There is WHAT in my lime juice? That is a question I never imagined myself asking. I also never imagined myself answering it. Sadly enough, the answer is more than just limes, there’s sodium metabisulfite, an inorganic compound. Let me rewind a little and fill you in on how this question evolved.
My husband, a science teacher, needed some lemon juice for a lab experiment. I knew I had lemon and lime juice in the fridge but wasn’t sure how much. Since he needed the juice for a lab experiment, I wanted to make sure that there weren’t any extra ingredients – just plain juice. Which is what you would expect. Right? Well, it’s not just juice. But, you may be wondering, the label says “100% Lime Juice,” “The juice of 10 quality limes,” and “Natural Strength.”
I learned early on in my real food adventures that labels can be very deceiving. Case in point – sodium metabisulfite in my lime juice that is labeled “100% lime juice” and “Natural Strength.” How can this be? Well, there are guidelines set by the USDA as to what can and can’t be put on a label. However,there is not a guideline for using the word natural on a label. Food companies can label their food natural even if all the ingredients were processed and created in a lab (which sodium metabisulfite is).
So, what does this mean for you and me?
For me, it means that yes, there is more than limes in my lime juice – and probably in yours. Also, the next time I need to buy lemon or lime juice, I’m going to look at the ingredients – regardless of what the label on the front says. For you, it means that there may be food in your kitchen that is labeled natural but is filled with ingredients that aren’t natural.
And if you haven’t already checked, the ingredients in lemon juice are very similar. I bought the lime and lemon juice well before we started eating real food and never put much thought into checking them since then.
What is the outcome?
The juices are going to be used in the classroom and then replaced with either juice from fresh limes or lemons, or I’m going to try to track down some real, 100%, nothing added, pure, lime and lemon juice. But no matter what, I don’t want there to be sodium metabisulfite in my lime juice because that’s just not natural.