By Leslie Kahn,
Berkeley, California became the first American city to pass a soda tax earlier this month with San Francisco also poised to do the same. There will now be a 1 cent-an-ounce tax on soda. I have long thought this was such a great idea. Of course, that's because I hate soda and never drink the stuff, so it's no "skin off my nose" if there is a tax on something I don't even consume.
Here's my dirty, little secret. I used to be a coke addict. No, not that coke, the other coke; the stuff that removes rust from metal. In my book, anything that can act like CLR ain't nothing I want to put into my body. After all, my body's a temple. Isn't yours? I drank tons of coca-cola when I was a kid. And then, just like that, I decided, at age 16, that I didn't want to drink it anymore. For all intents and purposes, I haven't had one since. That was 44 years ago. OK. If I am going to be totally honest, here, I did have a few in 1975 when I lived in Spain and Cuba Libres were popular at the discotheques. In case you aren't familiar with a Cuba Libre, it is made with coca-cola, rum, lime juice and a slice of lime.
As a reformed addict, I love that feeling of being high and mighty because I was able to give up my soft drink addiction quite easily and never looked back, while the rest of you sniveling addicts live in fear of a soda tax. Well, maybe you don't. Anyway, that stuff REALLY isn't good for you. Let's look at the ingredients, shall we?
1. High Fructose Corn Syrup or Sucrose derived from cane sugar
2. Caramel Color
4. Phosphoric Acid
5. Coca extract
6. Lime extract
Did you know that one 600 ml bottle (≈20.29 U.S. fl. oz.) of Coca-Cola contains the approximate equivalent of 15 teaspoons of sugar? You drink 3-4 of those babies every day and you are looking at Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, cancer, liver damage, dementia, dehydration, cavities, gum disease and stress fractures since phosphoric acid interferes with calcium absorption.
Don't even get me started on how bad high fructose corn syrup is. It is made from corn, mainly the GMO type and the process of making it involves traces of mercury. If you really want to know about HFCS, read this article. It should put you off drinking soda the moment you finish the article.
Next on the Hit Parade of chemicals in your soda is caramel coloring. No, it is not some benign substance that colors our food and drink brown, it is made from a carcinogenic chemical called 4-methylimidazole. This causes cancer in mice and is "possibly carcinogenic to humans." After you read this article, unless you don't have a brain in your head, you will never eat or drink anything with caramel coloring ever again.
Feel free to thank me for educating you about how soda is "the spawn of Satan." It seems only fair that we should do a "whip around" via a soda tax to raise money for the medical care you will need if you keep drinking soda.
In anticipation of all the soda most Americans will be drinking at Thanksgiving Dinner which is one of the biggest examples of excess known to humankind, I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving... and drink some water, instead, whadya?