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American-grown apple juice is hard to find


One day I am at the grocery store picking up a bottle of apple juice (very popular with the Pumpkin), and my usual brand-name juice is sold out. I look at the store brand and read the label more carefully than usual to make sure it doesn’t have added sugar, etc. I quickly notice a stamp that says the juice was made from concentrate from China. I am not too thrilled about that — not because of a kneejerk bias toward all Chinese products, but because I worry about what kind of pesticides are in use in foreign countries that have been outlawed in the United States. So, I keep looking, and wow, I soon discover that almost every apple juice bottle contains juice concentrate from China, regardless of brand name. And, if it’s not China, it’s another country — even an organic juice contains concentrate from Turkey. The only juice I can find that promises 100 percent U.S. apples is <a href=”http://www.motts.com/product_info/apple_juice_family.asp” target=”_blank”>Mott’s Natural Apple Juice</a>.

I learned last year when researching an article on the farm bill that New York is the No. 2 state in the country for apples. Apple growing is a $185 million business here in New York. Yet, here I am, a suburban New York mother, living in a state positively teeming with apples — and I almost can’t find juice made with U.S. apples, let alone local apples.

Finding the healthiest food for your child — that is, food with lots of nutrients but without harmful ingredients — can be a real challenge at the grocery store. I have pretty much rooted out everything with high-fructose corn syrup (with the exception of ketchup, without which Pumpkin would never eat eggs). I buy organic milk. We serve meals made with fresh vegetables every day. (Today’s dinner: a cup of red lentil soup with escarole and a slice of homemade whole-wheat cheese pizza.) And yet, I can’t help but feel frustrated when I think about having filled Pumpkin’s sippy cup with apple juice from China for nearly two years now.

This summer, we’re planning to join a local farm’s community-based agriculture program, which will give us a weekly share of the harvest. We do what we can. But when I think back to the recent slew of recalls from China, I think about all the dead animals who ate the tainted pet food. I plan to do more research on food safety. I want to find out how vulnerable we are to tainted food. Maybe the apple juice from China is perfectly fine. The <a href=”http://www.usapple.org/consumers/juice_safety.cfm” target=”_blank”>U.S. Apple Association</a> says it is. I’d love to hear from other parents about your own feelings on this. Do you check labels? How do you feel about your kids eating food made in China?

This entry was posted on Friday, March 14th, 2008 at 10:02 pm by Julie Moran Alterio. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Eating, Environment, Health & safety, Parenting




About this blog
Parents’ Place is a hangout for openly discussing the A’s to Z’s of raising a child in the Lower Hudson Valley. From deciding when to stop using a binky to when to let your teenager take driving lessons, Parents’ Place is here to let us all vent, share, and most of all, learn from each other.
Leading the conversation are Julie Moran Alterio, a business reporter and mom of a toddler, Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, a reporter and single father with joint custody of a 9-year-old son, and Len Maniace, a reporter and father of two sons.


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About the authors
Julie Moran AlterioJulie Moran AlterioJulie Moran Alterio, her husband and baby girl — “Pumpkin” — share their Northern Westchester home with three iPods and more colorful plastic toys than seems necessary to entertain one tiny human. READ MORE
Jorge Fitz-GibbonJorge Fitz-GibbonJorge Fitz-Gibbon has been a journalist for more than 20 years and a father for nine. READ MORE
Jane LernerJane LernerJane Lerner covers health and hospitals for The Journal News in Rockland, where she lives with her husband and two children. READ MORE
Len Maniace.jpgLen ManiaceLen Maniace is a reporter and father of two sons. READ MORE