···› from root מ-צ-ה “to squeeze”
(not to confuse with מ-צ-א “to find”)
What a juicy topic. It’s multi-layered, not only if you let it settle.
Juice “from concentrate” is boiled down to about 10% its original volume for shipping across the world, and some undeclared additives are used to homogenize it back into something resembling juice once re-diluted with water; some juice drinks contain extra sugar or further additives, how some hardly contain any fruit at all…
Besides that, most juice including “not from concentrate” is pasteurized, i.e. heated for a few seconds to 85° centigrade, about 185 Fahrenheit, and then it lasts up to a year in cartons or plastic bottles, several years in glass bottles. How can this be? How dead (microbiologically, chemically, energetically) does any substance have to be, so that you can keep it in a container for years without it going off? (I must admit I wonder about that even more with tinned fish…)
Is juice “healthy”? It used to… but the tides seem to have turned against it. Manufacturers often want to lead us to believe that the essence of the fruit is squeezed into each carton. Yet without the fiber and all the intact cell walls, juice contains high levels of sugar, typically 10 per cent or more. That’s pretty much on par with the sugar levels in common soda drinks, the very sugar levels that every health conscious person detests them for! Yes, with no-sugar-added “direct” fruit juice, it’s all “natural” — but then, amanitas are also “all-natural”.
The benefits from eating fruit lie mainly in the nutrients and fiber that you get mostly from all the bits around the juice. With pomegranates for example, the yellow/white stuff (called mesocarp) around the seeds and arils is very much edible and contains high levels of tannins and other nutrients. Yet it is most often discarded, as a by-product of juice production…
How much of the fruit will you be able to appreciate by drinking the juice? How much of the essence of the tree that those apples or oranges grew on, how much of the morning dew and evening sun that it soaked up? How much of the scenery that the tree overlooks, how much of the damp soil minerals that the roots tap into? How much of the souls of the animals that sat in its shade or nested on its branches?
Likewise — how much essence of true religion are you expecting to receive by reading scriptures only, without the cultural and linguistic context that they are embedded in, and that they emerged from? By reading a translation, and only the books that some committees decided over centuries were “canon”, deeming others “apocryphal”? How much has been taken away? And what has been furtively added, without declaring the additives? How much interpretation has been added by the translators? Just keeping in mind that the original Hebrew text of the תַּנַ״ךְ (Tanakh) had no upper- or lowercase letters, no punctuation, sometimes not even space between letters (at least according to Nachmanides)!
Juice for thought… to be continued.