Coconut Water: Miracle Food or Dangerous Drink?

In 2003 I lived on Kauai. There was a man at the farmer’s market with a truck full of coconuts.  He wielded his machete like it was an extension of his arm, with swift clean strokes that quickly removed the green outer layers, and shaved one side down to a thin membrane of coconut meat.  Then he popped a straw in, and my love of coconut water began.

Young coconut water is a powerful health tonic. It is loaded with electrolytes and has far less salt and sugar than sports drinks, while containing more potassium than bananas.  Coconut water also contains lauric acid, which is found in human mother’s milk and it can also be used in an IV in lieu of blood transfusion.

I’ve always preferred drinking organic whole young coconuts because you get to enjoy the coconut meat as well, but buying coconuts outside of Hawaii isn’t quite the same. I’ve learned that if you buy a coconut in Hawaii at the market and have it cut down to the size you are likely to find in your local health food store, it has a shelf life of less than 3 weeks in the refrigerator.  The moist outer fibers are a perfect growth medium for mold and fungi.  The outer fibers quickly turn an unappealing brown color, much like a cut apple does.  Coconuts usually take a week to get from the tree to the place they will be shipped from, and once in the US, they typically sit in cold storage for 2-3 months. So how is it that we can buy whole coconuts that still look white and fresh?  Some research says that they are treated with bleach and then dipped in fungicides.  Most think the likelihood of irradiation is very high as well.  And when it is all said and done they label it organic!!

You can buy bottled coconut water, but big names now produce it like a soft drink. Coca Cola and Pepsi control two of the big name coconut water companies in most health food stores.  Pepsi owns O.N.E. and Coca Cola recently bought a minority of shares in Zico’s stocks.  Since then, Zico has undergone many changes.  It is now made from concentrate and its once paper carton has been changed to plastic.  It sounds less healthful and worse for the planet to me.

Our beautiful world provides such amazing and miraculous food for us all.  Unfortunately, many foods have become cloaked in chemicals and toxins.  The best we can do is to seek balance and purity, as it is available.

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Lakshmi Light

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