Saturday, August 3, 2013

Cold Pressed Raw Juices, All the JUICE-y Details

I cannot get enough of those bottled fresh pressed juices.  And it's not just me, there's something about throwing a bunch of fruits and veggies together that really excites the masses.  There are TONS of brands out there, so when you're wading through all of your options there are a few things you may want to look out for.

Firstly, local brands equal a smaller carbon footprint.  I live in New York and there really isn't a shortage of regional  based companies.  I mean, anyone with a Vitamix or Breville can whip something up to quench your thirst and pump your body full of nutrients.  Secondly, organic is definitely ideal.  Okay, some of you guys are like "Duh Simone! Obviously."  Well, I thought that was a principle of juicing and no respectable juicer would dare taint their potions with GMO laden, pesticide wrought fruits and veggies- but a late night visit to an East Village bodega proved me wrong.  I thought I was getting the deal of a lifetime.  Five dollars for a bottled cold pressed juice is like meeting Santa Claus, but you get what you pay for.  The produce in my low cost juices weren't organic (Sacrilege!).  While the juice didn't taste as great, it wasn't because I could taste all the chemicals, the juices were just less flavorful than their ten dollar cousins.

That brings me to the question: What are you paying for when you spend double digits on a juice?  Organic ingredients are a bigger deal than you think.  Since I work at an organic restaurant, I've been able to talk to the owners about the produce costs.  They are expensive, even at the whole sale prices.  For us, that means we take on the expenses of our vendors so that they can make a profit.  If you're a Whole Foods junkie like myself, with a Vitamix or your own juicer, it will cost you just as much to make it as it will for you to buy it.

Cold pressed juicers are costly machines and have to pump out enough libations for the thirsty masses and all of these raw juices have a short shelf life. You're losing freshness fast because the product doesn't have preservatives. Thus meaning, merchants lose what they don't sell in a short period of time.  This is why local is so important. You're also paying for a company that has researched what nutrients are in which vegetable.  Those of us looking to shed pounds, detox or whatever, can grab a bottle that suits our needs.  Brands that are really good at this are Blue Print, Love Grace, Organic Avenue and Suja but I know that if I mosey on down to West Side Market I'm going to find a selection that's just as fitting for a dollar or two less and those dollars add up.

So to sum it all up: Cold pressed raw juices are awesome and worth the money.  Don't freak out when the bill comes to a whopping twelve dollars a bottle and take the time to read the labels so you know exactly what you're getting.  Bottoms up!

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