Juicing is a trend that only seems to grow in popularity, despite it being a bit controversial, health-wise. We got curious about the juicing process, HPPs, safety, and what makes a true juice-lover tick, so we caught up with Hannah Peterson, local green juice guru and co-founder of Joyful Juicing. Hannah makes delicious, impossibly fresh cold-pressed juices, keeping the health and fitness community stocked with the good stuff all year long. If you’re looking for the freshest, most consciously-made juices in Southwest Florida, you’re in the right place.

Fit Nation: Joyful Juicing doesn’t do high pressure processing (HPP) juices. Would you tell me a little about that choice? What do you think a good raw juice should be?

Hannah Peterson: To HPP or not to HPP is a popular question these days. The controversy around HPP stems from the process. HPP stops chemical activity caused by microorganisms, which is basically saying that potentially harmful bacteria is eliminated; unfortunately, there is no way of eliminating potentially harmful bacteria without also eliminating good bacteria.

Related: Should You Get In On That Green Juice Cleanse?

In addition to microbial changes, HPP juices are specifically formulated to work well with the HPP process. The higher the juice’s viscosity (thickness), the less likely the process is to work. What does this mean in practical terms? Many of our nutrient-dense juices have a higher viscosity and, without changing the formulation (like adding a large amount of apple juice or other low-viscosity juice), would not take well to the process.

FN: That makes sense. Like when you get a really good, rich juice fresh-made in front of you, it has a certain thickness to it. So ok, one health-related issue that tends to come up in the juicing world: can women drink your juice while pregnant?

HP: Eating fresh fruit or a salad poses the same threat as our juice. We have expiration dates in place, triple wash our produce with filtered water, use only certified organic produce and ingredients, and take additional precautions than those required by the FDA, all to ensure to consumers are protected from microbial and other hazardous threats.That said, we also believe that pregnant women, children, and people with suppressed immune systems should always take extra precautions, and consult with their physicians prior to consuming anything that could pose a threat to their bodies.

FN: Do you think there’s a health difference between HPP and pasteurized juice, or are they both just basically glorified sugar-water?

HP: There is indeed a difference between HPP and Heat Treated Pasteurization. [Tweet “HPP uses pressure instead of heat to kill microbial bacteria in the juice.”], heat pasteurization also kills microbial bacteria, but it takes it a step further by changing the enzymatic properties.

We do not believe HPP is bad, and we potentially see a place for it in our own business; for example, HPP juices may give children a more nutritious option in schools, and because HPP juices are stable for longer, the process could be used to ship juices to countries where fresh juice is not an option. However, our goal is to give our consumers optimal amounts of nutrients and health benefits, and by adapting to the HPP process just to extend shelf life, and drive profit, we believe our integrity would be jeopardized and would be counterproductive to the whole mission.

It’s as simple as this: what is the company’s mission? For profit-driven companies, HPP is a no-brainer: HPP creates the ability to wholesale, which in turn, is a quicker and more secure revenue stream. For us at Joyful Juicing, however, that is not our “why.” We started Joyful Juicing to bring consumers juice with a purpose, and our goal is to provide the tools needed to support a healthy lifestyle. Connectedly, we are excited to announce Joyful Juicing will soon be offering healthful grab-and-go food (Editor’s Note: these grab-and-go lunches look absolutely gorgeous, and we’re excited to try them).

FN: What’s your method of juicing? What are the health benefits to juices processed the way you process them? Why is this such a better method than something like HPP?

HP: Joyful Juicing extracts organic fruits and vegetable juice with a cold-pressed juicing method. Cold-pressed means that the produce is never heated or harmed while extracting the juice, when compared to other methods, it is hands down the best way known to retain the highest amount of nutrients, and since juice has little-to-no fiber, nutrients are in their most bioavailable ingestible form. In addition, Dr. Gerson’s research has demonstrated that cold-pressed extracted juice may be the only extraction method successful in improving the lives of cancer patients, or aiding those who suffer from other chronic diseases.

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