Thursday, October 3, 2013

Why I Stopped Buying Juice Boxes

by Kathleen Berchelmann – Childrensmed.org 

A patient came to my ER after noticing green slime coming up the straw from her Juicy Juice box. Her mom cut open the box – and brought her straight to the doctor. 

Here’s what we found in the unexpired juice box:






Her juice box was full of mold—green slime that lined the edges of the box. 

Apparently moldy juice boxes and juice pouches (such as those made by Capri Sun) are nothing new. If even a tiny bit of air gets into the container molds can grow. Air can get into a juice box through a hole that’s so small you can’t see it, and it doesn’t cause leaking. Such a tiny puncture also permits the sugars in the juice to ferment, turning the product into a form of alcohol. 


Juicy Juice and many other kid’s juice products are made without preservatives, permitting mold to grow even more easily. 

The good news for my patient is that moldy, fermented juice is usually not very dangerous to drink. An upset stomach and a totally grossed out mom are the most common complications. 

But I recommended she cut out the juice, anyway. Why? Because juice is so full of sugar and calories that some have called it a gateway drug. Sugar ingestion can actually cause release of natural opiates (really). Opiate release stimulates the desire for other sweets and junk food. High salt and high fat foods can also trigger release of pleasure-inducing opiates. This is why so many people binge on ice cream, potato chips, and other favorite junk foods like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. 

The more sugar-laden juice your kids drink, the more opiates flood their system, and the more they will beg for another juice box. After drinking all those calories and stimulating their sweet tooth, chances are your kids won’t be interested in dinner. Some high sugar, high fat, high salt food might sound good, though. Sound familiar? 

Too much fruit juice can also cause tooth decay, diarrhea, and flatulence. There are plenty of other healthy foods that contain the vitamins your kids need, and without the high sugar and calories. Kids just don’t need juice. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers this guidance regarding kids and fruit juice. 

- Juice should not be introduced into the diet of infants before 6 months of age, unless directed by your physician. Occasionally small amounts of fruit juice may be recommended as a treatment for constipation.

- In children ages 6 months -6 years, fruit juice offers no nutritional benefit over whole fruit. Whole fruits also provide fiber and other nutrients.

- If you do let your kids drink fruit juice, do not allow your child to carry a sippy cup, bottle or box of juice throughout the day. Intake of fruit juice should be limited to 4 to 6 oz/d for children 1 to 6 years old. For children 7 to 18 years old, juice intake should be limited to 8 to 12 oz or 2 servings per day.

- Never serve your kids unpasteurized juice.

- These recommendations are for 100% fruit juice, which differs from juice drinks. Fruit drinks often provide little to no nutritional benefit.

OK, I admit it, I’ve bought juice boxes for birthday parties and soccer games. They are convenient, they keep kids happy, and they’re probably healthier than soda. But you just can’t tell from looking at a juice box if it is moldy—you won’t know until you start drinking, and sometimes you won’t know until you get to the bottom… So as for my family, we’re going back to the cooler of ice water for soccer games. If the kids complain, we’ll hand out good snacks.


Originally posted on: Underground Health

17 comments:

  1. why unpasteurised? we don't have much juice, mostly horrible tap water, but i do occasionally make fresh apple, carrot and or beetroot juice - surely the odd small glass of that is ok for over 8s? surely unpasteurised is more nutritious? whole milk in UK is defo better if unpasteurised and organic and rigorously tested and hard to buy re TB xxxx

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  2. This is fake. Unless there is some way of light getting into those pouches, mold/algae will not grow. Biology says so.

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    1. You obviously don't know that mold can grow without light, because fungi is heterotrophic. Should have paid more attention in biology Brian.

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    2. I have no idea what biology says, but I trust version saying that this is fake... why the hell is there that hole (looks like a hole made by scissors or something).. it should be comsumed asap once it is opened.. and if there is a hole, I predict that it was opened few days before making this photo... There is no reason to trust this picture and there is no reason to trust my version.. It means that this comment has 0 value for you.. haha

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    3. That's the hole for the straw.

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    4. Actually -- It looks to be true! http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/caprisun.asp

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    5. dude, that hole is where the straw went into the box....

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  3. Unpastereurised is much better unless you are using mouldy or heavily chemical ridden fruits in which case you shouldnt be eating them anyway

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  4. I'm sure mold can occur in some instances however if you look closely, the juice box looks as though it was taken out of the garbage. The bottom outside of the box is dirty and everything inside is dried up. Including the straw. To me, this is iffy.

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  5. This is not fake as it has happened to me as well. The same green mold was there in my juice box and I suspected it by the off odour of the juice and decided to cut the box.

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  6. This is true. Even Kraft admits it can happen. http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/caprisun.asp

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  7. Why would anyone buy this crap to begin with? Its just sugar water with some un-natural vitamins mixed back in.

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  8. I stopped buying Organic milk in cardboard waxed cartonsover 15 years ago for the exact same reason. Also it collects in liquid coffee creamer containers if not used really quickly after purchase.

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  9. I won't buy that stuff I want to see what's in my drink but if you ppl dnt agree or dnt believe what u see keep drinking it if u feel right about it

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  10. It is true ive found a few my self. after the first i started cutting them open and pouring them in a glass...found 4 in the last 3 years!!!

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  11. wow that's great, I'm allergic to mold, this probably woulda killed me or damn near!

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  12. Thats why you should choose a Tetra Pac container. There is a wery diffrent packing procedure that they have. No air gets in the container at all. Chech out how the procedure is done: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aseptic_processing

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