When Kristen Bell recently revealed on a podcast that her daughters, Lincoln, 7, and Delta, 5, occasionally drink O’Douls non-alcoholic beer, it made headlines, and the reaction on social media was mixed.
No big deal some said. It’s non-alcoholic, right?
No so fast, others stated. Non-alcoholic beer isn’t actually totally free of alcohol -- it still has .5 percent alcohol by volume.
That’s not enough to get you drunk, but is it still dangerous for a small child? Probably not, some said, because fruit juice is higher in alcohol than near-beer -- orange juice, specifically.
What? Is there really alcohol in OJ?
O’Douls contains about 2.2 grams of ethanol alcohol per pint. Meanwhile, fruit juice like apple, orange and grape have up to .77 grams of ethanol alcohol per liter. Bananas and hamburger buns have small amounts of alcohol, too -- about .5 grams in a small banana and a whopping 1.2 grams in a hamburger bun. Can you get bread drunk?
Adults cannot get drunk off of juice, fruit and bread because with their body mass, it is metabolized quickly. The amount of juice you would have to consume to get a buzz would likely make you sick before drunk. Small children may be a different story, though.
A 2016 German study tried to figure out if the amount of alcohol in foods was concerning to children, especially when they’re pounding juice and eating bananas and bread in mass quantities. They found that some foods contain significantly more alcohol than homeopathic alcohol-containing medicines that require a warning label. Whether food needs a warning label was found to be “questionable.”
Whether children should be limiting breads and juice because of their alcohol content is also questionable, but the bigger concern should probably be the high amount of sugar in those foods, before the alcohol. Those foods are not good in high quantities, anyway.
As for Kristen Bell’s kids, the O’Douls will not hurt them any more than OJ. Why kids would enjoy the taste of a near-beer is a whole other question.
TL;DR: Fruit juices, fruit and bread sometimes have more booze in them than a non-alcoholic beer, but not enough to get you drunk.