Tag Archives | Beverages

What Coke Contains

CocaCola C2Kevin Ashton describes exactly what goes into the cans of coke he buys at his local supermarket in Los Angeles. Do you still want to drink this stuff?

The Vons grocery store two miles from my home in Los Angeles, California sells 12 cans of Coca-Cola for $6.59 — 54 cents each. The tool chain that created this simple product is incomprehensibly complex.

Each can originated in a small town of 4,000 people on the Murray River in Western Australia called Pinjarra. Pinjarra is the site of the world’s largest bauxite mine. Bauxite is surface mined — basically scraped and dug from the top of the ground. The bauxite is crushed and washed with hot sodium hydroxide, which separates it into aluminum hydroxide and waste material called red mud. The aluminum hydroxide is cooled, then heated to over a thousand degrees celsius in a kiln, where it becomes aluminum oxide, or alumina.

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Woman Dies From Drinking Too Much Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola Glas mit EisLet’s face it, drinking Coke just isn’t good for you. Not many people are going to die from it, but on the other hand why risk damaging your health at all? BBC News reports on the Kiwi who took her addiction to Coca-Cola way too far:

Drinking large quantities of Coca-Cola was a “substantial factor” in the death of a 30-year-old woman in New Zealand, a coroner has said.

Natasha Harris, who died three years ago after a cardiac arrest, drank up to 10 litres of the fizzy drink each day.

This is twice the recommended safe limit of caffeine and more than 11 times the recommended sugar intake.

Coca-Cola had argued that it could not be proved its product had contributed to Ms Harris’ death.

The coroner’s verdict came on the day Coca-Cola Sales said sales in Europe and China fell in the last quarter of 2012, and warned of a “volatile” year to come.

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Caffeinated Energy Drinks Linked To Five Deaths

Sugar- and caffeine-drenched “extreme” beverages actually live up to their marketing, give people heart attacks immediately after consuming, Yahoo! News reports:

The highly caffeinated Monster Energy Drink has been cited in five deaths and one non-fatal heart attack, according to reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating. The reports claim that people had adverse reactions after they consumed Monster Energy Drink, which comes in 24-ounce cans and contains 240 milligrams of caffeine, or seven times the amount of the caffeine in a 12-ounce cola.

News of the FDA’s investigation follows a filing last week of a wrongful death suit in Riverside, Calif., by the parents of a 14-year-old Hagerstown girl who died after drinking two, 24-ounce Monster Energy Drinks in 24 hours.

Monster Beverage Corp., which touts on its web site that the Monster Energy Drink is a “killer energy brew” and “the meanest energy supplement on the planet,” puts labels on cans that state that the drinks are not recommended for children and people who are sensitive to caffeine.

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4chan Names Mountain Dew’s New Drink

Diabeetus for the win!

Neetzan Zimmerman for the Gawker

Mountain Dew — excuse me, Mtn Dew — reached out to Internet users for assistance in giving its new green-apple-infused beverage a name by launching a viral contest called “Dub the Dew.”

Enter: 4chan.

Happy to help, members of the infamous imageboard descended on the website to contribute suggestions such as “Fapple,” “Gushing Granny,” and, of course, “Hitler did nothing wrong.”

The corporate Powers-That-Be ultimately pulled the plug on the social experiment, but not before the site was hacked to include a fake attribution to 9gag (4chan’s mortal enemy), a Rickroll, and a marquee that read “Mtn Dew salutes the Israeli Mossad for demolishing 3 towers on 9/11!”

Read more at  Gawker

 

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The Truth About Sports Drinks

If you’ve ever looked at a fluorescent colored so-called “sports drink” (i.e. Gatorade, Powerade and all the wannabes in the category) and wondered if it could possibly quality as a natural, healthy beverage, we now know the answer: No, it’s not. Don’t take my word for it, here’s an exhaustive review of the relevant science by Deborah Cohen in the BMJ:

Prehydrate; drink ahead of thirst; train your gut to tolerate more fluid; your brain doesn’t know you’re thirsty—the public and athletes alike are bombarded with messages about what they should drink, and when, during exercise. But these drinking dogmas are relatively new. In the 1970s, marathon runners were discouraged from drinking fluids for fear that it would slow them down, says Professor Tim Noakes, Discovery health chair of exercise and sports science at Cape Town University. At the first New York marathon in 1970, there was little discussion about the role of hydration—it was thought to have little scientific value.

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New York To Implement Ban On Large Sugared Beverages

Photo: Russell Bernice (CC)

Photo: Russell Bernice (CC)

I’m massively against the consumption of super-sized HFCS-laden soda, but is New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg creating a mini “Nanny State” with his latest plan to outlaw any size of sugared drinks larger than 16 ounces? Michael M. Gyrnbaum reports for the New York Times:

New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.

The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.

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Would You Like Cancer With Your Coke?

CocaColaBottle background freeThe Coca-Cola Company doesn’t like it, but it’s removing the caramel coloring from Coke due to California declaring the compound to be a carcinogen. Via WBUR:

When the state of California added the compound 4-methylimidazole, also known as 4-MI or 4-MEI, to its list of known carcinogens in 2011, it created a problem for the soda industry.

The caramel color they used to give colas that distinctive, brown hue contained levels of 4-MI that would have warranted a cancer warning label on every can sold in the state.

And this wasn’t the industry’s only challenge. The Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban ammonia-sulfite caramel color. It’s a request the CSPI repeated this week after finding 4-MI in samples of Coke and Pepsi.

“This is nothing more than CSPI scare tactics, and their claims are outrageous,” writes the American Beverage Association in a statement released to the media.

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Chill Out Drinks Are The New Cool Beverage

purple-stuffEunju Lie reports on the new trend in beverages for Reuters:
Sales of "relaxation drinks" with names like Vacation in a Bottle, Dream Water and Just Chill, while small, are growing. "There is clear potential for further growth in the coming years," said Cecilia Martinez, market analyst at UK-based beverage research group Zenith International.
Relaxation drinks help the body chill out by relieving muscle tension and reducing levels of cortisone, the main stress hormone, according to a report that Martinez wrote about the drinks earlier this year.
The drinks, which evolved in Japan as far back as 2005, contain no alcohol but some have melatonin, a hormone that can cause drowsiness. The biggest relaxation brands include Innovative Beverage Group's Drank, Purple Stuff and Jones GABA.
Another called Slow Cow is up and coming...
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Caramel Coloring In Coke Causes Cancer

Photo Credit: Jorge Bach, CSPI

Photo Credit: Jorge Bach, CSPI

A few days ago it was revealed that diet soda can trigger strokes in regular drinkers of the sweet fizzy beverages. Now the Center for Science in the Public Interest is petitioning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prohibit what it says is carcinogenic “caramel coloring” (that is, not real caramel but synthetic, chemical “caramel”):

The “caramel coloring” used in Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other foods is contaminated with two cancer-causing chemicals and should be banned, according to a regulatory petition filed today by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

In contrast to the caramel one might make at home by melting sugar in a saucepan, the artificial brown coloring in colas and some other products is made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures. Chemical reactions result in the formation of 2-methylimidazole and 4 methylimidazole, which in government-conducted studies caused lung, liver, or thyroid cancer or leukemia in laboratory mice or rats.

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