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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Squeezed, 3 Jan 2011
It's not that Squeezed is a boring book. It is not. I've never learnt so much about orange juice in my life. Drunk in such great quantities, it is impressive that we live in such ignorance as to how it arrives at our glass. The author writes well & gives a clear summary of the orange industry's 20th C history. And some bits are fascinating.

The problem is this. There is a ever growing 'genre' of point books - 'Cod', '[The color] Red', to name two of a few - and Squeezed sits on the same shelf. Their detailed investigations are impressive, but narrow. One wonders whether this book has tried to Squeeze (ho ho) too much of a story out of the relatively plain orange. To brutally sum up the book - it turns out a lot of orange we drink is diluted muck, the FDA have a load of regulations, and the industry / growers lobby hard.

This said. I think the fact that we consume so much of this processed 'orange' juice is telling; it's not just that we are ignorant. We know where orange juice should come from, and we know how much oranges should cost. I suspect we also know that to make a carton of orange juice with real oranges, it would cost a fair deal more than what we pay. But still we buy it. So I suspect a generation of people just dont care about what they consume, and a (younger) generation of people dont know and have never known what a 'real' orange tastes like. So processed orange is orange.

The cultural definition, then, is not something round from a tree, rather, something square from a supermarket.

So. If you are a food economist, lobbyist, serious foodie, then buy this book. It is interesting and a good read. If, however, you were looking for a quick jaunt through the world of oranges, I would instead refer you to the back of your breakfast table cartoon and a bit of common sense about modern food production.
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