Thursday, May 11, 2006

my 2 cents on soft drinks

I read an article/editorial in the Post (online) today that discussed efforts to ban all soft drinks from schools. This process will take about 3 years to implement and may not be enforced at all at most schools. The sodas will be replaced with bottled waters, diet sodas, and other "better" and "healthier" drinks.

Now, I'm not one to start writing about politics in my blog, but this has gone a bit far. From 8th grade through 12th, I had attended a county public magnet school that included grades 2-12. I've seen the effects of "banning sodas" so to speak and also "banning fries" on certain days. The result? Vending machines that used to have coke, cherry coke, sprite, and other Coca Cola favorites were replaced with Fruitopia. Let's see...Fruitopia tasted worse and it surely wasn't much healthier. We also had many students falling asleep due to caffeine withdrawal. While I didn't guzzle down a coke a day nor do I advocate taking caffeine to stay awake, I do occassionally enjoy a cherry coke from the vending machine. That is...until my school banned it all together.

What about personal choice? Why are we taking away "unhealthy" drinks? When is regular coke going to be banned all together since it's so bad? I'm sure one day not too far away the museum of American History will put up a coke can on display. I can hear the tour guide talking to elementary school field trip kids, "And on your right is a can of Coca-cola, it used to America's most popular soft drink. In fact, it was popular worldwide. However, during the beginning of the 21st century, as a movement to combat obesidy, Americans pointed fingers at its sugar content and banned it from schools. After that, diet coke and other "healthier" alternatives outsold coke and the industry decided to retire Coca-cola. After all, the health of our children is more important. Along with the coke can, I'm sure they'll have other assorted "bad" foods such as regular ice cream, chocolate bars, and fries.

When will parents admit responsibility for their kids' lack of nutrition education and portition control? The joys of food and culture are breaking down, every single day, due to the obsessive "healthy" research that we do. But it's better to have bland food than stay an obese first world country, right?

Before you all start to complain about product placement, I like coke and am not afraid to drink it. Besides, don't tell me you actually like diet coke and rum (shudder).


Tracy said...

Hey, just read your blog. Quite a thoughtful reply on the soda in schools deal and obviously, I quite agree with you. Never mind parental responsibility, what about personal responsibility? If I'm killing my intestines, that's my own business. I happen to appreciate the fact that Coca-Cola for one is so versatile that it can clean off the rust from my sword and provide me with a satisfying complement to my high-sodium fare. On the other hand, if the option of more healthy drinks were available, I don't see why most people would not make the effort to get the healthy drink and their particular choice of carbonated beverage. Tropicana orange juice and Coca-Cola taste good; never tried rum in mixed drinks aside from those delicious chocolate-banana-etc. concoctions back on St. John's...ah, time to fall into blissful nostalgia...

Brian Timm-Brock said...

If such a travesty as the relegation of Coca-Cola, drink of the Gods, elixir of life, to the dusty corner of a forgotten museum, then I will defect to Albania.