Has the evil of orange juice finally been established?

Here at Fit is a Feminist Issue we’re big believers in moderation. We also think the language of good and evil doesn’t really apply to food.

We’ve defended both orange juice and grapes from their critics as well as fruit in general. Pro tip: Grapes are not the Skittles of the fruit world!

I’ve even defended sugar. See here and here.

But maybe it’s time to change our tune. After all, this week is full of headlines about orange juice raising the risk of cancer. Cancer!

Moderation isn’t usually appropriate for things that cause cancer. We aren’t moderates about cigarettes.

Tracy and I aren’t even moderates about alcohol.

Maybe we shouldn’t be moderates about fruit juice either.

Now to be clear it wasn’t just orange juice that the study in question targeted. It was sugary beverages, including both orange juice and Coke. Some media sources went for the Coke version of the story. But that’s not sure dramatic. Most people already think Coke is evil. So the majority put “orange juice” center stage.

The reporting on the study was everywhere, with very scary sounding headlines.

But Twitter for me was a very different story. My Twitter feed was full of scientists and researchers criticizing both the study and its methodology and the reporting on the study.

Here’s a sample:

Interestingly none of that criticism appears in any reports on the study.

It was striking the gap between the scientific reception of the study and how much it was reported on uncritically.

To be clear, I haven’t read the study beyond the abstract. But so far there’s nothing there to make me abandon my moderate ways. I don’t make fruit juice or any sugary beverage a daily habit. But for special occasions, this alcohol-abstainer will be celebrating with mocktails that contain juice.

Today I had a Hibiscus-Ginger mocktail.

What’s your favourite?

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