Why does everyone in Fiji call sugary drinks, juice? It seems that any liquid that comes in a can or bottle that contains sugar, artificial colour, artificial flavour, gas and a little bit of real fruit is called juice in Fiji.
Technically, juice is a liquid extracted from fruits or vegetables, but most Fijians have adopted the word for anything other than the real thing.
For a tropical island country, it is almost impossible to find 100% fruit juice made from Fijian fruits and vegetables.
Take a walk down any supermarket aisle or takeaway shop and the closest thing to nutritious juice is a mix of sugar, water and a hint of fruit - in that order.
But the most scary thing is that these bottled drinks also contain artificial chemical names that even the brightest science student could not pronounce.
Why in the world are Fijians, especially children, drinking this rubbish when they are surrounded by the best tasting fruits of anywhere on the planet.
Is it the clever packaging with pictures of foreign fruits or the convenience of opening a bottle without doing any work to make a healthy juice?
The Australian government's health guidelines for school canteens recommends that the only juice to be sold to children is 99% fruit juice with no added sugar or artificial additives.
All other carbonated and sugary drinks are banned in healthy school canteens, with water being the recommended drink for Australian school kids.
Why? Because childhood obesity, diabetes and bad teeth are all influenced by too much sugar in the diet, with sugary drinks a major contributor.
Australia has also restricted artificial colours and flavours in food, lollies, snacks and drinks for children, as scientists overseas have linked specific chemicals used in those products to behavioral and health problems.
I always read the label of all packaged food and drink, and if I can't pronounce or recognise the ingredients, then chances are they are not natural and therefore not good for me.
Tourists find Fiji's pineapple, watermelon, banana and paw paw to be best tasting in the world thanks to the unique volcanic soil and tropical climate, but no one in Fiji is taking these whole fruits and turning them into an organic and healthy juice.
This opportunity to provide Fijians with a healthy alternative to sugary drinks will not only help to reduce non-communicable diseases by reducing sugar and increasing fruit intake, but might open the door to a new export market that only Fiji can provide.
Anyone with a juice extractor or fruit crusher could be selling fresh 100% Fijian fruit juice across the country in every market, roadside stall or shop.
And here's another idea for any enterprising person, infuse the juice with herbs, spices, sugarcane and medicinal raw honey and all of a sudden you have a world class product that is medicine for the body.
Coconut water is also a huge growth industry overseas, sold in tetrapaks and cans but we are yet to see a Fijian coconut juice that takes advantage of Fiji's niu damu orange coconut, a highly medicinal coconut fruit that offers health benefits over and above the green coconut and used in Fijian remedies.
And it's not only fruits that make healthy juices.
Vegetables like carrot and celery are also extremely beneficial to health and wellbeing.
By combining certain vegetables and herbs into a juice, you can also create powerful fruit concoctions that are tasty but medicinal.
Carrots and ginger both share medicinal properties in maintaining the body, but when combined, they team up to boost each other's health benefits in incredibly amazing ways.
The vitamin A benefits of carrots help to improve night and low light vision, but when eaten with raw ginger, magnesium is added to the mix and increases the power of the carrot to boost development of healthy teeth and bones.
Green vegetables like celery and mint may look alien when juiced, but your body will thank you for the natural green chlorophyll vitamins.
Fresh pineapple juice is rich in vitamin C and can help fight off viruses that cause cough and colds. Pineapples also contain bromelain, which is effective in suppressing coughs and loosening mucus in the throat when you have a cold.
Pineapples are also popular for their ability to build and maintain strong bones.
This is because these fruits contain manganese, which is a trace mineral that your
body needs to build bones and connective
Add fresh coconut milk to pineapple juice and you create a powerful super fruit juice
that strengthens the entire immune system.
Real fruit juices not only provide a tasty alternative to artificially sugary drinks, but they provide healthy vitamins, fibre and essential minerals for our body.
Canned and bottled drinks taste great because of the sweetness and artificial flavour, but they do nothing to keep your body fit and healthy.
Making juice is made even easier if you invest in a juice extractor machine, and who knows, if you are money-minded and organised enough, you might be the first person to commercially sell daily-made,100% Fijian fruit juice with herbal infusions.
* Lance Seeto is an author and Executive Chef based on Castaway Island, Fiji. Watch his new TV series Taste of Paradise with Chef Lance Seeto every Thursday 8pm and repeated Saturday 5.30pm. Starts October 4 on Fiji One.