TreeHugger Scoop on OJ

Now that we have written that headline to tickle your RSS reader, We will talk about orange juice. According to Lucy Siegle of the Guardian, "Making a litre of fresh orange juice requires 958 litres of water for irrigation and 2 litres of tractor fuel. Then there are the pesticides. Orange production uses more than any other food crop.with obvious potential knock-on effects for both the biodiversity of the orange groves (bear in mind some 8 per cent of the world's agricultural land is already irrevocably damaged) and the health of low-paid and unregulated fruit-picking staff. One Oxfam report found independent orange farmers in Thailand financially crippled by loans taken out to pay for insecticides, and in poor health from spraying for 44 weeks a year."

Most of it comes from South American oranges and is concentrated there in evaporators using heat and vacuum (and fossil fuels), packed and shipped as frozen concentrate (requiring electricity to keep cool). It is then reconstituted with water and packed in PET bottles. Some is sold as "not from concentrate" like Tropicana (owned by Pepsi) which flash-pasteurizes it to extend its shelf life. They have an entire refrigerated "juice train" to move it from Florida to the Northeast. If you squeeze your own, (using a manual juicer, we hope) you are "you throw away skins and husks that have used up energy travelling thousands of miles."

What can you do? Go local. We start the day with apple cider harvested and pressed 128 kilometers (80 mi.) from home. ::Guardian

Tags: Florida