(Natural News) The announcement that McDonald’s is switching to organic apple juice in its Happy Meals sounds like great news on the surface. After all, the new offering, the 6-ounce Honest Kids’ Appley Ever After juice box, contains half the calories and 10 fewer grams of sugar than its predecessor, the Minute Maid apple juice box. So what’s the catch?
Despite what the name of the juice company might imply, there is a bit of dishonesty going on here upon closer inspection. As many regular Natural News readers will know by now, all fruit juices contain quite a lot of sugar, and without the fiber from the fruit to help balance it out, it’s a pretty poor choice when it comes to beverages. So how did “Honest” Kids manage to create an apple juice that has 10 fewer grams of sugar?
They resorted to the same sort of deception some well-meaning parents use when they discover just how unhealthy fruit juices are as they try to wean their kids off of them: they’re watering it down! That’s right; according to Fox Business, the Appley Ever After box actually has more water than juice. It offers a meager 42 percent apple juice, so it’s no wonder it doesn’t contain as many calories or sugar grams as traditional apple juice. Like Minute Maid, which is not organic but is 100 percent apple juice, it’s made from concentrate and owned by Coca-Cola.
Can we trust Coca-Cola?
Yes, that’s right; it’s owned by Coca-Cola. Soda consumption has been decreasing as more people wise up to just how toxic it is, and they’ve also seen their Minute Maid brand lose ground to other offerings. In fact, Minute Maid sales at American grocery stores have fallen by 18 percent since 2012, which could explain why they are so desperate to remain relevant that they’re watering down juice so they can label it organic without damaging their bottom line too much.
Coca-Cola has never adhered to the old “honesty is the best policy” adage. Coca-Cola once funded a study that said drinking diet soda, which is chock full of chemicals, is healthier than water. They were also caught paying so-called nutrition and fitness experts to put articles in favor of Coke on more than 1,000 news websites, conveying it as a “healthy snack” despite the fact that it contains chemical flavorings, phosphoric acid, and genetically modified high-fructose corn syrup.
They also found themselves facing a class action lawsuit over false claims for marketing their “Vitaminwater” drink brand as being a healthy alternative to sugary sodas and plain water. The Executive Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest at the time, Michael F. Jacobson, said: “The marketing of Vitaminwater will go down in history as one of the boldest and brashest attempts ever to affix a healthy halo to what is essentially a junk food, a non-carbonated soda,”
If nothing else, parents can take comfort from the fact that it at least claims to be organic, but let’s face it: Parents who want their kids to eat healthy don’t go anywhere near the Golden Arches. McDonald’s has been making a few moves in recent years to respond to growing consumer preferences for healthy foods, but many feel they haven’t done enough. For example, they’ve shrunken the portions of French fries in Happy Meals – but they’re still French fries. They’ve also added options like yogurt, and fat-free chocolate milk, both of which are quite sugary, in addition to apple slices.
It’s understandable that they’d want to make a move toward organic food given the 8.4 percent rise noted in the industry last year over the year before. However, watering down some organic apple juice made by a company with a poor track record for honesty does not magically make a Happy Meal healthy.