In the last few days, we’ve been getting questions from Fooducate community members about arsenic in apple juice. It started when Consumer Reports published its findings on lead and arsenic levels in apple and grape juice. The not for profit organization has urged the FDA to do something about it. According to Consumer Reports:
The tests of 88 samples of apple juice and grape juice purchased in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut by Consumer Reports staffers found that 10 percent of those samples had total arsenic levels exceeding federal drinking-water standards of 10 parts per billion (ppb) and 25 percent had lead levels higher than the 5 ppb limit for bottled water set by the Food and Drug Administration. Most of the arsenic detected in our tests was the type called inorganic, which is a human carcinogen. Read more…
Should parents start panicking?
What you need to know:
Arsenic is a toxic chemical that has found its way into the food system through pesticides, mining byproducts, and as a naturally occurring compound. In India, cases of arsenic poisoning in water are well documented. As little as 150 parts per billion have been shown to cause cancer. That’s why a threshold of 10 ppb in drinking water has been set by the World Health Organization and the FDA. There is no standard for juice though.
If this bad news from Consumer Reports is going to make you stop buying apple juice, so be it.
But you should stop giving your kids juice for a much more important and statistically probable reason. Apple juice is liquid candy that is closer in nutritional value to soda than to a fresh apple. With all the reporting we’ve done on childhood obesity this week, sweet beverages can be one of the first and most effective areas for parents to tackle in their quest for normal sized kids.
While an apple has an assortment of vitamins and minerals present, apple juice has almost none.
Apples have fiber, apple juice has none.
Apples take time to consume because they need to be chewed. Juice allows one to swallow calories at a very rapid pace.
A single serving of apple juice has the sugar equivalent of two medium apples.
Apple juice is bad for your child’s teeth.
What to do at the supermarket:
Skip the juice and teach your child to drink water. Start at an early age.