And the Scary Juice News Just Keeps On Coming

Over Christmas, I joked that I was the only mom who was trying to get her kid to drink juice. As we were flying from NYC to Columbus, OH, to visit my family, I mixed a bit of orange juice into Mason’s water, since we didn’t have any whole milk on hand and he wasn’t interested in plain water. He stared at it, took a sip, shot me a disgusted look, and threw his bottle into the aisle. Well, excuse me. On Christmas Eve, at my grandma’s house, my niece was guzzling grape juice so I gave him a sip of the stuff and got pretty much the same reaction. My third and final attempt to give him juice took place at my in-law’s house in Bluefield, West Virginia. My mother-in-law was concerned that Mason was drinking too much milk, particularly since he was very congested (and she felt that milk can make mucus worse), so she suggested I give him tea. No dice. Then she suggested apple juice, and we struck out again. It was clear that Mason wanted his whole milk and whole milk only, so why keep torturing the kid?

Now I’m thinking perhaps his aversion to juice was a blessing in disguise–but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a Worst Case Scenario Mom when it comes to food safety. Perhaps I’m freaked out unnecessarily, you be the judge.

In the wake of unsettling reports that arsenic was discovered in several major apple juice brands last September, Coco-Cola is reporting fungicide in its orange juice.’s news blogger Holly Lebowitz Rossi reports: “Coca-Cola, which manufactures both the Simply Orange and Minute Maid brands of orange juice, has reported to federal regulators that the company has detected low levels of the fungicide carbendazim in its juice and in an unnamed competitors’ juice.  The fungicide, which is illegal for use on food in the United States, is widely used against mold on orange trees in Brazil, which exports orange juice to many U.S. companies.” There has not been a recall, according to, because the FDA says that levels of the fungicide were too low to warrant pulling the orange juice off of supermarket shelves.

Do these juice reports freak you out? If so, will you change the kind of juice you give to your kid, or stop giving your kid juice all together?

Photo: Image via Shutterstock

Is Apple Juice Poisonous?

Mason and I always watch the Today Show while we’re getting ready, and this morning a segment with Dr. Mehmet Oz caught my attention. Matt Lauer was interviewing the father of four about his claim that some brands of apple juice contain high levels of arsenic and are unsafe to consume. Dr. Oz delivered the news to his audience during his show yesterday, citing a study he commissioned on 50 different brands of apple juice. In his interview with Lauer, Dr. Oz defended his report, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration called it inaccurate and said that all types of apple juice sold in stores are safe.  According to the Today Show‘s report:

Arsenic is a naturally occurring and inorganic heavy metal, and some levels of it are found in the air we breathe,
water we drink and in the ground. It is known to cause cancer and kidney problems. But while high levels of
inorganic arsenic can be fatal, the organic form is essentially harmless, says Stephanie Yao, an FDA spokeswoman.

The Dr. Oz Show only tested for the total amount, while the FDA tests for levels of both organic and inorganic, says
Yao. In fact, the FDA reviewed Oz’s test results and informed the show with a letter dated Sept. 9 that they couldn’t
be used to determine whether the juice is unsafe since it only measured the total arsenic. The FDA also told
that the agency tested the same apple juice lots as Oz did, and found arsenic levels well within safe limits, almost

“To try and interpret that data to mean that apple juice is unsafe, is misleading. It’s irresponsible, and I think they’re
needlessly scaring parents,” FDA scientist Don Zink, Ph.D, told

Mason hasn’t had juice yet but he will at some point in his life. I’m thinking of buying a juicer and making all of his fruit juice at home, but he’s bound to have store-bought juice at a friend’s house or his grandma’s house. Who do you believe:  Dr. Oz or the FDA? Will you continue to give your babe store-bought apple juice?