Green Star and Jack Lalanne Power juicers – Is faster always better?

If you’re reading this then you already know that fresh juice, made at home in your own kitchen, is just about the best thing you can put into your body. Rich in vitamins, living enzymes, dissolved minerals and anti oxidants, fresh juice provides everything that modern diets often lack. Power juicers are found in many homes – thankfully a lot of people are accepting that natural foods can in fact be better than supplements!

Greenstar Power Juicer

The Greenstar Power Juicer looks - and is - more complicated, but certainly does make the better juice.

What are the power juicers you should look at? The first is definitely the appropriately named Power Juicer endorsed by Jack Lalanne. This is a very high speed machine, the focus being on  fast juice delivery and quick easy clean up. If you stay up too late at night then this is the juicer machines you will see on those infomercials. Does it live up to its reputation? Absolutely, if you check out online reviews. Lalanne’s power juicers are praised for being fast (a glass of juice in about 10 seconds), quiet, and having the huge advantage of being able to process entire, unpeeled and uncut fruits. Yes, that’s correct – the Jacks Power Juicer can handle whole fruit being dropped in the chute!!! This is obviously a huge time saver, and the Jacks power juicers probably win the popularity contest right there for most people. On the whole, a great product. The fact that it continues to sell so well speaks for itself.

Power Juicer

The Jack Lalanne Power Juicer is faster, but you trade off final juice quality. Still, a good purchase for the money.

The second of out power juicers to be discussed here is the Green Star, Green Power lineup. Green Star are a company specializing in high quality juicer machines, and their slogan says it all – “the best juice comes from the best juicer!”. The Green Power juicers are totally different to the Jack Lalanne style of machine. This is the difference: The Lalanne juicer advertises maximum speed. The Green Power advertises extra-slow speed. What the hell! What is this?! A joke? When ever was “slow” a selling point? Here goes – if you know it already give yourself a pat on the back, if not, here’s some basic science! When fruits or vegetables are juiced at a high speed, by being shredded and wrung out, there is a price to pay and a number of not so good things DO happen. First, a lot of tiny air bubbles get incorporated into the juice thanks to a very fast spinning blade in the juicer machine. Air contains oxygen, which begins to react with the vitamin and nutrient compounds that have been extracted. As soon as this happens the nutritional value of the juice decreases, and continues to decrease. You see clear evidence of this when the fresh juice sits in the refrigerator overnight. Juice made with any high speed machine turns a brown color within hours. Juice made with a lower speed machine (like the type of GS Green Power juicers mentioned – but there are plenty of others too) keeps for much longer, up to 2, to maximum 3 days.

Obviously we are talking about storage here – so if you can drink your juice immediately, or at least within an hour or so then the above is of less concern to you. I’ll slip in a personal preference here though, that being that I find it easier to juice only every 2nd day. I simply can’t fit it into my schedule to make a batch and sit down to drink it daily, I need to make it, put it in 3-4 small bottles, and space it out to last 48hrs. So clearly, my choice at the moment is the slower type of machine, and yes, in my opinion there is really very little taste difference between day 1 and 2 of storage.
Second, the high speed can also generate a lot of heat on the edges of the knives doing the shredding. Heat has a similar effect to oxidation – even the brief heating experienced denatures enzymes and lowers vitamin content measurably. Again the slower speed machines don’t suffer this problem.
Briefly, the reason we talk about fast and slow juicers comes down to the mechanism they use – “fast” or centrifugal juicers use a spinning blade or grater to shred up everything and collect the juice, “slow” or masticating juicer machines work with a slowly rotating auger, or screw or  gear if you want, to continually and steadily crush everything through a cone and mesh screen.
There are other pros and cons between the two power juicers, Jack Lalanne’s and Green Stars, but essentially they still boil down to the speed vs juice quality argument. Lets just be clear that both these juicer machines would be a great choice for anyone wanting to overhaul their diet – and when we say that the Green Star makes better quality juicer recipes or that the Jacks juicer is much faster, we are still really splitting hairs. The Jacks Power juicers make juice that won’t keep quite as long, and the Green Power juicers take about 20-30 seconds longer to make a glass of juice. If you were to go on price alone, then the Jacks Juicer would win. It is surprisingly cheap, but as you would expect does not have the same 5 year warranty that the Green Star has. In conclusion? If your lifestyle demands a quick turnaround, choose the Jacks Juicer. If you are a bit of a health nut (I mean that in a nice way because it includes me!) think seriously about the Green Star.

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About Laurie Kavanagh