Why It's Worth It:
As is the case with food, what you choose to drink has a direct impact on your health and the health of the environment. When you choose to drink organic beverages, you avoid synthetic pesticides, growth hormones, genetic engineering, and artificial flavors, colors, and perservatives, among other things. You also help to protect natural water supplies, build up soils, and preserve biodiversity.
Looking for other reasons to choose organic beverages? The Food and Drug Administration recently instated a temporary ban on imports of foreign orange juice after an unnamed company revealed that it had found low levels of the fungicide carbendazim -a substance prohibited for use in the U.S., but permitted in other countries from which U.S. companies source oranges and orange juice - in its and other companies' orange juice. Organic agriculture prohibits the use of carbendazim, giving you and your family the choice to avoid this chemical in your juice.
Additionally, Consumer Reports released the results of a study about arsenic and lead levels in apple juice and grape juice. The study found that approximately 10 percent of the juice samples in the study had total arsenic levels that exceeded federal drinking-water standards--a fact that has particular implications for children, who drink a lot of juice. To reduce your and your children's exposure to arsenic, Dr. Mehmet Oz advocates choosing organic juice, which is made without the use of this and other harmful chemicals.
What to look for:
Look for the USDA seal. This indicates that the product is made of at least 95% organic ingredients.
Look for the phrase "Made with Organic Ingredients." This indicates that the product contains at least 70 percent organic ingredients.
Look for information on the certifier (i.e.: the certifier's name or logo).
Look on the ingredients panel to confirm that organic ingredients were used to make the product.
An endless selection to sip on:
Whether you're looking for a simple cup of organic coffee to jump start your morning, a vitamin-packed energy drink at the gym, or a full-bodied glass of wine to bring your evening to a relaxing end, organic has what you need to quench your thirst.
*Photo courtesy of Smucker Quality Beverages.