What To Know About Juicing

Most of us have been trained to think if it's juiced, it's good for us, and nowadays there is a lot chatter about juice being the newest "must-have" thing. Starbucks recently shelled out $30 million for a California fresh juice company, and is planning a nationwide rollout in the coming year. Here in NYC, the juice business is exploding as the latest trend in healthy living. For a pretty lil' chunk of change, you can have access to the fountain of youth. But what is the hype all about? Juicing is nothing new. However, with all sorts of complicated juice lingo flying around, there are a few things to sort out when approaching the juice life.

Pasteurized vs. Non-Pasteurized

We all remember V8 — a full serving of pasteurized veggie juice in a bottle. The deal is this: Once you heat juice up to kill all the bacteria making it shelf-stable, you also kill a large amount of the nutrients. So what about non-pasteurized juice?

The most notable of the non-pasteurized juices is the BlueprintCleanse. From what I can tell, it is mostly water or cucumber, and it's selling for a whopping $10 a pint. (No wonder Starbucks wants in on juice!) Other non-pasteurized juices of note are from more chains like the well-known joint The Juice Press. The Juice Press boasts a large menu of $10-20 bottles of fresh juice and their own cleanse as well. Organic Avenue is another fresh juice/cleanse/raw food chain, serving the higher tax brackets of NYC. These chains also boast that they cold press their juices, rather than using centrifugal juicers.

Cold Press vs. Centrifugal

Most juice bars use centrifugal juicers, a process where the veggies go into the juicer, get crushed and then the juice is pressed out at a very high speed. Cold pressed juices have more nutrients. Keeping the veggies cold and pressing them is, for lack of a better description, the closest thing to actually eating the veggies. The process keeps them "live," and these juices are never pasteurized nor do they ever go above a certain temperature. I can say from an elaborate taste test my peeps and I conducted, you actually feel the difference. Is it $15 worth of difference? That's for you to decide.

In conclusion, I don't believe there is a bad way to juice. I drink pasteurized OJ all the time and don't own a juicer, but every time I spend $12 on a juice it tends to make me feel better, even if it is a placebo. Juicing is an old vegetarian staple, and it's nice to see so many people embracing it.

Read the previous installment of Feed The Vegan on Food Republic.