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You can avoid harmful arsenic by making your own fresh apple juice. When you buy organic apples, you won’t be getting the arsenic-laced pesticides. And by juicing your own organic apples, you’ll also be getting vitamins, enzymes, and biophotons that are killed in the pasteurization process that is required for all bottled and packaged juice. You can also make delicious lemonade with two to three apples and one lemon. Add a little spinach or other dark leafy greens and make beautiful green lemonade. For more recipes, see The Juice Lady’s Living Food Revolution.
In 2010 the St. Petersburg Times commissioned an independent testing of a number of popular brands of apple juice including Motts, Apple & Eve Organics, and Walmart’s Great Value and found levels of arsenic that have concerned both parents and scientists.1 More than a quarter of the 18 samples tested contained 25 to 35 parts per billion (ppb) of arsenic. These amounts surpass the FDA’s level of concern for heavy metals in juice. In 2009 the University of Arizona study found similar results, with nine out of 10 samples of apple and grape juice containing 10 to 47 ppb of arsenic.2 Only one juice—M&B Products of Tampa used for school lunch programs in the region — contained no detectable levels of arsenic in two samples. Dr. Mehmet Oz recently did an independent study and also found unsafe levels of arsenic in store-bought apple juice.3
Some people have thought there is arsenic in apple seeds, but that is not true. There is a small amount of cyanide, which is found naturally in nature. Arsenic is also found in small amounts in nature and in water—in nature it’s an organic version that is not harmful. But the toxic, inorganic version found in store-bought apple juice is harmful, and therefore, of concern. It is believed that these high arsenic levels are coming from pesticides that contain arsenic. A large amount of apple juice concentrate that manufacturers are purchasing to make apple juice is coming from China, along with Chile, Argentina, and Turkey.
How much arsenic is too much? Richard Wiles, senior vice president for policy at the Environmental Working Group said “there’s no safe level of arsenic exposure for a kid, and it certainly shouldn’t be in these juices.”1 Research has shown a link between lower levels of inorganic arsenic and diabetes, cancer, organ damage and hormone system disruptions.
To protect you and your family, get out your juicer and make your own apple juice. And you can choose green apples such as pippin or Granny Smith, which have less sugar than other varieties. This also gives you the opportunity to tuck in a few greens that no one in the household might eat like parsley, kale, or spinach. Then, you can pour a glass or sippy cup of true nutrition that is safe for the whole family to enjoy.
1 http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/article1079395.ece (accessed September 15, 2011)
2 Roberge, J, et al Presence of Arsenic in Commercial Beverages American Journal of Environmental Sciences 5 (6): 688-694, 2009
3 http://www.connectmidmichigan.com/news/story.aspx?id=663511#.TnJkmZs5zF8 (accessed September 15, 2011)