Help us bring Grins to more faces!

Grins is in the running for a $250,000 grant from Chase and LivingSocial’s Mission:Small Business program.

We’re asking all our fans to go to missionsmallbusiness.com, log in with Facebook and cast a vote for Grins Enterprises, based in North Carolina. You can vote now through the end of this month, and we’d love it if you could share your votes with your Facebook friends.

This grant would allow us to bring more people on at Grins Headquarters, which would mean we could spread Grins in more schools and stores around the country. The response to our product has been so overwhelmingly positive so far that we know that increasing the Grins workforce would really allow us to take off!

We need all the votes we can get, so tell your friends and family how much you like Grins and what we’re all about. Thanks for your support, we are putting Grins on new faces every day!

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Fruit juice, sugar and why we’re making Grins

The above clip is from the recent HBO documentary, “The Weight of the Nation,” a call to action on America’s obesity epidemic.

Among the points the film addresses is the way we seem to have swapped out soda for 100 percent fruit juice in so many areas of daily life (school cafeterias, hospitals, etc.), under the assumption that it is “healthier.”

While fruit juice is a much more natural beverage than soda and provides many more vitamins, the main driver behind obesity, weight gain and increased diabetes rates is sugar and caloric intake.

On this measure alone, juice doesn’t look that different from soda.

Take, for instance, 100 percent apple juice. An 8-ounce serving has 120 calories, and 26 grams of sugar. An 8-ounce serving of Coca-Cola has 100 calories and 27 grams of sugar.

Surprised? So were we, and that’s one of the reasons we created Grins. We wanted to bring an all-natural beverage to the marketplace that would give people a great-tasting option that delivered fewer calories and less sugar than other popular beverages.

An 8-ounce serving of Grins has 50 calories and 12 grams of sugar. Half (or less) than you’ll find in many juices and sodas.

You can read more about recommendations for limiting juice intake in this recent story by a writer for the Chicago Tribune. It includes this quote from the HBO documentary:

“Juice is just like soda, and I’m saying it right here on camera,” pediatric obesity specialist Robert Lustig said in the documentary “Weight of the Nation,” produced in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “There is no difference. When you take fruit and squeeze it, you throw the fiber in the garbage. That was the good part of the fruit. The juice is nature’s way of getting you to eat your fiber.”