Boomer food choices – natural or 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
(photo by Cecil Brathwaite)

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.

OJ3-4Hamilton 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.

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  1. Thanks for this one David, and not because you ruined my desire for OJ (because I haven’t had any desire for it in years) but because you hit the bulls-eye when you point out ‘food manipulation’ being done by “Insidious” food manufacturers. Maybe we need to go back into the fossil record and try to locate what was once healthy and hearty for us, duplicate lost grains, fruits, and veggies, and go forward from there. I enjoyed this one immensely. Thank you for spot-lighting it so well…

  2. After living outside of the US for three years and not being subjected to the large amount of chemicals they infuse into our foods I knew upon returning to the US there was not going to be any chemicals in my cupboard.

    I am now eating a full vegan diet. No packaged, processed foods. I am making my own cashew cheese, eating fresh vegetables and fruits that I am getting from local farmers and eating lots of nuts and beans.

    I feel better, I sleep better and my hair isn’t falling out as it once was. Oh yeah, and I’m losing weight.

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