Common Juicing Questions

There are 4 major types of juicing machines. A centrifugal force juicer, masticating juicer, twin gear juicer, and a juice press.  Each type produces its own challenges and benefits.  In the article below I answer some common questions people have when getting into juicing.

1. When is the best time to drink fresh juice?

Actually anytime is great, but research indicates that the body absorbs more nutrients in the morning.

2. What does organic really mean?

Organic is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as any meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Plant foods with the organic label are produced without using pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation. Organic also means that the food is generally GMO free, but there is no longer a 100% guarantee that anything is GMO-free. The term organic is strictly controlled, but the term ‘natural’ is not. A government-approved certifier inspects a farm to ensure organic standards. There are three kinds of organic labels:

  • ‘100-Percent Organic’ means that the product is made of only organic ingredients.
  • ‘Organic’ means 95% of its ingredients are organic.
  • ‘Made with Organic Ingredients’ means at least 70% of the ingredients are organic. 

3. When should I use organic fruits and vegetables?

Not all the fruits and vegetables that you juice need to be organic. The rule of thumb is that if you discard the skin such as with avocados, bananas, oranges, and pineapples, organic is not necessary. If you juice the peel and skin use organic. Refer to a very useful list known as the ‘Dirty Dozen’ of the most contaminated fruits and vegetables. The ‘Clean 15’ are the least contaminated. These lists are updated yearly by the non-profit Environmental Working Group. Despite these lists I try to go organic as much as possible, because pesticides and other chemicals are found in trace amounts even when you remove the skin.

4. But I can not afford organic produce!

The demand for organic foods across the US and Europe is rapidly growing and causing prices to decrease. Did you know that most local supermarket now have their own organic brands at affordable prices? I’ve even seen sales where organic was cheaper than the non-organic variety! So check prices.

5. Do I need to wash pre-washed produce?

Yes! Washing or even just rinsing all your produce is a good idea, because tests show that even ‘pre-washed’ greens have harmful bacteria. Washing or rinsing is very effective against bacteria, but of no use against pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. This is why organic is important even if you wash produce thoroughly. Studies show that the produce most likely to sicken you is packaged salad greens. If your diet is solely raw food, parasites may be a concern.

6. What are ‘greens’ so special?

Green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, lettuce, spinach, and beet greens are so packed with nutrients that they are referred to as ‘superfoods.’ But they are bitter tasting so few people drink just leafy green juice. I add a leaf or two to all my juice recipes – just enough to benefit from the nutrients without the bitter taste. Many consider the most nutritious green of all to be wheatgrass.