Apples have been causing problems since, well, that first bite. And more recently, apple juice has been the trigger for a debate about arsenic in your food supply - and how safe it is for kids to drink apple juice that may contain this carcinogen.
The debate started when Dr. Oz announced on his show in the fall of 2011 that results of lab tests on commercially available apple juices found higher levels of total arsenic than allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency in drinking water! At first, the push back was strong. But after Consumer Reports came out with similar findings, Dr. Oz and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began a dialogue.
The result? New standards have been established for inorganic arsenic in apple juice - 10 parts per billion, the same level the EPA sets for drinking water. (Inorganic arsenic may come from pesticides used on foods grown outside North America. Organic arsenic is found naturally in soil and plants. The debate about organic arsenic's safety is ongoing.)
So, now you can feel secure about drinking or serving apple juice, but here's how to feel even more secure:
1. Limit all naturally sweet juices to one serving a day. The sugar in them interferes with your child's appetite for nutritious foods. And NEVER serve a juice with added sugar or sugar syrup in it.
2. If possible, buy organic juices and juices made from fruit grown in the U.S. or Canada. That way you'll know for sure that inorganic, arsenic-laced pesticides were not used on those crops.
© King Features Syndicate