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My Organic Coconut Water Conundrum

Coconut water is one of the most popular and fastest growing drinks on the market for one main reason — it tastes so good.

Furthermore, it is touted as the best post-workout drink due to its large number of electrolytes. There always seems to be someone who is drinking it immediately after my yoga classes.

Yet, nearly every box of coconut water that you see people drinking from is not organic.

My Dilemma

Even though many organic food restaurants use young Thai coconuts, these coconuts are not organic. They are shipped in formaldehyde from Thailand in order prevent mold from growing on the outside of the fruit.

Furthermore, I have heard that they plant sugar into the ground where the coconut palm trees are grown in order to get a much sweeter taste.

This makes sense, especially when you compare the young Thai coconut water (from an actual coconut) with young Thai organic coconut water by Exotic Superfoods (above). The water from Exotic Superfoods is much less sweet.

Last fall, I profiled the young Thai organic coconut water by Exotic Superfoods and was very excited by it. This product is juiced in Thailand and then shipped frozen in a plastic bottle to the U.S.

Lately, however, my excitement has dimmed and I am drinking almost no coconut water these days. Why?

Well, something makes me a little uneasy about drinking a beverage that was shipped frozen in a plastic bottle. I keep thinking about the plastic that leaches into the coconut water; the plastic is known to be a hormone disruptor.

This is the reason why I ditched my BPA-free plastic water bottles and now exclusively use glass water bottles.

I don’t mean to single out Exotic Superfoods here. I have seen another young Thai organic coconut water brand on the internet that does a similar thing but uses a plastic box, instead of a plastic bottle, and I would be equally as wary of that as well.

While I understand that it is practically impossible to avoid plastics and food altogether, I am making a conscious effort to do the best I can.

But I also think this: If it is so difficult and problematic to ship a tropical fruit from the other side of the world to cold New York City, maybe this is a sign.

Maybe this is a sign that tropical fruit is meant to be eaten in tropical climates.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink