24 July, 2007

Killer Soft Drink

A new study about soft drinks has concluded that one soft drink a day will do you harm. Geez I wonder why I am not surprised and neither should you be. Soft drinks all contain additives and preservatives up the wazoo, to stop what's inside from spoiling on the can and leading to a nasty lawsuit when a drink does obvious damage rather than the hidden subtle damage.

Remember the additives? If a soft drink was composed of fruit, water, and carbon dioxide, then I'd say they would be okay in quantities of one a day. But in addition, every soft drink contains additional very processed white sugar or artificial sweetener, and very artificial and unnatural preservatives, colourants, flavourings, modifiers, and, if you're lucky, up to 5% fruit juice. (Which by the way is not guaranteed to be pure fruit juice even if they had trademarked the name "pure fruit juice" because pure fruit juice has to have some form of preservative in it too.)

Of course the soft drink manufacturers immediately struck back with their most powerful weapon, the old "no it doesn't, either, nyah nyah! You can't prove a thing!" ploy. And of course I'm going to believe their research with its vested interest only in selling soft drink - NOT your health - to give me the results that I can trust, as opposed to a whole range of bodies whose research is set up specifically to find out what things are harming my health. But I must be in the minority, because I still see those drinks on the shelves...

The study doesn't actually go far enough for me, there are a few things I'm curious to know. For example, what about soda water drinkers? Are they at greater risk of arterial plaques and heart disease? What about beer? What about microbrewery beers produced without the range of preservatives and additives? Ciders and meads?

Because I'm betting that if you add fizz to something, it will not harm you aside from maybe giving you hiccups, but as soon as you add something whose parent food is a chemical formula, things are gonna get distinctly dangerous.

One last thought. Making all those chemicals costs us heaps in energy and pollution. Processing it all costs a lot in energy and pollution. Drinking it gives you a raft of health problems that are better off avoided. So why?

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