Orange Juice: The Dirty Truth

Commercial orange juice, even the “not from concentrate” stuff, is a far cry from natural. Unfortunately, this goes for Odwalla and Naked juice, too. And what’s worse, most of the time, orange juice is packaged in plastic. (However, you can still purchase some brands in compostable paper cartons!)

But let’s get back to the juice itself.

Naturally, orange juice deteriorates very quickly, and thus has a very short shelf life. To increase the shelf life, all the oxygen is extracted from the juice, which subsequently removes all of the orange flavor. So, companies dump ‘orange flavor packets’ back into the mixture and call it orange juice. They’re not technically artificial, so they don’t have to be labeled as artificially flavored.


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  • Tropicana, Minute Maid, and Florida’s Natural were created in the same lab as Dior and Calvin Klein perfume.
  • Tropicana is owned by Pepsi
  • Simply Orange was purchased by Coca Cola.


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Just like sticking a bamboo straw in an orange, right?

Orange juice has become synonymous with the “complete breakfast,” but unfortunately that has resulted in single-use plastic and little to-go bottles for your sugar and vitamin C fix, on the run. Some come as juice boxes with plastic straws wrapped in plastic. So, what can we do to get our Cs?

I love the occasional orange juice. I was brought up on it. Fortunately, I was able to find a Whole Foods near my house that has a press-your-own orange juice station, where I can wash and re-use my bottle without the need to recycle (or worse landfill).


Me at the Whole Foods in San Jose, CA

This orange juice tastes real, it tastes amazing, it tastes like orange juice should actually taste like. And it matches my hair.

It’s so good, trust me, it will be hard to go back to the other stuff.

My other tip is to wait for a citrus sale and juice it yourself. Be adventurous! Blood oranges are my favorite.

I found an awesome wooden citrus reamer at a thrift store for $0.75! It’s a bit messy, so I juice the oranges over a wide mixing bowl to collect all the juice without risk of splashing.

Whatever I don’t think I will drink in the next few days, I put into mason jars, giving about an inch of space on top, and freeze. Once frozen, I seal the mason jar (this minimizes any risk of orange juice explosions). Frozen orange juice can be stored for years, just thaw, and serve.






Written by Madison MacLeod


ABC news

Adam Ruins Everything

Why ‘100% Orange Juice’ Is Still Artificial

Orange Juice

Last Chance Foods: The Secret, Highly Processed Life of Orange Juice


  1. I recently realized there was once of these fresh juice stations at a Whole Foods near Bryant Park in NYC and I like the juice! However I didn’t bring my own bottle to fill up, so I sadly used the 16 oz plastic bottles which already had a price on them, they had available next to these juicing machines.

    You were able to just use your own bottle / ask them to weigh the bottle before hand and fill up the juice that way? I would definitely want to bring my own next time to not have to waste a plastic one.


    1. Absolutely! The best part about bulk food / juicing stations is the ability to be able to avoid ANY single use packaging. And to flaunt your nifty tote bags or reusable containers 😉

      If you already have a sharpie, just use it. But if you need something to mark your bags or jars with, grease pencils work great and are 100% compostable. ( )

      Another thing to note is that the juicing station is often priced by quantity, not necessarily weight. So if you have a 64oz jug, you can fill it and confidently know the amount. Same for pint sized mason jars, quart sized, etc. They have the ounce measurements on labeled the side of the jar (cup measurements, too!) Especially on the Ball brand mason jars. Hope that helps!


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