Stop the Pulp Dumpings

Manatee Portrait, originally uploaded by Steven Trainoff Ph.D..

Does this manatee look overly anti-oxidized to you?

A friend explained over a margarita that orange juice companies may not actually dump excess pulp from no pulp OJ into the everglade and suggested it may actually end up in extra-pulp OJ. Could this be true?

If only manatees could talk . . .

Anti-Oxidized Manatees

Mill City Museum, originally uploaded by megan.frick.

During a tour of the Mill City Museum in downtown Minneapolis the tour guide explained that flour dust accumulating within a mill can be EXTREMELY dangerous. How dangerous? The rebuilt brick walls of the museum from times when the building literally blew up illustrate the power of exploding flour dust very well.

So mills had to figure out a way to deal with flour dust. Back in the day, companies like Gold Medal Flour (pictured here) would use fans to simply blow flour dust out of the building. And where did that flour dust end up? In the river, where it made the Mississippi very doughy. Apparently, the area of the river just below the mills was home to insanely large carp who gorged on the dough.

Eventually, the EPA of the time stepped in and said, “No more polluting” so the mills created an internal fan that would blow the flour dust into a conical pipe that caused the dust to settle into a bin that could be safely disposed of.

Fast forward to this week when I shopped a tad too fast at the grocery store on the way into work. I mistakenly purchased PULP FREE orange juice rather than real orange juice with it’s natural pulpiness.

This made me wonder: what happens to the pulp removed to create pulp-free orange juice?

Is it possible that somewhere in Florida there exists a dumping ground for excess pulp? I can imagine large swaths of the Everglades being home to ginormous anti-oxidized manatees who spend all day foraging on endless supplies of fresh pulp dumpings.

Perhaps Katherine Harris and Mark Foley can head up a blue ribbon commission to investigate Florida orange pulp dumping now that they’re looking for jobs?