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Reader Reacts To Our Story On Fruit Juice

Recently, SouthFloridaReporter posted an article entitled Florida May Be Known For Oranges, But Drinking Fruit Juice Isn’t as Healthy as You Think

Mike Sparks, executive VP/CEO of of Florida Citrus Mutual, sent us his response to the article: 

I read the September 7 article, “Florida May Be Known for Oranges, But Drinking Fruit Juice Isn’t as Healthy as You Think” with a serious sense of frustration.

The article is a continuation of an assault on orange juice over the past decade for everything from childhood obesity, to memory loss to cancer!  The link to cancer is quite outrageous. The study reporting this is seriously flawed on a number of levels and your article even acknowledges the study (done in France) did not produce a definitive cause and effect. Why cite it?  As a two-time melanoma survivor, I don’t take cancer scare science lightly.

The fact of the matter is that 100 percent orange juice is the most nutrient-dense commonly consumed fruit juice and it has fewer calories. An 8-ounce glass of OJ contains more than 100 percent of your daily recommended vitamin C intake as well as significant amounts of potassium and folate, which are extremely important to a diet.

OJ also has hesperidin, a type of plant pigment that can act as an antioxidant and produce anti-inflammatory effects.  An excited scientific community is just starting to uncover the beneficial properties of hesperidin.

Orange juice is so good for you the U.S. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recognizes it, along with water and low/fat-free milk, should be the primary beverages of choice to maintain a healthy diet. 

Our industry has always promoted moderation. That’s probably a good way to live your life in general. One 8-ounce glass of orange juice per day can make you healthier without rotting your teeth or making you fat. That is a scientifically proven fact.

Florida citrus growers are proud to produce products that support the state’s economy, taste good and are good for you. Many citrus families have done it for three, four and five generations. So drink up a little sunshine each day and be healthy.


Mike Sparks

Mike Sparks is the executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. Florida Citrus Mutual is the largest trade organization representing the Florida citrus grower. Florida citrus covers more than 400,000 acres in Florida while creating more than $8 billion annual economic impact and supporting 45,000 jobs.