The Truth About What Makes Sodas Pop

26 03 2007

Diet Coke

By Jill Ettinger

Truth has consequences. What we perceive as ultimate accuracy, no matter how sure we are in our own minds, will always be seen by another in at least a slightly (if not drastically) different light. It’s inescapable, and perhaps the only universally-shared truth. There’s simply no way around our isolation, in as such that we can only see what we see. We are participants in this collective as fragments coming together to form the puzzle of humanity, yet remain, in some ways, disparate. This disconnect is what drives us to those base human behaviors like anger, fear and ultimately, war. It’s those moments where we connect on passionate and compassionate levels with one another that we find calm, peace and understanding.

Based on these wavy lines of our common vision, we’ve built ourselves a world of anticipation, as if we can guarantee what is coming next. Habits form out of the pursuit of predictability and as we reap, we sow. We seek to gain some level of perfection through daily routines, becoming “ready” or prepared for the next moment, and the one after that. But, is there really some state of greatness beyond who we already are? Take this fascinating move by Coca Cola.

In an attempt to rewrite their patterns and dependency-inducing habits over the last century (that have made them richer than God), Coca Cola has boldly stepped into the good-for-you-sort-of category, adding vitamins to their ubiquitous “diet” drink with the launch of Diet Coke Plus. On a very basic level, this is progress. Not only do people deserve access to healthy options, but with Coca Cola charging forward in that direction, they acknowledge their previous edict of thoughtless consumption that ignored this precept by miles. HOWEVER, it’s really still the same blind preoccupation with creating more thoughtless consumption. Only this time, the hypnotic spin is healthy – the new meaningless driver behind the wheel of advertising mega monster truck single bottom line corporate agendas.

So how do we treat this newfound virus of feeling good and looking good? Fad diets, Botox and liposuction have ushered in unrealistic misconceptions of what it means to have a healthy body. No doubt Coca Cola and all its wake of competition will continue to infiltrate our healthy food options in epic scale. They already own Odwalla, one of the largest fresh juice makers in the healthy and natural segment. But retooling Diet Coke is another twist entirely. It’s rewriting mainstream expectation. By forcing trendy new habits onto our culture, we don’t necessarily become any more “awakened,” just reprogrammed by the shimmery illusion.

If healthy is to have meaning to our children, it’s got to be without the caution that expectations bring. Without the preparedness that corporations indoctrinate our culture with, one is free to make their own choices. Truth may have its consequences, but even more than that, so does a lie.

I’m not suggesting a boycott of an enhanced soda product. But, well, yes I am. The truth is that even though it now has vitamins added to it, osteoporosis is still a massive side effect of excess soda consumption. Artificial sweeteners are not only cancer causing, but also cause unsustainable practices. And the real truth is that until corporations like Coca-Cola rewrite their credos to incorporate a triple bottom line, they’re not doing anybody any good outside of their stockholders. Healthy or not, it’s still just fizz



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