Innocent smoothies, planting trees & concentrated badness

Stephen Newton’s Innocent treeWell look at that, I’ve planted a virtual tree right here and as if that wasn’t enough, there’s a real tree due to appear somewhere in rural India or Africa.

This is a nice promotion for Innocent, an affinity marketing scheme designed to associate the brand with care for the environment. Although I don’t really know why I bothered… they’ve budgeted for 100,000 trees and that’s what they’ll plant. Given Innocent’s carbon footprint (‘it’s quicker to tell you where we don’t get our fruit from’) I don’t think they should make their customers visit their website before they offset a little carbon.

Nevertheless, the promotion has succeeded in persuading me read Innocent’s near hysterical opposition to concentrated fruit juice: concentrated badness.

One of the apparently rare people who can happily eat fruit by the bucket, I like smoothies. But I do feel a little guilty about smoothie manufacturers’ insistence on importing whole fruit at a time when we’re all supposed to be doing our bit to reduce carbon emissions.

At 250ml a portion, the average Innocent Smoothie contains 142 per cent of the recommended daily vitamin C intake. Wow! But something of a waste as that excess vitamin C gets flushed down the toilet. This is why eating two oranges a day is no better than eating one (unless you drink your own urine).

Concentrated juices are made by evaporating the water in the juice prior to export and diluting it on import. This cooking process does reduce its nutritional value. But to say this makes the juice bad is like saying only raw vegetables are good for you and to forget the fruit contains an overdose anyway. To label concentrated fruit juice ‘concentrated badness’ is irresponsible as it implies you should avoid it altogether.

Innocent talk excitedly about Florida oranges, but actually import from Jamaica, Egypt, Morocco, Brazil, South Africa and Argentina. Not all of those countries have plenty of water to export to the UK.

Pointing out that concentrated orange juice takes just an eighth of the volume of whole juice Innocent argue, ‘the sole reason for concentrating juice is to save money, on both storage and shipping costs’. Well Duh! That’s a good thing.

We don’t cook chips in extra virgin olive oil. Smoothies from concentrate taste perfectly good and are extremely nutritious. If Innocent used concentrated orange juice they’d reduce the carbon footprint of that activity by 88 per cent and wouldn’t have to plant so many trees.

2 thoughts on “Innocent smoothies, planting trees & concentrated badness

  1. Interesting. Actually, I like Innocent smoothies… but I also like fruit pushed through my juicer (beetroot, apple, carrot and ginger is my favourite).

    Importing fruit isn’t always wrong. What damages the environment more… eating strawberries grown in artificially heated and lit greenhouses in Kent or those grown in natural sunlight in Spain? I don’t know.

  2. It’s never simple is it? But I think Innocent, whose smoothies I still enjoy, are guilty of presenting the arguments around concentrated juice as if they are simple.

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