It is preferable to eat 50-75% of our whole foods (including fruits and vegetables) raw in order to obtain maximum nutritional value and benefits. Why? Because heat (e.g., pasteurization) and other processes (like HPP) break down vitamins, minerals, live enzymes, and amino acids, all of which are critical to the body's ability to maintain and repair tissue and organ systems.
Moreover, heating food above 118 °F causes chemical changes in certain foods that create acidic toxins, including the carcinogens, mutagens, and free-radicals associated with diseases like diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and cancer.
98% of all juices sold in the U.S. that are pasteurized. Others are processed under extreme pressure. If it's on a grocery store shelf, it's been processed in one form or another. It's not truly raw.
It's far cheaper and easier for companies to mass produce, pasteurize or HPP, and let the product (let's not call it juice) sit on grocery store shelves for months at a time.
Here's what these companies will tell you: "Processing juice kills any potentially harmful bacteria that might exist, so we're just trying to keep our customers safe."
Here's what they won't tell you: "Like other forms of cooking, pasteurization and HPP also kill vitamins, minerals and live enzymes, sapping the juice of most of its original nutritional value."
In other words, these companies choose to process their product because they care more about maximizing profit than they do about their customers' health.
WHAT'S HPP? IS THAT JUICE STILL RAW?
High pressure processing (HPP) is a method of preservation and sterilization in which a product is processed under extremely high pressure, leading to the inactivation of certain microorganisms and enzymes in the food or drink. This is an alternative to traditional pasteurization (heating).
While juice companies that subject their product to HPP can still technically call their product "raw," they aren't allowed to call it "fresh." Why not? Because it's not fresh juice! At least the silly FDA recognizes that distinction.
The whole point of HPP is to extend the shelf life of the juice so companies can sell nationwide and make a little more money. But time is the enemy of raw juice and the nutrients and live enzymes contained therein. Drinking raw juice within 72 hours will always be better than drinking it three weeks later. No HPP here... not now, not ever. Drink fresh juice!
SERIOUSLY, WHAT IS THE FDA THINKING?
To illustrate how backwards the state of food regulation in our country is, consider that heavily processed foods - devoid of any nutritional value and toxic to our bodies, and a primary cause of the obesity epidemic and countless other serious health problems and diseases plaguing our country - require no warning label alerting consumers to the very real danger they pose to our bodies and lives.
Meanwhile, the FDA not only prohibits raw, natural, life-giving products like ours from being sold in grocery stores, coffee shops, etc., but also mandates that they carry the following warning:
This product is not pasteurized and, therefore, may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems.
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration
Sorry FDA, but we carry that warning proudly. In fact, here's another "warning" of our own:
This product has not been cooked, heated, or otherwise damaged and, therefore, contains healthy and beneficial vitamins, minerals, live enzymes and bacteria that can cause incredible immune system enhancements in children, the elderly, and all other persons.
- The Juice Laundry
Now if only all those processed foods that are inherently toxic themselves had commensurate (i.e., significantly stronger) warnings, we'd all be better off.
We face environmental risks all day, every day; that's the unfortunate state of the chemically polluted world in which we live. All we can do is minimize our exposure to the toxins that are all around us. And we believe that a healthier, happier life starts with the food that we choose to put into our bodies.
Raw juice, full of life-giving nutrients, is a great place to start.