POM

Most people have never seen a pomegranate up close, let alone eat one. But humans have been eating pomegranates for thousands of years; growing them in places like Israel, China, Egypt, and the United States. California is a major producer of pomegranates and pomegranate juice.

And pomegranate juice has become very popular in recent years, with brands like POM Wonderful fueling the U.S. market. But now the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is taking issue with POM Wonderful, criticizing the marketing of their juice and the health claims associated with the product.

Studies have shown the antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice has many health benefits, especially for the heart, but the FTC isn’t so convinced.

“Any consumer who sees POM Wonderful products as a silver bullet against all diseases has been misled,” said David Vladeck, who runs the agency’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. The FTC has begun to monitor “deceptive” advertising by POM Wonderful, which has angered company officials.

POM Wonderful has sued the FTC, alleging the organization is abusing its power by requiring the accuracy of its health claims about pomegranate juice. Currently POM Wonderful links to research on their website supporting the benefits of drinking pomegranate juice, but POM Wonderful does not make any concrete claims.

Pomegranates are great, but peeling a pomegranate is like dissecting the human brain, so here are Laura’s tips for eating pomegranates without the mess. Oh, and if you’re good at cooking – I’m not, I got third-degree burns last time I boiled pasta – try this Organic Cranberry, Pomegranate, Persimmon Relish.

Image credit: jonny.hunter