Check the ingredients before drinking!

check the ingredientsI got a nasty surprise when I checked the office fridge today for a juice. Amongst all the sodas in the company fridge, I saw a drink called “V8 Splash”. I thought V8 should be good because they make the famous V8 Vegetable Juice, so I picked up the V8 Splash to check the ingredients. The first ingredient was water and the second was high fructose corn syrup.  Wow! Not only is this dangerous stuff, as you can see in this article – High Fructose Corn Syrup Even Worse than We’ve Been Told – but the methods of farming vast amounts of corn are killing our planet (see the movie Fresh).

Even worse, the V8 webpage for the V8 Splash product is very low on information and loaded with shallow hype to try and fool us into thinking this is a healthy alternative. There’s no mention of ingredients here, even though this page is under the “Nutritional Benefits” tab. More digging is required to actually find the ingredients.

check the ingredients - Suja juicesThere are good alternatives available

On the positive side, there are more and more good products becoming available every time I visit the United States. This is a really heartening sign. On this trip I found a juice made by Suja ( called “Twelve Essentials”. When I read the label of this Suja juice, I find myself going “yes, I’d eat that, yep, that too, etc….” whereas reading the “V8 Shape” label, I find myself saying “why would I want to eat that?” or “what is that?”. And, the Suja drink is fully USDA organic certified and they use cold pressing to extract the juice. It all sounds good.

Comparing the ingredients

0000341465301Here are the ingredients for the V8 Splash “Berry Blend” drink (from this Campbell’s webpage);

  • Water
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Reconstituted Vegetable Juice (water and concentrated juice of carrots)
  • Contains less than 2% of: Reconstituted fruit juice blend (water and concentrated juices of apples, cherries, strawberries, red raspberries, blackberries)
  • Natural Flavoring (could be a number of strange things – see this post for example)
  • Citric Acid
  • Malic Acid
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
  • Red 40 (a known carcinogen!! – see this page)
  • Sucralose (or Splenda, causes leukemia in mice in lab tests and the Center of Science in the Public Interest grades this with “Caution” – see this page)

So, this V8 Splash drink is basically a bottle of water and high fructose corn syrup with a little bit of reconstituted juice plus a number of chemicals (some unknown).

twelve1Now, here are the ingredients for the Suja Twelve Essentials drink;

  • Organic Celery Juice
  • Organic Cucumber Juice
  • Organic Green Leaf Lettuce Juice
  • Organic Lemon Juice (not from concentrate)
  • Purified Water
  • Organic Romaine Juice
  • Organic Spinach Juice
  • Organic Kale Juice
  • Organic Collard Greens Juice
  • Organic Chard Juice
  • Organic Parsley Juice
  • Organic Ginger Juice

What a difference! Nothing but organic juices (all cold pressed, not heated at all) and water.  Nothing else. That’s great!

Check the ingredients – and make your choice

If I’m concerned about my health (and I hope I am through a sense of self-respect and self-care) then it’s pretty clear that I’m going to choose this Suja drink over the V8 Splash alternative. If I was to drink the V8 Splash drink, I’d feel like I was drinking a glass of high fructose syrup with some unknown “natural flavor”, some horrible chemical food dye and some nasty artificial, chemical sweetener. Why would I drink that?

Further, I don’t like the way the V8 websites try and promote a feeling of healthy products (see this page for example) whereas their V8 Splash products are far from healthy. I don’t like this sort of apparent dishonesty.

The Suja drink on the other hand contains nothing but pure, organic juices and water. Nothing artificial. It appears to be as close as I can get to juicing my own organic vegetables.

Some people might not like these Suja drinks because they haven’t been sweetened. That’s a good reason to try and kick the habit of drinking sweetened, chemical laden drinks. I find that once you get used to unsweetened, natural drinks, they taste plenty sweet enough just as they are.

check the ingredientsCheck the ingredients – and check the companies

I like to check the culture of the companies that are making the products I buy. It helps add to the confidence that I’m making a good choice. Reading the Suja Story on their website, it’s clear to me that this is the type of company I’d like to support. The last line of this page is;

We hope you enjoy all Suja has to offer & live a long, beautiful life.

Sort of says it all, doesn’t it. I’m waiting for the day where all companies create beautiful products for the good of all people without damaging our planet. It is possible to do this and be successful and make a profit. It’s the natural way.

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