Baby boomer food choices – natural or chemical ethylbutyrate?

We baby boomers live and we learn. About leading an active lifestyle. About staying healthy. About eating right. And that’s where BoomerCafé publisher and co-founder David Henderson has narrowed his choices. Because he now pays more attention to what he eats and drinks. You might too, when you learn that one choice is, Fresh-Squeezed or Chemical Ethylbutyrate?

With the exceptions of the routine bumps, bruises and breaks of living an active life, I have always been fairly healthy. Yet, a greater consciousness about the need to stay fit and healthy suddenly happened around my 55th birthday. I stopped and took stock of many things in my life, including health and nutrition.

David Henderson

I thank my younger sister. She had given me a subscription to the AARP magazine as a gag. I remember leafing through it … there was a story on burial insurance and another about care and maintenance of RVs (recreational vehicles), including tips on disposing of waste. Certainly not for me, I thought … this is for OLD people.

But the notion … make that, reality … of getting older stayed with me, and I knew that I needed to learn what to expect in the autumn of my boomer years. My first priority was what to eat and drink, and what to avoid.

I have found that some food literally saps my energy. Gone are the days of hamburgers with the works and a couple of root beers.

Today, I avoid beef. Lord knows what antibiotics and growth hormones are loaded into the fat. And, I won’t touch root beer or any soft drink because it’s chock-full of high fructose corn syrup, that addictive super-sweetener concocted by boiling a high fat hybrid strain of corn with acids.

But, the most crushing news of all was brought to my attention recently by a family friend in Massachusetts. It’s a warning about what’s really in the typical premium “100% Pure, Not From Concentrate” orange juice. I’ve always loved that. But the actual witches brew that’s sold as “pure” OJ may ruin your taste for it, as it did for mine.

Christina Luisa writes in

Ever wonder how premium “100 % pure” orange juice brands manage to taste delicious and fresh all year round, as though oranges never go out of season? Here’s a hint: it’s because that may NOT be pure orange juice you’re drinking. That incredible flavor comes from a “secret ingredient” that premium orange juice companies are not required to put on their labeling.

That’s right, there is a dirty secret inyour glass of orange juice that has been well-kept until recently. Although the carton says “not from concentrate,” that juice probably sat in a large vat for up to year with all of the oxygen removed from it. This process allows juice to be preserved and dispensed all year-round, even when oranges aren’t in season. Taking out all the oxygen also gets rid of all the flavor, so juice makers add flavor back into their products using pre-formulated “flavor packs” that are full of chemicals.

In her book, “Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice,” author Alissa Hamilton reveals that most of our orange juice comes from Brazil, not Florida. Her research has found that “premium” orange juice is heated, stripped of flavor, stores in tanks for up to a year, and then is “re-flavored” with chemicals before it’s sold to unsuspecting consumers. Like us.

Hamilton says that if you tasted the juice from one of those holding vats, it would taste like sugar-water, not orange juice. Food manufacturers hire flavor and fragrance advisors — just like perfume companies — to formulate their own different combination of chemical flavorings to create a consistent, special “branded” taste … like it came straight from an actual fresh-squeezed orange.

When I read that, I rushed to the refrigerator to check the ingredients. The label read, “100% orange juice.” Flavor packs apparently do not need to be listed because they are technically derived from orange essence and unspecified oils.

Manipulation of foods with chemicals has become extensive and insidious in America. Artificial stuff that is banned in most countries around the world is common in the U.S., seemingly without regard for public health. High fructose corn syrup, for example, is tied by research as a cause of Type 2 diabetes, and now, there is nothing remotely pure about “pure” orange juice.

So in my diet as an active baby boomer, I am left to add another food to avoid: no more OJ. I’ve switched to apple juice … and hope I haven’t made a mistake there, either.


  1. Hi David, good to read that you try to adapt a healthier life. Have you ever read about paleo? It’s about getting back to our roots. So you only eat stuff which are 100% natural. Not like those chemical orange stuff etc. You should definitely read some posts about it. It will definitely open your eyes for a lot of things which are called ‘healthy’.

  2. (I wrote this elsewhere but it needs to be said at the source.)
    Thanks David. I’ll add another angle most people don’t know. According to Nutrition Data tables (URL below), ONE CUP of freshly squeezed orange juice has over 200% of the Recommended Daily Allowance for vitamin C while the average CARTON of OJ has 120%! Plus, with fresh oranges, you get all the great antioxidants. Eat and juice the real thing. Don’t be lazy with your health.

  3. My husband always prefers fresh oranges to OJ, but sometimes I just have to slip some juice into the grocery cart. That may change now. Thanks for the information!

    1. Linda Herman Hi Linda,Thanks for commenting. All voices are welcome here. I must admit to having been fairly addicted to the yummy so-called “Pure, Fresh-Squeezed” juices until I checked out this article and the background material. It is really astonishing the lengths companies pursue to get a certain signature or brand taste.Now, I am enjoying just fresh navel oranges coming from California by the bag. Love them.David

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