January 6, 2008

how about them apples?

I saw this article a few weeks ago and thought it was interesting. Seems many store brands of apple juice use concentrate from China, as do well-known names such as Motts, Tree Top, Welch's and Tropicana.

At first I was horrified, but as the article points out, there have been no problems with the concentrate (it has been sourced from China for years). I think the biggest issue is that consumers may feel mislead. Many of the packages imply the apples are a bit more local. Here is an excerpt,

". . . for example, the printed labels on bottles of Tree Top apple juice, marketed by Tree Top Inc., in Selah, Wash., boasts of "fruit we've grown ourselves," and "sharing the pure taste of our Washington orchards." In less-obvious type, on the plastic bottle, is the phrase "Conc from USA China."

To be fair, many the juices likely contain concentrate from a variety of sources which possibly could be both the US and China. The juices are probably more closely regulated than the toys have been (at least I'd like to think so).

But for people who may be concerned about how far foods travel or sources of foods, the misleading labels leave kind of a bad taste in your mouth (sorry - couldn't resist).

I like to buy juice that is not from concentrate when I can. One of my favorites is Martinelli's apple juice. The product says, "100% pure juice from U.S. grown fresh apples. They contain no concentrates, no flavorings, no preservatives, and no additives of any kind." It is a family owned business here in the SF Bay Area (from Watsonville).

I'm not saying you should or shouldn't buy apple juice with concentrate. As long as you make selections with full product disclosure. That is kind of how I feel about a bunch of the "green" products I buy. Use 'em or don't, but know the truth about what is in them (or not).


Mary Beth said...

This is such good information. Thank you! I will seek out Martinelli's from now on--or just eat more local farmer's market apples and skip the juice entirely (but that's perhaps unrealistic with toddlers in the house).

Anonymous said...

Im actually from Watsonville and I went to high school literally across the street from the Martinelli bottling location. They really do make a great product and their various "sparkling" ciders are worth checking out as well!

Gift of Green said...

Oh man! We're doomed! I'm having the same issue with fish that my workplace serves in the cafeteria...where exactly is this frozen fish coming from?!

Petite Planet said...

Wow- good information to know! I too love Martinelli's apple juice the best. This is all just another example of how consumers are so deceived by labels, etc. Thanks for pointing this out!