the first thing she asked me when we sat down was what fruits and veggies would I like in my juice. I looked at her with a small confusion, and I told her that I much rather eat an apple and have a glass of water. She was surprised and immediately responded: “Wow, you are the first person to refuse my blends”.
I just smiled and started watching what she was doing. The juicer reminded me of those always-hungry monsters from the movies. My friend kept putting fruit after fruit inside- one banana, one apple, two kiwis, handful of raspberries, one pear and a couple of left over plums (which were going to go off apparently). The result- one glass of juice, and a whole lot of scraps, skins and seeds.
Then we began eating. I had my apple and a kiwi, and was already feeling pretty full. Some yogurt and muesli, and I felt I can concur the day. She drank the juice super quick, and then continued with the rest of the food- toast, cereal, nuts, seeds, nutbutter. It seemed as if the juice did not make any difference. If she was to attempt to bite into all the fruits that went into the “squeezing monster”, I bet she would have stopped at the banana.
This got me thinking. Why do people continuously juice their fruits? Have we all become so busy that we do not wish to spare some energy in chewing?
Now, let’s start with the basic assumption that everyone is buying the best produce they can afford and find. I know that some supermarkets might be selling pesticide-infused, half-plastic apples and oranges. However, as consumers, I hope we all have the liberty and option to make a choice where we shop and what we buy.
Back to juicing.
From a nutrition point of view, this is surely not so healthy. The amount of sugar and calories in these juices is incredible. In addition, all fiber and many of the essential nutrients are removed and thrown away. Whatever remains, might not even be fully absorbed at once by the body. The fiber is actually what fills us up and tells our body to stop eating when it is time. It causes a slow release of sugars, which then reduces the insulin spike, and ensures that we are not hungry 2 minutes later.
Now, from an environmental point of view, I dare to go as far as to say that juicing is irresponsible. So much is being said about food waste, depleting resources, starving population- it is beyond me why anyone would still consciously throw away and waste so much for a single glass of liquid fruit. My wonderful editor, Ovidiu, went a step further, and brought another association. If your stomach is filled with fiber and fruits, you have less space to eat meat, and you contribute to keeping emissions in check.
I don’t know why, but I always relate the concept of juicing, to that of disguising vegetables, so that kids can eat them- but this is a topic of another discussion.
I came across this brilliant comment on this topic, and I would like to end the piece with it. If you are not convinced you should stop juicing, think of this. “Try you enjoy your food while you still have teeth.”
Image (c) Bertholf