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Fresh Food: What Food Processing Is as Good as Fresh?

By Adam Brookover | Food Drink | Rating:

Fresh is one of the most used and abused words in the English language. What it means to you and what it means to me may be two entirely different things. What it means in trade and commerce and what it means in legal technology can be entirely different, too.

For example, fresh eggs in the supermarket may be weeks or months old, yet the law allows the store to call them 'fresh food', 'fresh eggs'. Compare these eggs with the eggs laid by my hens on the farm. Is there any comparison? By the time the supermarket egg appears on the table, weeks or months may have elapsed since it was layed, whereas the egg on my table would only be a few hours old.

It's the same with juices. Juice out of a can may have been put into that can six months or a year or two before, yet they refer to it as 'fresh'. I guess they must mean freshly opened with a can opener .... but, at any rate, the law obviously allows them to call it fresh. I call fresh fruit and vegetable juices those made from fruits and vegetables which have been freshly washed, trimmed and put through the juicing machine and consumed there and then.

Now when I recommend juices, nothing but perfection is acceptable. You see, we are dealing with health and peoples' lives and only freshly extracted juices have the ability to promote health because only fresh juices contain their original enzymes and enzymes are vital for health and long life.

Because a juice diet regimen requires time, effort and money, too, I am sure no one goes on such a diet frivolously. If you are going to go to all that trouble and expense, then you don't want to do it fruitlessly .... you want your efforts to bring results and the sooner, the better. Well, only absolutely fresh food, fresh juices can do the job!

In this case when we say "fresh," "fresh food", we mean precisely that. We do not mean juice extracted last year, a month ago, yesterday or even an hour ago. We mean juice made on the spot and drank as soon as it leaves the juicer. That is the only acceptable juice because it is the only juice that will produce the desired results.

Most people think the canned juices are as good as the fresh ones. If you want to drink canned juices, that is your privilege .... but do not kid yourself that the therapeutic value of these juices is in any way similar to that of the fresh food, fresh juices. Furthermore, it must be remembered that few, if any, of the canned or bottled juices are free of chemical additives or preservatives. I suggest that you read the label carefully before consuming any processed juice.

I warn that you may be doing yourself varying degrees of harm rather than good by consuming processed fruit or vegetable juices, especially in large quantities. I issue this warning because I happen to know of people who did just that. While they were under the assumption that they were doing themselves good, they were actually doing themselves a great deal of harm.

Remember, most of the processed juices have sugar, salt and various chemicals added .... to retain color, to prevent spoilage and for various other reasons best known to the processors. The most commonly used preservatives for canned or bottled juices are benzoic acid or its salts, sulfurous acid or its salts and sorbic acid or its salts. Invariably these are put in for the benefit of the processor and seldom, if ever, for the benefit of the consumer.

When I stress the importance of freshness in juices, I do it for a very logical reason. We want to hold the loss of nutrients to a bare minimum. After all, we are striving for the best in order to improve our health, so we want to eliminate anything that will detract from the superlative.

It must be clearly understood that the Vitamin C content is apt to suffer when fruits or vegetables are turned into juice, because Vitamin C is very easily oxidized. However, the Vitamin C loss from fresh juices is small when compared with the loss that is incurred when juices are pasteurized and canned.

When fresh fruits or vegetables are made into juice by means of a modern electric juicing machine, the loss is cut to a minimum. The fruit or vegetable is carefully washed and sliced only sufficiently to push it through the juicer and in a matter of seconds the juice is in a glass and being ingested by the partaker. For example, a large apple would be quartered and run through the juicer and in a fraction of a minute the juice could be drunk.

With processed juice, the apples are bought in large quantities and it would be practically impossible for even the most careful processor to examine every apple before it is used for juice. Therefore, the quality of the apples used in the general factory processing plants is not as high as that of the apples used by the individual homemaker who selects her apples from the fruit market, takes them home, washes them, cuts them up and puts them through the juicer.

At the processor's the apples are ground down and then the juice is pressed out. During this process, which takes considerable time, a great deal or most of the Vitamin C and other nutrients are lost, never to be regained. Then, on top of this, the pasteurization process takes place and again a loss occurs. By this time your imagination should tell you what you might expect from processed, pasteurized apple juice or any other fruit or vegetable juice made in this fashion.

To clearly illustrate the superiority of live, fresh juices over canned juices here are figures comparing the Vitamin C content of afresh versus canned vegetables, per 100 edible grams, as taken from the United States Department of Agriculture's Handbook No. 8:

(tables missing due voluntary work)

According to Elsham and Fellars, 1933, freshly pressed cranberry juice is a fairly good source of Vitamin C, but pasteurization of either hot-pressed or cold-pressed juice almost completely destroys its content of the anti-scorbutic vitamins.

Of course, processors will tell you that the loss of the Vitamin C content is made up by the addition of synthetic Vitamin C. However, it has never been established that synthetic Vitamin C or any other synthetic vitamin can be assimilated and fully utilized by the body.

An interesting story is told concerning the treatment of weak blood vessels and constant hemorrhaging by the famed Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, who won the Nobel prize in 1937 for his discovery of Vitamin C. The doctor had a young friend who had weak blood vessels and thus was subject to hemorrhages and he advised his friend to include peppers, lemons, oranges and grapefruit in his regular diet. The friend's condition improved dramatically and Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi felt that it was the Vitamin C content of the peppers, lemons, oranges and grapefruits that did the job by strengthening his friend's weakened blood vessels. However, it is important to note that when synthetic Vitamin C was used for the same purpose it was not effective, which would indicate that there are other nutrients along with the Vitamin C in peppers and citrus fruits that cannot be found or put into synthetic vitamins.

In my studies on vitamins, going back to the days of Bunge and Funk, I have found that they could not get the same results when synthetics were used in place of the natural. If you go to the trouble of taking vitamins, please do yourself a favor and do not nullify your efforts by taking synthetics. My advice is if you are taking vitamin supplements, get good natural vitamin supplements.

Apart from the nutrients in the peppers and citrus that strengthened or helped rebuild the arterial walls, Dr. James Couch discovered rutin. This is a substance found abundantly in green buckwheat and it definitely strengthens arterial walls and capillaries and returns them to normal in fairly short order. Rutin is also found in lesser amounts in some flowers, the leaves of elderberries, the stems of tomatoes and good old fashioned barley.

People who suffer from varicose veins and hemorrhoids can usually correct this condition by eating rutin-rich foods to rebuild their arterial walls. The best are whole grains, especially buckwheat, fresh peas and beans. They are all excellent for this purpose so be sure to include them as a regular part of your diet.

It is suggested that diethylstilbestrol, sulfa drugs, aspirin and other drugs do the exact opposite; that is, they weaken blood vessels. Apart from any other reasons, this is reason enough for anyone not to take aspirin, sulfa or diethylstilbestrol, which is the drug used in hormonal treatments.

I would like to quote this statement issued by the `Ministry of Health and Public Health Service Laboratory' of Great Britain, which set forth that, to obtain best results, juices should be used immediately as storage losses are great:

"The sources of the essential amino acids, the cell building factors, are destroyed by heat and processing and not obtainable in foods thus prepared; juices, therefore, are the only means practical to get these rebuilding factors.

"Juices are valuable in relief of hypertension, cardiovascular and kidney diseases and obesity. Good results have also been obtained in rheumatic, degenerative and toxic states. Juices have all-around protective action. Good results can be obtained in large amounts up to one litre daily in treatment of peptic ulceration, also in treatment of chronic diarrhea, colitis and toxemia of gastro and intestinal origin.

"The high buffering capacities of the juices reveal that they are very valuable in the treatment of hyperchlorhydria. Milk has often been used for this purpose, but spinach juices, juices of cabbage, kale and parsley were far superior to milk for this purpose."

I want to emphasize in the strongest terms at my command that juice is only of value if it is fresh and taken on the spot. No, you cannot make it ahead and keep it in your refrigerator, covered or uncovered. Nor can you freeze it or irradiate it or vacuum pack it, whether it is squeezed, pressed or centrifuged from the fresh fruits and vegetables. The only juice that is fit to drink or that can give its full quota of therapeutic values is fresh juice.

There are no if's, and's or but's about it there is not even a second choice the only juice fit for human consumption is freshly made juice, without heating or treatment of any kind whatsoever. It must be emphasized that the moment the fruit or vegetable has its cellular structure broken, dissected, disturbed or disrupted, deterioration begins to take place through oxidation or other naturally occurring chemical actions or processes. The longer it is permitted to stand, the less its value. The juice you drink immediately after extraction is more nutritious and beneficial to your body than the same juice taken five minutes, thirty minutes or an hour later.





Adam Brookover

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