Shake it Up
A local natural food company is set out to change the industry.

By Camilla Andersson

When you sip your favorite cold-pressed juice, do you ever stop to think about what happened to the produce that did not make it into the juice? Angela Zeng did. After learning that some companies throw more than half of the plants into the trash, she decided to start her own juice company Karuna together with her husband Dr. Shawn Hu.

Zeng says it is also absurd to make milk from products like almonds. Instead, Karuna uses fruits and vegetables that are naturally juicy, which preserves most of the plant and its nutrients. The use of nutrition-packed plants also means there is no need to add vitamin and protein powders made in the lab. The aronia berries in Karuna’s Heal drink, for example, are one of nature’s most concentrated sources of antioxidants, and the mung bean sprouts contribute to the drink having twice as much protein as almond milk.

Karuna also is challenging another industry trend: juices almost as sweet as sodas. Karuna’s products are naturally low in sugar, because if you are going to have 40 gram of sugar, you might as well enjoy a doughnut. 

Karuna means compassion in Buddhism and it was compassion for herself, others and the planet that guided Zeng to create the company. It is also the root of everything that goes into the bottle, including the ancient Asian plants known to nurture both body and soul. Chinese dates, for example, are key components in one of Karuna’s Hydrate drinks, as well as in blood tonics in Chinese herbal remedies.

And the taste? Surprisingly delicious, considering the low sugar content, and refreshingly unique, because many of the ingredients only can be found in specialty grocery stores. Move over, carrot and orange juice. Longan berries, aronia berries and monk fruit are here to stay.

To learn more and to find Karuna visit