Tag Archives | Soda

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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Coca-Cola’s Superbowl Commercial Is A Microcosm Of The Idea Of America

If you want to understand our culture, watch our commercials. Via Salon, Michael Shaw writes:

With the West in an endless struggle in the Middle East not just for resources but mindshare, we see the Coke bottle — the symbol of globalization and American commercialism — sitting there in the hot sand, the object of desire for, first of all, a hapless Gulf prince/camel jockey. Resonating with [the looming] immigration debate, we then have a Hispanic desperado evoking the desert as if the province of thirsty Mexicans looking north.

It’s funny but not-so-funny when you consider that what America has to offer is, in fact, a mirage. What the ad people realize I’m sure is that, after more than a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, the idea of “quenching” — no matter how much you “put down” the Arabs and Islamists — couldn’t be more ironic.

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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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Mountain Dew Will Dissolve Rats On Contact

Mountain DewIf you like soft drinks the way I do, that is, looking like my conception of nuclear waste, this is really good news. From the Smoking Gun:

Defending itself from a lawsuit claiming that an Illinois man found a dead mouse inside a can of Mountain Dew, PepsiCo contends that a rodent would have disintegrated and been transformed into a “jelly-like” substance between the time of the soft drink’s bottling and the day the plaintiff reportedly purchased the soda from a vending machine at his office.

In a court response to a motion filed by Ronald Ball–who claims to have found the dead mouse in a Mountain Dew can about three years ago–PepsiCo filed a fascinating/revolting affidavit from Lawrence McGill, a veterinarian who noted that he was “familiar with the effects an acidic fluid, such as common soda drinks including Mountain Dew, will have on mice and other animals.”

According to McGill, if a mouse is submerged in Mountain Dew between four and seven days, the rodent “will have no calcium in its bones and bony structures.” During those days of soft drink immersion, “the mouse’s abdominal structure will rupture.” Additionally, “its cranial cavity (head) is also likely to rupture within that time period,” McGill noted.

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Pepsi Getting Heat for Use of Aborted Fetal Cells in Flavor Research

PepsiDavid Bohon writes in the New American:

Shareholders of PepsiCo have filed a resolution with the Securities and Exchange Commission in an effort to force the company to stop contracting with a research firm that uses cells from aborted babies in its process of producing artificial flavor enhancers. According to LifeNews.com, Pepsi has “ignored concerns and criticism from dozens of pro-life groups and tens of thousands of pro-life people who voiced their opposition to PepsiCo contracting with biotech company Senomyx even after it was found to be testing their food additives using fetal cells from abortions.”

On its website Senomyx explains that its flavor research programs “focus on the discovery and development of savory, sweet and salt flavor ingredients that are intended to allow for the reduction of MSG, sugar and salt in food and beverage products. Using isolated human taste receptors, we created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor.”

But Debi Vinnedge of Children of God for Life, a pro-life group that has focused its attention on Pepsi’s relationship with Senomyx, pointed out that what the company does not reveal is that it is “using HEK293 — human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors.

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A Tax On Unhealthy Foods?

Source: New York Times

Source: New York Times

The New York Times‘ Mark Bittman proposes a tax on junk food. What do you think – is he right?

What will it take to get Americans to change our eating habits? The need is indisputable, since heart disease, diabetes and cancer are all in large part caused by the Standard American Diet. (Yes, it’s SAD.)

Though experts increasingly recommend a diet high in plants and low in animal products and processed foods, ours is quite the opposite, and there’s little disagreement that changing it could improve our health and save tens of millions of lives.

And — not inconsequential during the current struggle over deficits and spending — a sane diet could save tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars in health care costs.

Yet the food industry appears incapable of marketing healthier foods. And whether its leaders are confused or just stalling doesn’t matter, because the fixes are not really their problem.

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One Quarter Of American Teens Drink Soda Every Day

SodaFountain

For those of you wondering why America’s greatest threat is obesity, this is at least part of the answer, although the CDC is spinning it as good news. From AP via Yahoo News:

A new study shows one in four high school students drink soda every day — a sign fewer teens are downing the sugary drinks… That’s less than in the past. In the 1990s and early 2000s, more than three-quarters of teens were having a sugary drink each day, according to earlier research.

The CDC reported the figures Thursday, based on a national survey last year of more than 11,000 high school students. They appear in one of the federal agency’s publications, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Consumption of sugary drinks is considered a big public health problem, and has been linked to the U.S. explosion in childhood obesity. One study of Massachusetts schoolchildren found that for each additional sweet drink per day, the odds of obesity increased 60 percent.

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Only In America: Purchase A Giant Pepsi To Raise Money For Diabetes Research

kfc_pepsi_diabetesThe Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has confirmed that this is a real promotion occurring now at KFCs across the country. Gulp down a “mega jug” of Pepsi — that’s a half gallon containing 56 spoonfuls of sugar — and one whole dollar will go towards finding a cure for the terrible disease that the drink will give you. Via Grist:

I honestly didn’t believe this one was for real at first. No way even KFC, purveyors of a sandwich that uses fried meat as a delivery mechanism for fried meat, would seriously market a soda size called the “mega jug.” And even if they did, they’d never have the chutzpah to donate “mega jug” dollars to juvenile diabetes research.

Sadly, I had totally underestimated KFC’s capacity for irony. The mega jug is a half gallon of soda, and this is a real local promotion. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation defends it thus: “JDRF supports research for type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that results when the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, therefore requiring a child or adult with the disease to depend on insulin treatment for the rest of their lives.

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Pepsi Unveils Plastic Bottle Made Entirely From Plants

plasticPepsi is trumpeting its creation of a plastic bottle made entirely from plant matter. Great — now we’ll be filling our landfills with plastic forever, even after we run out of oil. Via Gizmodo:

Soda’s bad for you, but plastics—especially the petroleum-based PET plastics used widely for bottles—are bad for everyone. Thankfully, after millions of dollars and years of research, Pepsi thinks it’s cracked the code on a 100% plant-based PET bottle.

It looks…just like the old bottle. “It’s indistinguishable,” says Rocco Papalia, PepsiCo’s senior vice president of advanced research. But instead of drawing from our planet’s diminishing supply of petroleum, it’s made entirely from plant waste—currently switch grass, pine bark, corn husks and eventually incorporating orange peels, oat hulls, potato scraps and other materials leftover from its food business.

Pepsi’s going to test the bottle with a run of a few hundred thousand in 2012, and if all goes well they plan on converting all their products to the new bottles thereafter.

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