American Public Media's "Weekend America" featured three guests this past Saturday (Jesse Thorn, Amy Hungerford and Dominic Papatola) who completely missed the boat on why anchovies in orange juice are bad news (listen to the segment here). It's bad because the only way the modern food industry can add value to its products is to add nutrients that it has already processed out.
By putting pulverized anchovies into its "Healthy Heart" orange juice, Tropicana is selling consumers unadulterated nutritionist hucksterism. Omega-3 fatty acids are, like antioxidants, oat bran and countless others, nutrients du jour that the food industry adds to processed foods to make them appear healthy. A truly healthy diet rich in both omega-3s and -6s can be had from plenty of green leafy vegetables, which is where fish get them in the first place.
Listeners should forget the "Healthy Heart" orange juice with anchovies, forget the fish oil even. Avoid these other "edible (or in this case drinkable) food-like substances" altogether, as Michael Pollan calls them, read his book In Defense of Food, and follow his succinct advice: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."