Fruit juice is regarded as a healthier alternative to soda. However, you might just want to hold-off giving your kiddos their daily dose of apple juice. Here’s why.
According to ConsumerReports.org, 10% of the 88 store-bought juice samples they tested contained high arsenic levels, which exceed the (US) federal limits for drinking-water.
Unfortunately, the federal limit for arsenic in fruit juices have yet to be set. But ConsumerReports.org scientists suggest a 3 ppb (parts per billion) limit for any juice.
What’s the deal with arsenic anyway?
For starters, it’s poisonous. In fact, Wikipedia says that back in Middle Ages and Renaissance eras, it was a “favorite murder weapon” of the Italian ruling classes. Why? Because the symptoms of arsenic poisoning mimicked those of cholera, which was widespread at that time.
Enough of the history class. What you should really be concerned about as a parent is chronic arsenic poisoning which is caused by the ingestion of small doses of arsenic – often found in food – over a period of time.
How to avoid chronic arsenic poisoning
1. Avoid apple juice brands that have high levels of arsenic. ConsumerReports.org’s tests reveal that the following products have arsenic levels of 10 ppb: Apple & Eve, Great Value and Mott’s.
For the full list of tested samples, head to: http://goo.gl/RES6N
2. Choose your apples well. Since some store-bought apple juice contain arsenic, the logical conclusion is to make home-made juice. But before you remove that juicer from the its dusty box, stop.
Apparently, it’s the apples themselves that contain the poison. Apple orchards in Washington that used lead-arsenate pesticides decades ago still have arsenic in their soil. This is what an associate professor from the University of Washington, Denise Wilson, Ph.D., says.
So now, the name of the game is carefully selecting apples and looking into the farming practices of the orchard they originated from. These can help you avoid arsenic contaminated apples.
Honestly, I am a little confused about this one.
While I would like to say that this does not affect those outside the US (that’s me), it just might. It’s easy to hold-off on purchasing store-bought apple juice. However, for consuming the fruit itself, here’s the problem: I have no idea what countries the Philippines imports apples from, more so which apple farms have arsenic tainted soil.
To put things into perspective, apples are not an everyday affair here at home. So snacking on them once in a while should be safe.