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Why Is That Tiny Glass of Orange Juice at Brunch Always So Fucking Expensive?

It’s squeezed oranges, not caviar

Here’s a thought, common to anyone who’s been trying to figure out how to split the bill at breakfast or brunch: How the fuck did that tiny glass of orange juice cost $10?

You can blame mother nature. In 2016, the Guardian reported that Florida (the world’s second-largest orange juice producer) was experiencing the worst orange harvest since harvest records began, causing prices to shoot up (and, therefore, sales of the juice to drop).

The problem — aside from the hurricanes which plague the state every year — was that the orange trees had been hit with disease. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that the 2016 orange harvest will be just 70 million boxes, which is a 14 percent drop from last year, and an even bigger drop from the turn of the century when 230 million boxes of oranges made their way into our glasses,” the Guardian reported.

Speaking of hurricanes, just last year, the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association announced that Hurricane Irma had caused losses of 50 to 70 percent of Florida’s citrus crop in portions of South Florida.

Natural disasters aside, it does take a lot of work to juice a thimble-size cup of orange liquid that’s not Tropicana (which is just an elaborate hoax that tries to convince you it’s 100 percent juice when it’s really anything but). Most restaurants aren’t equipped with the highest quality juicing equipment, like that provided by Citrus America, tools capable of juicing anywhere from 20 to 40 oranges per minute. Instead, they require a human person with patience, muscles and time to squeeze the piss out of two to four oranges at an average cost of 60 cents per orange to create just one glass of orange juice.

So, sure, that only costs $2.40 per glass, but when you take into consideration the average cost of labor, even if it’s not exactly replacing a carburetor, it’s still extra effort compared to popping open a can of Coke Zero.

All of which is to say, fellow purveyor of brunch things, it’s time you make a decision: What’s worth more to you: The juice, or the avocado toast?