Processed juice has come a long way from the flavoured Kool-Aid that your mom used to pack in your lunch box.
If you're the type of student who makes an effort to go to the Western Student Recreation Centre often while maintaining a healthy diet, there's a good chance you've heard of the new fad: cold-pressed juice.
Christian Vemb, co-owner of London-based Pulp and Press Juice Co., has been capitalizing on the growing trend. His Canada-wide company offers 11 cold-pressed flavours that mix everything from lemon and ginger to apples and beets.
He provides customers with juice made from 100 per cent organic ingredients that, he claims, are a healthy alternative to whole fruits and vegetables.
Vemb uses hydraulic cold-pressing technology in order to extract nutrient-based remedies, such as pulp, from fruits and vegetables. Advocates argue this method is the best way to preserves nutrients, which supposedly also creates more flavourful drinks.
Boxed drinks like orange juice, on the other hand, are made using pasteurized juicers, which causes fruits and veggies to lose their nutritional value when heated up, according to cold-pressed believers.
Averaging 12,000 bottles in sales per week and $50,000 to $70,000 in weekly sales, Pulp and Press has become the largest raw, cold-pressed juice retailer in Canada.
“Not everyone has time to sit down and have a massive salad or fruit bowl, whereas our juices allow customers to walk in, grab and go with a bottle,” Vemb says. “The intake is [equivalent to] four to five pounds of produce all at once.”
Even though the niche health trend has received much acclaim in London, there has not been any conclusive scientific evidence that supports the cold-pressed benefits peddled by their marketers. Even if they do contain more nutrients, they might just pass through your body.
“Just because you have a massive amount of nutrients, doesn’t mean your body will absorb it all,” says Danielle Battram, associate professor at the school of food and nutritional science at Brescia University College. “Unless your body needs it, you are just peeing it out.”
She believes that cold-pressed juices are a good alternative for those not regularly consuming enough fruits and vegetables, especially because Canadians' intake of fruits and vegetables is stagnant, it even decreased between 2007 to 2014. She insists that consuming whole foods is integral to maintaining a healthy diet.
Fourth-year Western University biology student, Melanie Ng, who drinks Pulp and Press juices occasionally to get her extra serving of fruits and vegetables, agrees with Battram in that drinking cold-pressed juice alone is probably not the best option, and students should also balance their juice-craze with whole fruits.
And with the price for Pulp and Press’ 350 mL bottle ranging from $7 to $8, Ng doesn't think it's an affordable option for students.
As Battram points out, the raw, organic and unfiltered fad that cold-pressed juice companies flaunt appeals to a certain demographic, and even though it might not be as sexy, students should also consider eating whole foods in order to reap the full benefits of a healthy diet.
Students can find Pulp and Press products at the Grocery Checkout in the basement of the University Community Centre.