Science Juice

posted December 10, 2013 by Jer


Simply Orange brand orange juice is owned by Coca-Cola. I did not know that. Coca-Cola's name is nowhere on the bottle. I did know it tastes pretty good and I can buy it everywhere. So what's with the subterfuge?

Simply Orange brand orange juice tastes really good because of a fuckload of science. It involves global crop data collection, complex planning algorithms, strict growing guidelines, surgically accurate harvest timing, miles of pipeline, flash pasteurization and the forceful removal of oxygen to prevent spoiling, finalized by the adding of natural flavors and fragrances to make the end taste consistent. OH MY GOD EVERYBODY PAN-wait. There's actually nothing in there all that scary.

Is there? No seriously, email me if I'm wrong. I love to learn.

I mean, it may not have come straight from an orange, but Coke didn't bulk up a cow on steroids, over-use antibiotics on warehouse-raised chickens, use children as chocolate harvesting slaves or deplete the water supply of entire villages in India.

Wait, Coke did do that last one.

Still, by comparison, using math to harvest oranges? That's pretty fucking cool! Adding flavors at the end? Kinda dishonest but I wouldn't call it Sunny D. So why have shame in your name? We bought Minute-Made for years and no one cared, now somehow Coke's marketing team got it into their heads that being associated with Coca-Cola juice math could be bad for business?

Think about that for just a second.

"If people knew we made this, they wouldn't buy it."

That's no way to go through life, son.

I think that's the point. People don't inherently mistrust science, they mistrust skeezy-ass corporations who abuse science. The way corporations try to hide every detail of where our food comes from is like our parents trying to convince us Daddy was just playing leapfrog with Mommy. The trouble is we're adults and we know how a god damned baby is made.

We have tons of food to eat, mainly thanks to science. Are there side effects to science? Yes. That's why we need more science to better understand what we're doing and what the effects are. Playing factual keep-away is irresponsible and it leads to BAD science - science that stagnates innovation and understanding in the name of secure profits.

Am I defending Monsanto and Nestle? Fuck no. Am I defending the invention of seeds that are resistant to a specific herbicide? Kiiiiiinda. Take the sociopathic quest for profit out of the pictures and you're left with a pretty interesting invention. With ongoing testing and further understanding, we could see all the effects, positive and negative, continue to refine out the negative, and there wouldn't be a need to hide it from anyone.


If genetic engineering was new, we'd all be trying to digest teosinte. Science might as well be one of humanity's food groups. Seattle recently tried to label genetically modified food but damn near every food corporation in the country freaked out and paid to block it. Why? Partly because damn near everything they sell is genetically modified, depending on how you define it. Of course, they're not hiding a god damned thing, anyone with a computer can look all this shit up now, anyway.

Enough with the shell game. Advertise your science. Put it on the table for peer review. We might discover a way to make it safer. We might discover it's already totally safe. We might discover on the eighth test that an additive in your product would infect half your customers with debilitating arachibutyrophobia, leading to a plummet in Nestle shares and a permanent end to the commoditization of drinking water, making your corporation a god damned world hero. You'll never know if you keep hiding!

So put your name on your food, put your algorithm on your website, and stop calling it "Black Box" for fucks sake. Science is your friend.