Tuesday, March 1, 2011

[Article] One Bottle of Soda for $1.00

"Knowing without acting is not really knowing."

Many people "know" that drinking soda is bad for them, but few people recognize what effect a single bottle of soda has on the entire planet.

While prices vary in different locations and between brands, let's pretend for a moment that a bottle of soda costs one dollar.

You walk into a store, you can select a flavor you'd like, pay one dollar at the stand, and then enjoy drinking the bottle of soda, and then choose to throw away or recycle the bottle. Seems simple? The impact is that you've consumed a bottle of soda, spent a dollar and recycled or thrown away a plastic bottle, right?

It's not that simple. Without even touching on the health hazards to teeth, pancreas, intestines, skin, brain cells and so on, there are many further impacts to a bottle of soda than the obvious, and the answer is in the ingredients.

A bottle of soda generally contains three ingredients in common with every other soda: water, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial coloring. Where do these ingredients come from?

Water, of vital importance to the entire planet, which one third of the world does not have adequate access to, is the main ingredient. Water is required to hydrate the body along with sodium and potassium. Without the combination of these three things, the body will rapidly decay and grow diseased. Water is what allows us to wash our clothes, our dishes, our bodies and our homes. In places where water is scarce, they only have water to drink, while their bodies go unwashed, and their clothing.

High Fructose Corn Syrup comes from corn. Most of the corn in the world in genetically modified property directly or indirectly in the control of a chemical company called Monsanto. Whenever you buy high fructose corn syrup you support one of the most murderous corporations on the planet. Monsanto is responsible for the destruction of thousands of farms, families, and habitats.

Artificial coloring is what it says it is: artificial. Both the coloring and corn syrup are made in refineries which waste countless tons of water daily, produce tons of waste into the atmosphere and water supply daily, all to bring you something that is toxic to your body.

Plastic. Let's not forget the plastic bottle it comes in. Plastic refineries also wastes gallons of water in production, pollutes the world twice over, at the factory level and at the plastic-bottle trash level. Recycling is better than trashing it, but just by buying it you are still supporting the production waste. For every bag of trash you throw out, ten bags of trash were created in the manufacturing.

When you spend $1.00 on that bottle of soda you are spending a dollar you worked for. You're not just spending a dollar, you're spending your time and energy. You had to get to the store, wait in line, hold that bottle of soda, dispose of that bottle, and so forth. It's not the dollar that is wasted, it's your time and your energy.

When you spend your time and energy (also known as $1.00) on something unhealthy, the result multiplies back over time. For every dollar you spend now on something unhealthy, you'll spend $5.00 later in life on surgery and prescriptions. Not to mention how miserable life is when you have no energy, and are constantly battling the pain of insulin needles, tooth aches, arthritis, alzheimer's, depression, and so on. All of these things are dramatically more likely for soda drinkers, and those who consume corn syrup and refined sugars in general.

The reverse is true. When you spend your time and energy investing in your health, it multiplies back to you over time. For every dollar you spend on fresh vegetables and fruits, you'll save $5 in medical fees, and you will also gain vitality, energy, endurance, shortened recovery time, clearer thinking, and so on.

Beyond your health investment, each time you spend money you're making an economic investment. When you spend money on cola, you're investing in the cola company. When you spend money in your local community, you're investing in your community. And the object you get in return for your money is an investment in yourself. There is an exponential long-term effect to everyday small actions. It's your dollars, your chump change, your energy and time and livelihood that the soda corporations get their fuel from. They are living off of your back.

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness." ~ George Washington

Your dollar is a vote for what you want to see in the world. Do you want more local hand-made soap, garden roofs, local economy, increased energy and exuberance? Then why ever buy a bottle of soda again? Fresh home-made fruit juices not only taste better, they are more cost effective by leaps and bounds.

It's not just a dollar towards a bad thing. It's a dollar that is not going towards a good thing. It's not just a temporary weight gain or a headache, but long-term bodily damage that takes work and time to repair. It's not just a dollar, it's your time and effort. It's not just a single plastic bottle, it's all the wasted resources of the production that happened before the bottle made it to the store. It's not just corn syrup, it's all the wasted land that went to producing genetically modified corn that was further wasted by being turned into corn syrup. It's not just contaminated water in the bottle, it's less water for everyone, around the world.

Consider this: Soda destroys the body. Pure natural water heals the body.

It's not just that soda is bad, it's that there is tremendous potential for good that is being wasted.

And this doesn't just apply to a bottle of soda. It applies to a bottle of anything that is water, corn syrup, refined sugar, artificial flavoring, etc. Nobody benefits from these products except the owners at the top of the corporations. They spend billions on "scientific studies" that "prove" that their product is healthy, then they spend billions on advertising that they inundate your life with. The more something is advertised, the more of a rip off it is. If a product is really good, it will sell itself without billions of dollars in packaging, marketing, advertising and "scientific studies" which are generally far from accurate by the time they are cut apart and pasted back together in short summaries in magazines.

"Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification." ~ Martin H. Fischer

By making your own fruit and vegetable juices or smoothies at home with your juicer or blender, you save your health, your money, your future health, your future money, your happiness, your community, your water supply, the world's water supply, and the habitats of millions of creatures, including humans.

To get some real perspective on these topics of discussion, there are documentaries you can watch for free online. I recommend (and I even recommend watching them in the following order; one a day or every other day):

The Story of Stuff
The World According To Monsanto
The Future of Food
A World Without Water
Marketing of Madness
The Secret

"One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

A rant of mine that is directly related to this issue:

Disclaimer: I was emotionally bent out of shape by the documentary at the time I recorded this. I generally do not curse, or rant like this. I believe in being positive and upbeat, being part of the solution. I believe in removing attention from problems and putting the focus on solutions. I believe in the power of positive thinking, education, love, creativity and compassion. I feel weird posting this when I sounded like tears for the beginning, and like anger for the middle part, but I guess it's a part of reality. Just because I don't let emotions of sadness or anger linger doesn't mean I never have them. Temper your anger with love and you find a burning passion inside yourself... Make a difference. (Stop buying soda...)


  1. Haven't seen the video (our internet connection's kinda slow) but thanks for posting this: important thoughts indeed.

    The plastic bottle is the real biggie--klean kanteens are great and so are mason jars (although I did break one in town last week, or my husband broke it for me ;) )

    There's also the estrogen issue, that is affecting both male and female fertility. Even getting water in a plastic bottle, you're potentially exposing yourself to those estrogens, although obviously an acidic soda is much more likely to get plastics leached into it...

  2. Ela -- Absolutely. This entry attempts to cover all the hidden waste in a single bottle of soda. There is so much more waste in just one bottle than most ever stop to think about.

  3. Oh Yeah nice article and interesting recently post . i loved your thought and perfect details shared in the post so thanks

  4. hi raederle, i like your blog and this post, i came here via meetup. i just want to mention a documentary i highly recommend called "america the beautiful". while it is not directly related to food (it is about the "beauty" industry) it gives some very good information on toxins that are in make-up and personal products, even products that are "natural" or supposedly organic. i'm not a big user of make-up myself but learning about toxins in shampoos and the like was really a wake up call, mind you these are chemicals that are NOT required to be listed on the ingredients. it's available at the BECPL, check it out!

  5. So true! You summed up the "small" issues and the wider problem very accurately. As well as that, I think it is unfair that the workers who work with the artificial colour, corn syrup, plastic etc etc have to use bad chemicals and all for sweet f.a. $ an hour too (how else can they produce the soda so cheaply??) And they may be tied to those jobs for "perks" like health insurance etc too. So the negative ripple effect on them and their families from their work is shocking as well. And even the fact that the workers in the plastic bottle factories and soda factories are so poorly paid that both the mums and the dads have to work long hours so inadvertantly their kids don't get the time with their parents they would like. So much bad crap from that $1 soda!


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