May 31 2007
I was in the local Co-op today, trying to find some fruit juice. There were those which announced on the front of the carton that they were reconstituted from concentrate, and those where you had to read the small-print on the back.
In common with Tesco, there were no real natural unadulterated fruit juices on the shelves (although Tesco undoubtably deserves more blame, their fruit juices section being about half the size of this entire Co-op… Sainsburys and, naturally, Marks & Spencer do much better: about one quarter of the drinks at Sainsburys are not from concentrate, and you’d have a job finding one that is at M&S) – but one thing did catch my eye:
On a carton of “Pure Apple Juice” (only labelled as being from concentrate on the ingrediants list on the back) was the warning “Please note, this drink is not suitable for Vegans” with no further explanation. Intrigued, I looked at a carton of “Apple, Grape and Raspberry” which was a little more forthcoming: “Warning: This product contains shellac, and may not be suitable for Vegans”.
Yes, that’s shellac, the same material that used to be used to make gramophone records.
It seems that it probably is worth going organic afterall… although, since shellac is naturally produced, can it be classed as an organic ingredient too – even though it is only used to counteract the damage that the industrial cleaning and treatment of the apple causes?