Fresh Orange Juice vs. Sunny D and MinuteMaid

Sunny D and MinuteMaid vs real fruit juiceHave you had your daily intake of sodium hexametaphosphate today? No? How about your acesulfame potassium and neotame? Oh, you’re dropping the ball, babe.

And while those sound like the chemically-engineered atomic compounds that fuse together inside a nuclear reactor to produce wattage, they were at one point scientifically developed in laboratories – owned by Proctor & Gamble and the Coca Cola Company, that is.

Yes, there are examples of just one of the many “ingredients” found in popular, artificially-flavored fruit drinks produced by the two global conglomerates. More specifically, they’re found in childhood favorites Sunny D and MinuteMaid.

But is it really “juice”? We’ve put together a split comparison of some ingredients found in juice vs. artificially manufactured juice-flavored drinks – you decide!

Sunny D Ingredients
Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and 2% or less of each of the following: concentrated juices (orange, tangerine, apple, lime, grapefruit), citric acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), natural flavors, modified corn starch, canola oil, sodium citrate, cellulose gum, acesulfame potassium, neotame, sodium hexametaphosphate, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate to protect flavor, yellow #5, yellow #6. Nutrition Facts: Contains 16g of Sugars
Fresh Orange Juice Ingredients
Orange Juice

A Bittersweet Breakup

I used to affectionately drink Sunny D and MinuteMaid, and although I haven’t picked either up since I was probably 16 years old, I’m sure it tastes just the same. It’s not like I chose it or anything – it’s just what you drink when you’re a kid.

I grew up and still live in beautiful Palm Beach County, Florida, near the intracoastal no less. Summer tot league baseball games and Sunny D epitomizes what growing up meant to me.

But these days, and for many, many more years going forward, I’m an adult that will need nutritious food and drink. I’ve also got a kick-ass juicer!

MinuteMaid is much healthier in comparison to Sunny D, evidenced by just a quick glance at each drink’s nutritional facts label. There’s much less sodium and sugar in any MinuteMaid-brand drink. But still, it has just as many sketchy ingredients.

Many would argue that it’s a matter of convenience when justifying the purchase and consumption of either of these drinks. That’s totally valid and understandable. It takes more time and money to purchase a juicer, fruits, and veggies, prepare the drinks, and clean the equipment versus just buying a 6-pack.

But maybe there are other benefits for the argument of fresh juice versus manufactured drinks we might be overlooking:

Packaging: think of all that plastic. Sunny D comes in plastic bottles, wrapped in a plastic label, arranged in a package that’s also wrapped in plastic. MinuteMaid comes in aluminum cans with a plastic holder, sitting on a cardboard palate. Or they come in the same cans, packaged inside a cardboard box.

Purchase just one 6-pack of each once a month for a year (an underestimate for the typical household, I’m sure!), and you’ve got a lot of garbage to deal with. Hopefully, most of us are recycling!

Nutrients: the health benefits and nutrients in fresh juice are virtually endless. From mind to body to spirit, fresh juice is inimitable and quenches like no other.

Expense: in the long-run, the overall benefits certainly outweigh the increased costs. Spread the cost of the juicer and the fruits out over 5 years (see example below), and compare that to an average estimate of around 4.99 per 6-pack of your favorite brand of manufactured juice.

Fresh Juice
Lexen Electric Healthy Juicer (one-time): $179.99
NutriVac Vacum Sealers to keep juice fresh (one-time): $44.95
Average cost of fruit per month for 2 (recurring): $30
Cost over 5 years: $2,024.97
Average cost per month for 5 years: $33.75
Manufactured Juice
Average cost per month for 2 (recurring): $25
Cost over 5 years: $1,500
Average cost per month for 5 years: $25

*Pictures reproduced without permission, copyright Coca-Cola Company and Proctor & Gamble (please don’t sue us!)

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  • Lao

    You know in the end we all die anyways so i think we have a choice to drink whatever we want even if there are negative effects to it.

    • Acasey

      Sure – but you might just die early! To each his own :-)