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28 March 2006 — Impasse with Vegetable Juice (13)

Strolling through Costco today, I stopped in front of a stack of V8 juice.

Standing before me were hundreds of cans of vegetable juice, stuff that might actually be good for me. (In case you weren't already aware: there is no material difference between fruit juice and soda. All you parents who won't let your kids have soda but pump them full of fruit juice are victims of the advertising industry. (Fresh-squeezed fruit juice is slightly not-as-bad.))

I checked the nutrition stats for V8: a twelve-ounce can (well, 11.5-ounce can) contains only seventy calories and grants three grams of fiber. There's a hell of a lot of sodium in the juice, but I can live with that. I don't seem to have a sodium sensitivity. (Which is good, since I suck the stuff down. I even eat it raw sometimes.) The V8 packaging trumpets: "Two servings of vegetables in every can!"

I bought a case.

Now I'm faced with a dilemma: I don't particularly like V8. Or at least I don't think I like V8. I've never actually tried it. I have a life-long repulsion to liquid tomato products, however; I like tomato products of middling viscosity.

I am loathe to try tomato soup (though I once had a delicious tomato soup that Pam made for a dinner party), and I won't drink tomato juice. On the other hand, I cannot bring myself to eat a raw tomato in any form. The stuff in the middle of the tomato-spectrum is fine: catsup, ketchup (what's the difference there, foodies?), tomato sauce, tomato paste, salsa — all good.

Now I have an opened can of V8 sitting by my side, but I'm hesitant to take a sip. Nick already praised me for buying it, and downed a can in short order, but the most I can bring myself to do is sniff the stuff.

It smells like tomato soup.

I keep telling myself that if I'd only force myself to like it, then I'd have a ready source of vegetable nutrition, but so far that sort of reasoning just isn't working.

Maybe I'll go grab an orange juice.

Update: Two hours later, and the can is still sitting here. I've dipped my finger in, and the taste is fine, but I can't get over the texture. sigh

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On 28 March 2006 (02:46 PM), Blogeois said:

Think Pam's yummy tomato soup and maybe that will help. If not, there's always alcohol additives though that would probably defeat the purpose.

On 28 March 2006 (02:50 PM), Cat said:

If it makes you feel any better, tomato juice is *extremely* good for you.


Also, v8 actually has a bunch of other veggies in it. I know, that doesn't help much. So take a sip, and toss the rest of the can. Tomorrow, take two sips, and so on. With luck, you'll get past it.

I love the stuff, and drink a glass of it every morning with a breakfast of rice and beans.

On 28 March 2006 (02:52 PM), pril said:

aw just DRINK IT! I dont like tomato juice, but i do like V8. I like raw tomatoes, too. I like tomato sammiches.

Really, though, it isn't going to kill you. Have a glass of water handy if you think you need to. Add a dash of tobasco or hot sauce, that makes it pretty good.

in my house growing up you couldn't find a grain of salt... and i still don't cook with it and very rarely put it on anything, so i am sensitive to salt (only in that i can taste it more than other people, not an allergy or anything), so when i drink V8 i usually have to have a big glass of water about an hour later or i feel like Spongebob on land.

On 28 March 2006 (03:33 PM), lee said:

Trying to get more veggies? I like tomatoes and veggies, but really have a hard time drinking V8. There is something about the smell of it.

However, it's much tastier cold. Ice cold. Even better mixed with vodka. It still tastes the same but after a minute you don't really care.

Or drink carrot juice. Much tastier, IMHO. I don't really like carrots, but I love carrot juice.

On 28 March 2006 (04:15 PM), Nikchick said:

there is no material difference between fruit juice and soda

Define "material difference" please?

I won't argue that the sugar content of orange juice or apple juice is nearly identical to sugar-sweetened soda. Calorie-wise a can of soda is about the same as 8 fl. oz. of fruit juice.

However, a quick look at my fridge tells me that my orange juice (which I buy in the Calcium + Vitamin D fortified variety) contains 450mg potassium, 2g protein, Vitamin C, D, B6, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Niacin, Magnezium, Calcium, and Folate along with its 22g of sugar. My apple juice contains 25mg sodium, 280mg potassium, and 2% of the RDA of Iron with its 26g of sugar.

The V8 in my fridge is about half the calories of fruit juice (50 calories for 8 ounces) and only 8g of sugar but contains 710mg sodium. Still, it weighs in with a respectible 420mg potassium, 2g fiber, and 2g protein, plus Vitamin A and C, and 2% of the RDA of Calcium and Iron.

The ginger ale in my fridge is 120 calories, 35mg sodium, and 31g sugar, with no nutritional benefit at all.

I love V8 juice. Sorry to hear it's grossing you out! I understand, though. I feel the same way about pulpy orange juice: I want to drink my juice, not chew it!

On 28 March 2006 (04:24 PM), J.D. said:

Nik, it is my opinion that the nutritional contents of processed orange juice are negligible, inconsequential in the average diet. Better to drink water and eat a piece of fruit. (Says the man who would probably drink chantico and eat a donut instead, so what do I know?)

As for pulpy orange juice: I love it! It's great stuff.

This V8? I don't know. I did sip some of it, and it tastes fine, but I just can't get past the texture.

On 28 March 2006 (06:02 PM), Lisa said:

Pril is right--my grandfather always drank his V8 with Tabasco in it. You like spicy, right? Give it a try!

Personally, I can always tell there's celery in V8, something I'm not wild about. I suppose a side by side comparison with straight tomato juice might make the V8 look better?

And BTW, why not just go to the grocery store and buy a small can of the stuff instead of a case? Costco. Bah.

On 29 March 2006 (11:55 AM), Joel said:

Maybe you could try it with a lot of ice? A really cold drink somewhat diluted by ice-melt may mask the viscosity.

Also, regarding the frenzied pop vs. juice debate, I tend to agree with JD in that most people think fruit juice is very healthy for kids when in fact dieticians recommend limiting juice intake to 8 oz/day. Also, of all the vitamins and minerals that nikchick listed, your average American diet provides a surplus of everything except folate. Recent studies (that I heard about, didn't read) found that extra doses of Vit D and Calcium had little effect on bone density in adults.

The big difference, I think, is fructose, which is very high in pop, and may be really bad for you.

On 29 March 2006 (12:02 PM), Nikchick said:

(Says the man who would probably drink chantico and eat a donut instead, so what do I know?)

One of the many reasons I love to hear what you have to say. :)

On 10 June 2006 (11:42 PM), Tiger said:

I love V8, my daughter doesn't like to eat raw tomatoes but she loves V8, I buy V8 in case 11.50 oz can at Costco for on the go, at home 64 oz bottle of V8 more cheaper at Walmart. Yes, V8 tastes good with a lot of ice crushed. It's Good for you, if you don't like original V8 with more than 500 mg for 1 can so go head try new V8 with Low sodium under 200mg.

On 27 September 2006 (12:08 AM), bigdealsusa said:

Has anyone on this page ever tried the walmart brand Vegetable juice? Its only $1.44 a can and taste just as good, So i think it might be actual v-8 but with the walmart label. I drink both and cannot tell the difference. I'm Fixin to go on a 1 week fasting diet v-8 for (1) day, v-8 only. Every 2nd day v-8 and a serving of lean low fat steak! Sounds like a great diet to me, Been wanting to try it. LOL

On 05 July 2007 (10:49 PM), Gayle said:

no one has talked about v-8 fasting diet? i am on day two, along with LOTS of water, but would like advice on how many cans one should drink in a day? Are we to try and match the 1000 calorie's a day rec. for weight loss?

FYI - I LOVE v-8, but will take the suggestion to compare with the Wal-mart "Equate" copy ;-))

I am doing this fast for 17 days. Thx, Gayle

On 22 October 2007 (05:09 AM), Scott said:

V8 has come out now with some new vege - fruit flavors. They taste much better that the pure old fashioned V8 tomatoe juice.