How to make soda pop
Soft Drinks are usually carbonated
Linguistic distribution of words "soda" vs. "pop"
- The Pop vs. Soda Page
A page that plots the geographic distribution of the terms "pop" and "soda" when used to describe carbonated beverages
I can't stand the taste of water. especially flat water with no bubbles. Years ago, I used to drink a lot of Coca-Cola. I had what you might call brand name loyalty. I could take the taste test, and I could tell you blind-folded which was the Pepsi and which was the Coke. But for some reason, one day, the Coca-Cola company decided to change their formula, and they came out with something called New Coke which tasted very much like Pepsi. There was a furor among the rank and file drinkers of Coca-Cola, and they rose up in protest! Soon New Coke was replaced on the store shelves by Coke Classic, which was supposed to be a restoration of the status quo ante. But unbeknownst to the multitudes, Coke Classic wasn't the old Coke. It was very similar, with one significant difference: Coke Classic had substituted high fructose corn syrup for sugar.
After this treacherous betrayal, I was stunned. I no longer found in my heart the same feelings of gratitude and loyalty toward the Coca-Cola company. I didn't like them, anymore. I didn't think they cared about me or any of their other loyal supporters. But... I wasn't quite ready to switch to Pepsi. And I wasn't ready to give up cola altogether. So despite the feelings of deep mistrust and bitter resentment that I had toward the Coca-Cola company, it was years before I stopped drinking Coke.
Rondo -- My Favorite Uncola
- The Phantom That Was Rondo Cola
Starting with the remembrance of the maker of this Hub request, Aya Katz, I contacted Coca-Cola Company and their products division. After researching my query, Coca-Cola Company send me a message. Greg in...
Alternatives to Cola
For a while I searched for, and believed I had found, an alternative to colas that I could actually enjoy. In the 1980s a drink by the name of Rondo began to make its appearance on the shelves of the grocery aisles. It was tart and lightly carbonated, and it was promoted by commercials in which athletes were guzzling it, not sipping. I believed at the time that is was manufactured by the Coca-Cola company. Patty Inglish, who has done some research on this subject at my request, has determined that it wasn't.
In any event, for as long as Rondo was available in the grocery stores, I drank only Rondo. Then one day, it wasn't there anymore. It had vanished! And it suddenly began to dawn on me: my preferences in soft drinks don't matter. I had supported this product with my loyal purchases, and as far as the free market was concerned, my expenditures on soda did not amount to a hill of beans.
In the democracy that we call the free market, my vote didn't count.
Typical Rondo Commercial
Why my vote doesn't count
So why didn't my vote count? Did other people like to have nasty ingredients substituted into their favorite soft drinks? Was I the only person who noticed that high fructose corn syrup is nasty stuff? In a free market, doesn't the best product always win?
Now, if you ask a liberal this question, they will tell you that this is all the fault of the food industry. High fructose corn syrup is cheaper than sugar, and they, the big bad companies, don't care about the consumer. They only care about profit.
This answer never made sense to me, because how can you make a profit by selling a bad, substandard product? Why doesn't the competition just beat them out with a product made with real sugar? After all, it's communism that makes chocolate go bad!!!
So I used my Hubpages account to ask this question: "Many people attribute the rise in use of HFCS to commercial greed and the errors of the free market. Show us they are wrong!"
Way back when, long, long ago, Hubpages had a category called "Requests", and requests were answered by complete hubs. Since then "Requests" have been changed to "Answers" and people can answer with a comment length remark. Sneakorrocksolid made this remark: "What? Is there money in it? I,m pretty sure if you sat down with a piece of paper and a pencil you could show the government has some part in everything. Unfortunately its usually people who find a way to beat the system and exploit it."
Sneakorrocksolid assumes "the system" was set up to achieve a specific purpose, but that "bad people" find ways to get around it and achieve their ignoble ends. This is a point of view that assumes that the blame is naturally to be placed on the manufacturers and retailers, but never on anybody else. It wasn't the answer I was looking for.
The sorts of answers I was looking for were those provided by Chuck and Ledefensetech, and they ran like this: high fructose corn syrup would not be cheaper than sugar if not for government subsidies and tariffs. So it's the government's fault!
Ledefenstech even drew a very nice little diagram illustrating supply and demand. But I still was not satisfied. Here's what bothered me: okay, in this case, HFCS is less expensive than sugar for artificial reasons created by the government. But, there could have been a different situation in which the price of sugar might have gone up naturally. Maybe a natural blight on sugar cane and beets. It could happen. Would people always choose the cheaper product over the one that is higher quality? How come they buy Perrier Water when there's tap water or Ozarka? Something does not compute.
Ledefensetech answered that some demands are very elastic, and when that is the case, people will accept a substitution rather than a price hike. But were people even given a chance? If someone wanted to buy a soda made with sugar at my local Wal*Mart, they couldn't find any. I've looked!
Why don't grocery store owners put pricey sodas made with sugar on one side of the aisle and cheaper versions made with HFCS on the other? Why not let the buyer choose?
And if there is no good soda to buy, why don't people just stop buying? After all, it's not a basic food staple. It's not as if we'll die if we don't get soda pop in our diet!
So here's where my answer comes in. We, the buyers, are responsible for the situation. We have an interest to protect, but we're not protecting it. Perhaps PGrundy would call this "blaming the victim". I just don't think it's all the food industry's fault. And I don't think it's all the government's fault. Nobody poured it down our throats and made us drink. The consumer has played a major part in all this. And that includes me!
They would not make it, unless somebody was willing to buy it. Your vote doesn't count, if you don't bother to vote. In the marketplace, we vote with our pocket book.
A Random Map of Wal*Mart
The Aisles at Wal*Mart
Carbonating Water at Home
- Carbonating at Home with Improvised Equipment and Soda Fountains
Carbonating water at home to make seltzer using a CO2 gas supply and ordinary soda bottle
The Aisles of Wal*Mart: Or Finding the Polling Place
In the new millenium, I stopped buying soda. I make my own. That's how I vote against HFCS. You can vote, too.
So, how do I make soda pop? Well, I could carbonate my own water and squeeze my own fruit juices. Some people do that, and I've provided links and products that might help you make your own soda pop that way, if you are so inclined. Or you could do it the way I do it: take club soda and mix it with commercially available fruit juices.
Of course, it took me years to learn that I could do it that way. The first obstacle in my path: finding the club soda. For years, I was convinced that my local Wal*Mart did not carry any club soda. I spent hours in the water aisle, looking for it. They had mineral water, distilled water, flavored water, baby water (used for mixing formula), and every imaginable form of water, but no club soda! Then one day, years later, I found it! They were hiding it in the licquor aisle!
The next problem is the juice. For a while, my juice of choice was 100% pure cranberry juice, and it was readily available, in the refrigerated aisle, right next to the orange juice. Then, one day the cranberry juice disappeared. I looked everywhere, but it was gone! So I substituted the pomegranate/blueberry combination that took up the spot that the cranberry juice once occupied. For a while, that was good enough, but quite recently, the pomegranate/blueberry juice has disappeared, too. What replaced it was not a pure fruit juice, but something made with a lot of water and sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. That will not do! The whole purpose of my making own soda was to avoid the HFCS!
After about a week of searching, I found that 100% pure pomegranate juice was hidden away in one of the inner aisles, next to the baking goods. It was vacuum packed in a cheap plastic container and not refrigerated. It was also much cheaper than what I used to buy, because it was not produced by a big name manufacturer. Right next to it was the 100% pure cranberry juice that I thought had disappeared for good!
The biggest obstacle to casting your vote on soda pop is finding the polling place. Don't be shy. If you can't find what you are looking for at Wal*Mart, ask. Just don't say: "Where are you hiding the pure fruit juice and the soda water?" That sounds hostile. Rephrase the query like this: "I'm lost. Could you please help me find the pure fruit juice and the soda water? I'd be ever so grateful."
If you are really paranoid, you could pick separate salesmen to ask about each product, so they don't piece together what it is that you are trying to make!
In this life, there is always a choice. If you find that the powers that be present you with a list of alternatives, and none of them seem right for you, don't be afraid to mark: "None of the above."
This goes for buying a home, finding a job and even shopping at the grocery store. You are never limited to the obvious choices. You could always just say "no."
We all contribute to the kind of world in which we end up living. Don't play the victim. You have a choice. Exercise it!
(c) 2009 Aya Katz
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