Based on an article in the Globe and Mail, it seems that cranberry cocktail producers are concerned that their beverage will be banned from being sold in schools. Current school nutrition policies in Ontario and Nova Scotia, and likely in other provinces as well, state that cranberry cocktail should not be currently available for purchase in schools (or should only available occasionally). In Ontario, only 100% fruit juice can be sold as juice in schools. In Nova Scotia, juice that is not 100% fruit juice should not be sold more than once or twice a month. New school nutrition policy in the USA has got the cranberry growers worried that their product will no longer be permitted to be sold in schools. Ridiculous. How many kids do you know that spend their lunch money on cranberry juice anyway? Unless things have changed dramatically since I was a child, I seriously doubt that cranberry juice has become wildly popular among grade school students.
One of the arguments for permitting cranberry cocktail to continue to be sold in schools is that it has the ability to fight urinary tract infections and reduce cancer risk. This is absurd. It’s been shown that cranberry concentrate (i.e. pure cranberry juice not cranberry cocktail) can help to prevent urinary tract infections. As far as I’m aware there is no solid scientific proof that cranberry juice (pure or otherwise) has any impact on cancer risk. I can’t see any good reason for giving cranberry cocktail an exemption from school nutrition policy. If I had my druthers, all juice would be banned from sale in schools, regardless of percentage of pure fruit juice present. Juice is a poor substitute for whole fruit but due to our inferior food guides and miseducation, many people are under the impression that juice is a serving of fruit and that more is better.
If 100% fruit juice is to be permitted for sale, by all means, allow 100% cranberry juice to be sold in schools. But if we’re going to allow cranberry cocktail we may as well start allowing Kool Aid, Beep, and pop.