Friday, November 20, 2020

Why Orange Juice is Having a Moment in 2020

When you were a child, did you eat a full breakfast most mornings? Cereal, buttered toast...maybe fried or scrambled eggs….or even French toast or pancakes dripping with syrup? Alongside that breakfast, I bet there was usually a cold glass of orange juice.

As times have changed and we’ve gotten busier, this kind of full breakfast has become a bit less common. It’s more typically something we enjoy on weekends or when we go out to breakfast or brunch. Often, we take pleasure in it on vacation. (Admit it--you like helping yourself to that generous hotel breakfast bar!)

Orange Juice: For Good Mornings

However, I bet it’s still the case that many of the really “good mornings” of your life have started with a hot fresh breakfast and a glass of cold orange juice. You see, it’s often the case that when we sit down to a well-prepared morning meal like this, we are in no hurry. We may be eating with friends or extended family, on a trip, or at the very least, off of work. 

...And When We're Not Feeling Our Best

On the other side of the coin, we also turn to “OJ” when we’re not feeling our best, or are thinking about boosting our immunity. We all know that oranges and other citrus fruits are high in vitamin C (fact time: one 8-ounce glass of orange juice provides 80-200% of your US RDA for vitamin C, with freshly squeezed juice providing more!) While it’s also great to peel and eat an orange, sometimes nothing beats the refreshment of orange juice. It seems to have a special power to make us feel better, restore energy, and just give that sense that we’re taking good care of ourselves. (Freshly squeezed is always the best!)

2020: OJ Has Been On Our Minds

With this in mind, it may come as no surprise that orange juice, oranges, and grapefruit have enjoyed a surge in popularity during COVID-19. Orange juice sales rose 25-50% during the early months of the pandemic.  Experts think there’s more than one reason for this. First, of course, when we’re concerned about illness, we buy more of a product we associate with protecting our health. While nothing is known to prevent covid, experts do recommend that we be sure to consume plenty of vitamins C and D to keep our immune systems strong. 

But it’s more than that. Orange juice is also a comfort food (or drink). It just makes us feel better...cared for, maybe. What’s more, in one of those tiny upsides of the pandemic, it turns out that those of us who are working at home are eating longer and more relaxed breakfasts these days. 

Enjoy That Moment

Yep, it’s true: when you don’t have to rush out the door at 6:30 am, you might just sit down to a breakfast that’s a little bit like those childhood ones you once enjoyed. Maybe it’s just eggs and toast (is it sourdough toast from bread you made yourself, though? It is at my house!), or maybe you’re enjoying something a little more elaborate. 

There’s no doubt that we’re living in challenging times; things have been hard, often very hard, for so many. My approach is to be sure to take joy in any little positive change that these topsy-turvy times have brought us. If that change is a better morning’s breakfast, I say, have at it. If you can, take a longer moment to enjoy your scrambled eggs, your hot coffee, and yes, your sweet, cold glass of orange juice.

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