When can we have too much of a good thing? When can we as a society realize that not everything needs to be new and improved? Sometimes, simple and natural is the best way. Let me explain my frustration.
Returning to the country this week with a fevered cold and clearing my way from the volcanic ash cloud of travel, I headed to the supermarket to buy some good old-fashioned orange juice. I’m a pulpy kind of girl. That’s about as “experimental” as I get with OJ, unless it’s mixed with vodka! My head was foggy with cold medicine when there before me was a wall of orange juice. All I could handle at that point was choosing between pulp or no pulp. Instead, I had to sort through a tsunami of containers: pulp; no pulp; little pulp; extra pulp; calcium-enriched; homestyle; pure premium; pure valencia; omega plus; and the supreme – 100% orange juice.
Then I noticed something else. The containers seemed smaller. True, I was under the orange haze of cold medicine but this Westchester attorney has a mathematician’s eye and noticed something else was amiss. Those containers, the ones we used for girl scout crafts, the ones we used to measure a half-gallon in elementary school, those containers were no longer 64 ounces. No, many are now 59 ounces and the price has gone way up. Did they think suffering Americans wouldn’t notice the shift to this new and improved variety of economics? Heck, if the juice industry was going to make any intelligent change then they should’ve at least made a switch to the metric system of measurement and maybe just maybe, they could’ve sold Americans that package of goods by saying they were making the cartons uniform with the rest of the world. Instead they offer us a dozen “new and improved” varieties of essentially the same thing; reduce the amount they are giving to us; all while charging us more for the pleasure.
The juice market is said to generate about $2.63 billion a year, with Tropicana holding a 44% share – now that’s a lot of juice, pulp or no pulp. In the south of Italy, oranges still fall from the trees onto city and village streets and Nonna takes them home to squeeze them by hand, pulp and all. I wish my Nonna was still hear to do that because that juice was magical without all the smoke and mirrors of today’s “new and improved.” I just wish the food industry shylocks of today would try to stop selling us artificially-enhanced, new and improved as if it was as good as the way nature meant it to be. As for me, I was so befuddled, I took my container of orange-peach-mango home to find there was absolutely no pulp at all!