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Create awareness of a particular diet choice... Answered

What would make the world a better place...depends how you define world, and your benchmark for what distinguishes better place.  This contest suggests things that would improve home, neighborhood, society, and planet.  I have an idea that would improve all of the above!

Health: Personal back story:  Growing up I drank a lot of pop.  It was not uncommon to polish of a 12 pack of soda in a day or two, and this would happen regularly.  For the last fifteen years I've consumed at least 2-4 liters of cola per week, if you average it out (probably closer to ten).  Thats a conservative 2000 litres of cola.  At ~120 grams of sugar per Liter, that works out to a whopping 240 KILOGRAMS of sugar.  Now, were my parents terrible?  I don't think so - the knowledge wasnt out there that us kids were being fed a high sugar highly addictive substance that really messed with our bodies.
  I can personally account that I had a terrible sleep schedule growing up, and I can directly attribute it to sugar/caffeine.  Unlike many friends I know I managed to stay skinny and somewhat 'in shape' through hyperactivity.  The artificial insomnia destroyed my school scores - as I spent a lot of time very tired in class, not paying attention - and was even suggested to go on medications to 'fix' how 'weird' I acted.  Most all of my child teeth and adult teeth are full of fillings where I had cavities - and I can't have cold food touch my teeth because I have almost no enamel left.  Consider now the direct economic cost of this:  At an average of a dollar per liter - multiply by the number of 'addicted' heavy user kids out there, and you have yourself a staggering amount.  I'm not alone.  I know lots of friends with similar stories - some less fortunate with serious health problems like diabetes and bariatric problems. 

Economy: The high fructose corn syrup industry has halfway destroyed the cane sugar market in many third world countries.  Soda machines all over, often in schools, rape the pocketbooks of young persons for a product they don't need.  Pretend for a moment you are a drug dealer gang boss.  Now imagine you can put a legal salesman in most every school, "free".  I don't need to explain the rest of the story.

Society:  Soft drinks are not 'evil' - they are an enjoyable vice that when taken in reasonable quantity aren't that harmful.  Therein lies the problem - they are marketed as the be-all and end-all to be happy, thirst quenched, and popular.  Couple this with the fact that they contain high levels of two of the most addictive legal substances out there:  Caffeine and glucose.  Our nervous systems don't stand a chance.

Environment:  Frankly you'd be surprised how much carbon dioxide comes from the soda industry - that fizz goes somewhere after you *kssshk* open the can.  High fructose corn syrup is bad not just for your body but for the environment.  Some areas are very good at recycling, but still others are brutally abysmal at their three R's.  Many COUNTRIES in fact don't recycle at all.  That's a LOT of plastic and aluminum ending up in the environment, to be there long after we are gone.

My proposal:  What I want to see is awareness campaigns of the health risks of being a heavy user - in conjunction with warning labels similar to what the tobacco industry has on their products.  I want to see their huge profits going into the community (like in this contest - more of it!).  Make companies accountable for their products.

photo courtesy freefoto.com

Discussions

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Koosie

9 years ago

What, only 2 -4 litres a week?! I can't see how this had a bad effect on you (or anybody).  I agree, excessive consumption is bad, but I drank a lot more than that and I didn't have any of the problems you mentioned.

I agree with your idea to have warning labels on them, something small like "Caution: Caffeine is addictive!"  or  "Watch-out: Sugar makes you fat!"

Small steps in the right direction.

Darn, that glass looks good!

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lemonie

9 years ago

Carbon dioxide in soft drinks is an industrial by-product, it's not produced for soft drinks, they just use it.

L

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Lithium Rainlemonie

Reply 9 years ago

On the contrary - they're carbonated on purpose.

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kelseymhLithium Rain

Reply 9 years ago

Yes, they're carbonated on purpose, but Lemonie's point is that the CO2 the producers buy isn't made specially for them.  It's a buyproduct of other industrial processes, and if there weren't a buyer for it, it would just be released into the atmosphere as waste.

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Lithium Rainkelseymh

Reply 9 years ago

Oh, I see what he's saying now (and a very valid point, too) - thanks. I thought he meant soft drinks are carbonated by happenstance rather than on purpose.

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frollardlemonie

Reply 9 years ago

okay, so that one is net neutral within the scope of this argument; big picture we need to cut down on industrial by-producing co2. :S

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lemoniefrollard

Reply 9 years ago

It's industrial hydrogen. Remember that when people are talking about hydrogen as a fuel...
E.g. steam reforming, it feeds into ammonia (agricultural fertilisers) and other chemical feedstocks (methanol, acetic acid etc).

Agricultural (fertilisers) is a big one, also rice cultivation

L

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frollardlemonie

Reply 9 years ago

We got a tour a few years back of a facility that makes carbon black - primary ingredient in solid rocket fuel.

Use natural gas to heat porrous bricks up to a bajillion degrees, evacuate the chamber, then dump in more fuel sans oxygen - it cracks the carbon out and releases hydrogen that is cooled and used to fuel a sister reactor next to it - to heat the bricks for the next phase.  Neat process!

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Kiteman

9 years ago

Environmentalism through irony - I like it.

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frollardKiteman

Reply 9 years ago

This is of course intended for the pepsi project, wasn't sure where to put it -- it's tongue in cheek but serious at the same time, biting the hand that feeds the 'competition' for betterness.