Is Nothing Sacred???

An opened up pomegranate.
Image via Wikipedia

I don’t know about you but I am a little sick and tired of buying into various “miracle products” that promise…well miracles, and then finding out that maybe theses guys “slightly overstretched” the truth.  

Such is my frustration over POM Wonderful, the self-described “wonder” drink derived from the juice of pomegranates. The makers of this drink sold in hourglass shaped bottles promise among other things, to reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and reduce impotence.  

The FTC has charged POM Wonderful with making “false and unsubstantiated claims about the power of the pomegranate elixir”. The commission further added that “the company (POM) ignored evidence that contradicted its claims that the juice could help prevent or treat heart disease, reduce the risk of prostate cancer and overcome erectile dysfunction”.  

Is nothing sacred???  

How do these guys get away with their promises of “virileness” and better prostrate health?  

Is it simply because nobody actually had the “balls” (excuse the pun) to question such sensitive and personal issue? Your “erectile” function or dysfunction is your own business,  thank you very much. If POM Wonderful says it can help you “down there”, then who am I to question?  

Maybe it’s because Pomegranates are relatively scarce and exotic to the American palate. When was the last time you ate or even saw anybody who ate a Pomegranate?  

I have tried pomegranates before and I can assure you that they are quite challenging to eat. First, you need to crack open the fruit, a task easier said than done, as the outside of the fruit is hard and solid. Once you finally get it open, you are confronted with hundreds of little hard seeds stuck to the membrane and peel of the fruit. These seeds are covered in a reddish watery membranes called “arils”. Prying these suckers off is no easy task. Some suggest to remove the arils in a bowl of water as the arils sink and the pulp floats. Another suggestion is to freeze the fruit first, as separation of  the arils from the peel becomes a little easier.  The entire seed, arils and all, can be consumed raw, however many people (myself included) just suck off the reddish flesh around the seed and spit the interior hard part out.  

The taste? Well, its slightly sweet but more tart and sour. Kind of like a cross between a very small boysenberry and a lemon pit. And don’t even get me started about how the juice of the arils tends to stain your fingers. Bottom line – it’s a pain in the rear to eat this “wonder fruit” and in my lowly opinion, not worth the hassle. That is why I was excited when POM Wonderful came out and took the labor out of eating this fruit. All I had to do was buy it and drink it. No more stained fingers!  

After chugging down bottles of this sour, syrupy,wonder juice in the past, I was really surprised to see this 2 page article on the cover of yesterdays NY Times. Can it be that POM Wonderful, may not be so wonderful after all? 

The owners of the company, billionaires Linda and Stewart Resnick, vow to contest the charges. They stand behind the $34 million that they spent on all the research supporting their healthful claims. However as we all know,  just because you spend tons of money on something does not make it true. According to the article written by Edward Wyatt, “while not disputing that the company’s medical studies exist, the commission says that the company’s advertising claims overstate the results and ignore that the pomegranate products often showed no more efficacy than a placebo”.  OUCH! 

Certainly any research can be skewed to a more positive light. I have listed just a few examples below:

  • Meat especially red meat is bad for you BUT it has tons of iron and protein necessary for growth
  • Prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer BUT the rays are a great source of Vitamin D and prevent osteoporosis
  • Too much fish is bad for you because of  traces of mercury and other poisonous contaminants (BP – British Petroleum anybody?) BUT it’s also a great source of lean protein and Omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Bottle water is safer than tap water BUT over 25- 35% of bottled water is ACTUALLY REGULAR TAP WATER (Dasani and Aquafina are two companies simply “purifying” regular old tap water according to a 2007 CNN report.

I dont know about you but I am fed up with being fed up. Dont believe all the hype, just believe in yourself.

Chow for now!