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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Soda Making > Soda's negative stigma
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:49 AM   #1
jdemshki
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Default Soda's negative stigma

Why is soda so frowned upon? Really though? There are plenty of things that are much worse for you. Does anyone have any thoughts on this, I would love to hear it just to understand more.

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Old 11-12-2013, 09:13 AM   #2
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I think soda is hated by folks who falsely think it is gratuitous sugar... simply a water substitute rather than a dessert substitute or elixer of life. Or they think it is a milk substitute, not knowing milk is quite bad for you and the environment. Why grab a coke rather than water they think. Maybe if they climbed out of their a/c suv and did some hard work or play, they could appreciate the wow factor and restorative qualities of a fizzy vavoom.

Here they are always on the brink of charging a huge sugar tax for soda, yet look at the shelves of cereal which are almost entirely packed with sugar. I drink soda, then eliminate desserts and choose uncooked oatmeal flakes for cereal (yummy with cranberry juice rather than oily milk). That choice should be my right, but you can meet self righteous food fascists among the nicest people... go to a health seminar or the like and wise them up a bit.

I give thanks to sodastream for a safety valve from this nonsense, although cannot stand the fake sugar they sell in syrups, or any kind. What kind of freak taste buds do the many here have that can stand ANY sugar substitute? They ALL taste like kerosene, including the new fashionable ones like stevia. Bless agave syrup with a glycemic index less than one third of sugar... makes a terrific soda.

Another aspect is the recycle religion. Not the rational side which wouldn't pass in the free market with new lightweight cans, but the faith based ones that make huge complications for no reason but to encourage identity theft by dumpster divers.

We have only one soda cannery within 2500 miles, and it is an older style with slightly heavier cans. Instead of gruesome cost and complications for recycling, they could just spend a few bucks for a more modern can mold. I marvel at the cans that are shipped in from afar... thin fragile things with hardly more aluminum than on a foil gum wrapper.

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Old 11-12-2013, 11:56 AM   #3
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I'd say the main reason soda pop is frowned upon is because of the incredible amounts of it that people drink. Common sense should tell us that much sugar and caffeine can't be good for people, especially children, if consumed on a regular basis. Not to mention what the combination of sugar and carbonation can do to teeth.

When I was a kid, my parents would occasionally treat me to a 6.5 oz bottle of Coca Cola. Nowadays, I see small children walking out of convenience stores with 44 oz cups as big as their heads... on their way to school. Nothing like a classroom full of kids with sugar/caffeine rushes.

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Joan Sprat went to brewing
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But as for the malt
She forgot to put that.
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:10 PM   #4
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Here are some things to consider:
LD50 of caffeine - 200mg/kg
LD50 of ethanol - 7060mg/kg
A bit out of context considering a person has to consume like 100 or more cups of coffee in an hour to get there, whereas hitting the lethal ethanol concentration is a lot easier.

Most colas, some root beers, and Dr. Pepper contain phosphoric acid, which is the most acidic component of any soda. It is used as a rust remover for ships in dry-dock. This would be the most damaging component to your teeth (and bone density) before the citric acid, sugar or carbonation even think about doing anything. High levels of phosphorus can also be damaging to kidneys. Anyone with kidney disease will likely tell you that their doctor prescribes a low phosphorus diet, which is will probably prohibit or severely limit cola consumption.

The sugar content is rather high, but additionally, America's soda intake has gotten ridiculous. Everyone is blaming HFCS while they should be pointing fingers at (self) portion control. Troy was spot on. The common size of soda was a 6.5-8 oz bottle up until only a few decades ago. And it was a treat, only consumed on special occasions. When McDonald's opened in the 1950's, the only size of Coke they offered was a 7oz cup. Now a "small" at just about any restaurant is 24oz to say nothing of a "large" or even "super" size. Cokes sugar content is 27g per 8oz. At 24oz that puts it 81g which in my experience is a little over 1/3 cup. That's not too bad, except that now it's with every meal and includes unlimited free refills.

I'm not even going to go into preservatives creating benzene, non-nutritive sweeteners causing cancer or inhibiting satiety causing us to eat more, HFCS paranoia, or conspiracy theories against Big Food; mostly because most of those things are unfounded and I think there is more misinformation by people looking for scandals than much hard science.

The bottom line is that it's bad for us when it's our steady diet, but it tastes awesome, so it sells so really well. And since no one has any self control these days, they need someone to blame. It's a "the devil (soda) made me do it." mentality.
</soapbox>

On the other side of the coin:

The carbonation itself is rather benign. Carbonic acid is the buffer system in your blood. If you're body is too acidic, you start to breathe heavily to regulate pH. Death by hyperventilation is death by alkylosis. Drinking pop isn't likely to "cut your wind" as many high school sports coaches will tell you either. Unless of course you are drinking it while running.

Though I don't quite agree with his "milk is quite bad for you" comment (more research needs to go into nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics before I'll accept that blanket statement as truth), daft is right on with the idea that soda is a dessert substitute, not a water substitute. Treat it like a treat and you should be fine. We don't incriminate birthday cake as the downfall of society, but that's because we don't have massive amounts with every meal. Soda should be the same. At our dinner table, our family (of 6) shares one or two 24oz bottles on the occasions when we do have pop and then it's water for the rest of the meal.

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Old 11-12-2013, 05:28 PM   #5
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Grew up on a Dairy farm milking 100 cows twice a day. Milk isn't bad for you unless... like soda... you drink too many calories of it! It also isn't bad for the environment unless you are on the environmental side of the argument that thinks that cow farts are warming the planet.

Soda is like anything else..... in moderation it's ok. If you are exceeding your daily caloric intake then you are going to gain weight whether you are drinking soda, beer or water! Obviously if you are carb sensitive or diabetic (or are at a risk of developing diabetes) you should avoid it except for a rare occasion.

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Old 11-12-2013, 05:38 PM   #6
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About fifteen years ago when construction was in the toilet (again), I was ranging as far as 600 miles from home to keep working. Eventually my wife started raising hell and I told her, "I'm going where the work is. Would you rather I stay home and get a job at the 7-11?"

She shocked me by saying, "we can survive that for a year or two if we have to..." And she would know; she's always been the one who paid the bills. So next thing I knew, I was spending a year as the graveyard clerk at the local 7-11 convenience store about six blocks from home.

I was appalled by what kids ate and drank on their way to school, and by the fact that their parents seemed to be just as clueless about nutrition. One example has stuck in my memory: a cheerful, short little woman built like a jiggly beach ball came in one morning with her son, who was about ten years old and built just like her. She bought him a breakfast sausage in a bun (that he buried in mayonnaise and mustard), two chocolate candy bars, and a 32 oz soda pop. And she hung in mothering him while he ate it: "have you had enough, sweetie? Are you sure you don't want some potato chips or another candy bar, or some more soda? Why don't you pick out a snack to take with you for recess?"

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Joan Sprat went to brewing
A barrel of ale.
She put in some hops,
That it might not turn stale.

But as for the malt
She forgot to put that.
'This is sober liquor,'
Says little Jack Sprat.
-traditional
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:45 PM   #7
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You nailed it, jdemshki: singling out soda is, from a purely food nutrient perspective, nonsense. There are plenty of worse things that people can and do eat, in moderation or otherwise so why is soda being demonized?

The answer is that it's not a question of nutrition but a question of policy. There is no other single food substance that matches the scale / impact of soda on average US health. It's a drink and not a food, and therefore often consumed mindlessly. Serving sizes have ballooned over the past 40 years even faster than other foods (which have also doubled in size). It is also one of the highest margin food products to sell, since you can essentially double the size for $0.05 more and still make $0.04 on that deal due to the water content in fountain soda. Finally, from a supply perspective, the reason high fructose corn syrup is bad is because corn is so subsidized that we need to sell it SOMEHOW, so that's doesn't help in making soda crazy inexpensive.

Add to it the massive marketing budgets and the strong brand identification (and just two major players - Coke and Pepsi), and you're going to have soda being the #1 target for trying to reform American eating habits.

Agree with it or disagree, either way it's not the nutrition, it's everything else about it that makes it a preferred target. And policy questions have no choice but to target something. There's no way to enforce overall eating habits or moderation.

I go back and forth between between "personal responsibility" and saying that we should just let the market charge oversight / obese individuals more for health care coverage, but then I see that clearly this attitude has no actual impact in the real world. People suck it down like water when it should be a treat. We're still saddled as a society with the impact of obesity and diabetes. We're ALL going to wind up paying for it. I don't know what the answer is. When I put on my "practical" hat, a tax on soda makes sense because although it would hit occasional users it would mostly hurt abusers, which is who needs to be targeted.

Society is complicated. To me, the only way to argue a singular line of "personal responsibility" across the board is to argue that people should be left untreated at the hospital so that we all don't have to shoulder the cost of their decisions. But usually that's not going to be a winning argument!

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Old 11-12-2013, 11:47 PM   #8
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So my goal is to make a soda, or at least attempt, that just goes against all of these negatives. So my first fix is to take out the sugar. Obviously aspartame is out of the question because people hate that as much. My plan is to use monk fruit extract right now. does anyone have any thoughts or additional suggestions?

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Old 11-13-2013, 01:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdemshki View Post
So my goal is to make a soda, or at least attempt, that just goes against all of these negatives. So my first fix is to take out the sugar. Obviously aspartame is out of the question because people hate that as much. My plan is to use monk fruit extract right now. does anyone have any thoughts or additional suggestions?
My opinion? If you're going to make cornbread, make cornbread. And if you're going to make cake, make cake....

To me sugar is an integral part of soda pop, and I have no problem with that. The problem is with people guzzling it instead of water....

There used to be a cooking column in the Riverside Enterprise where people sent in their favorite recipes, and the columnist would create 'healthy' versions of them. I kept track of the column for the original recipes, not the healthified ones... Who the bleep wants to eat a 'healthy' version of a treat they only make once in a blue moon?
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Joan Sprat went to brewing
A barrel of ale.
She put in some hops,
That it might not turn stale.

But as for the malt
She forgot to put that.
'This is sober liquor,'
Says little Jack Sprat.
-traditional
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:54 AM   #10
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Milk is bad for me. Lactose intolerance.

I average drinking soda once or twice a month. I generally don't drink it because:
1. The more empty sugar calories I can avoid, the better off I am.
2. I try not to have more caffeine than my regular 3 to 4 cups of coffee in the morning. Caffeine in the afternoon or evening can give me insomnia.
3. Soda makes my chronic heartburn worse.

That said, I have no problem with a refined sugar tax. There is too much refined sugar. It's in freaking everything.

But I don't think soda should be singled out.

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