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Would you like tea, coffee, or orange fish juice with that breakfast?

Fish is the new orange juice.

Fish is the new orange juice.

Take the tea or coffee. Tropicana is branding one of its orange juices as “healthy heart with omega-3.” Translation? They’re infusing it with fish oil. And they’re not the only ones obsessed with omega-3s. Manufacturers are adding fish oils to their salad dressings, cookies (wha-what?) and even–get a pail and a paper towel–milk.

tauted fish oil and shrugged at flaxseed oil and other vegetable sources of omega-3s, it looks like most agree that omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed oil can be just as helpful as those from fish oil. In evaluating the two sources purely from a health perspective, it also makes sense to consider, as this article from Supplement Quality does, what the fish and the flax were exposed to before they were squeezed and poured into a bottle. Did the flaxseeds swim in mercury and hormones? Probably not. Some studies, like the one conducted by the British Medical Journal in 2006, suggest that fish oil offers no protection against heart disease.

So tell your bruch buddies there’s something fishy in their orange juice. But more important, tell Tropicana to use flaxseed oil, because you don’t drink your friends.

Thanks to Robyn for the tip!


  1. Comment by


    on #

    I was at the Natural Products Expo in Boston last year and even saw fish oil in peanut butter! Yucky!

  2. Comment by


    on #

    Omega 3s are today’s fad nutrient. They’re even using them to sell dog food! “Now with omega 3s!” Insane.

  3. Comment by


    on #

    Holy cow, I never thought about fish in my orange juice so, sick with flu and delirious, all I wanted was orange juice and I bought the Tropicana fish juice and I actually drank a glass before I realized what was going on. And I was mad at myself for not checking the ingredients.I usually check everything…I just didn’t think twice. From now on I will, I guess they sneak it in everywhere now.

  4. Comment by

    Bea Elliott

    on #

    Never thought to look at my oj before… When will they stop putting their disgusting dead animals in real food?
    Thanks for the tip!

  5. Comment by

    Sam C

    on #

    EC–Which peanut butter?

  6. Comment by


    on #

    I emailed Tropicana to complain, and they replied that they use fish oil because “fish-based Omega-3s are the only two that are approved to use the FDA’s qualified heart health claim.” They’re actually partially right and partially wrong about that, which I’ve told them. Here’s the detailed explanation of that if anyone is interested:

    –the FDA has a ‘heart health’ quote that companies can slap on their products if they contain DHA/EPA (here’s the quote: “Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. One serving of [name of food] provides [x] grams of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. [See nutrition information for total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol content.]”)
    –BUT, this quote only recognizes Omega-3s of DHA and EPA. Flaxseed, walnuts, and vegetable oils contain ALA (another fatty acid) but not DHA and EPA, so the quote does not apply to them.
    –Marine algae is a vegetarian source of DHA, so Tropicana and other companies COULD use this source and still use the FDA heart health claim, but Tropicana doesn’t.

    I would recommend emailing Tropicana and urging them to use algae-sourced DHA. And if you’re feeling really ambitious, try to convince them to also switch to vegetarian sources of vitamin D and food coloring. Right now, they fortify many of their products with D3, from lanolin (rather than D2, which is vegetarian), and use cochineal, from insects, to color their pink-colored fruit juices (rather than using plant-based or synthetic food coloring). This is orange juice, for godsake; it should not contain animal products!

  7. Comment by

    Sam C

    on #

    Which is curious because, according to plenty of articles about Omega-3s, including this one by the U of Maryland Med Center, the body converts ALA to DHA and EPA.

  8. Comment by


    on #

    When I called Tropicana to complain, the “customer service rep” was pleasant, but combative. He told me he was “sorry” that I “picked up the wrong carton”. I told him it looked the same as the others and should have been marked more clearly. His response was to tell me that if I am “that concerned about ingredients” I “should be checking every ingredient list every time”. I told him if Tropicana makes it that difficult to expect a vegan product to be vegan, then I’ll switch orange juice companies.

  9. Comment by


    on #

    drink more water-hey here’s an idea-put that energy towards getting fluoride removed form the nations drinking water- forget about drinking these manufactured juices get out of that mind set, make your own and you can then be assured of whats inside-stop making the corporations even richer-spend local eat seasonal

  10. Comment by


    on #

    FYI- if you have a fishy orange juice in your fridge, return it to the supermarket. If they get enough returns they will put pressure on Tropicana as well.

  11. Comment by


    on #

    Another reason to squeeze your own, and read labels CAREFULLY!

  12. Comment by

    zucchini breath

    on #

    You can never trust big food companies. They don’t care if you live or die as long as they get paid.

    The only way to be sure is to opt out completely. Stop consuming commercially made garbage “food” and get your juice by eating whole fruits. If you are thirsty, drink water.


  13. Comment by


    on #


  14. Comment by


    on #

    Just an update: On the main page of their site, Tropicana now boldly states ?100% orange. Pure & natural. You can count on that.? No fish juice version anywhere to be found.