Impasse with Vegetable Juice

by J.D. Roth

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

Updated: 28 March 2006

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