Ready to find out something you assumed was fine and barely gave a second thought to is actually super weird and messed up? Cool! Today we're ruining fresh-squeezed orange juice.
Outside of feminine products, nothing boasts about its "freshness" like orange juice. Commercials go out of their way to tell you exactly how many fresh oranges they're delivering in every bottle, via a folksy Donald Sutherland voiceover crooning about "the peak of freshness." But hell, even if they water it down or add stuff, it's still basically "orange juice."
Turns out, it's kind of hard to harvest oranges during the winter, even in Florida. Orange juice starts out nice and fresh, but it will sit in holding tanks for up to a year. In there, oxygen is removed from the juice in order to promote preservation, then the juice is pasteurized. Unfortunately, this process removes almost all of the flavor. Manufacturers will then add "flavor packs" containing ethyl butyrate, which is a chemical our brains associate with orange juice, in order to make it taste like what we think orange juice tastes like (based on past consumption of other fake orange juice).
Basically, the only thing being squeezed here ... is you. There's your tagline for the huge orange juice expose documentary we're getting aaany day now.
Just squeeze your own with a little juicer.
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