Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Why I continue drinking colas?

Of the three parties involved in the recent ‘cola controversy’- cola companies, Indian Government and the Government Organization CSE, I trust cola companies.

Indian government is neither accountable nor responsible. It gets voted into power in spite of failed promises and major corruption scandals. Indian people vote back the most corrupt and ineffective leaders which include rapists, murderers and kidnappers.

A government organization like CSE is neither accountable nor responsible. Their jobs are secure (and usually for-a-lifetime). No single person takes accountability and usually the onus of ownership is passed around never stopping at any one in particular.

Cola companies (like Coca-Cola and Pepsi) on the other hand have to make sure their customers are satisfied. If the customer is not satisfied, the company goes bust. Therefore they keep all checks and balances to ensure the drink is safe and satisfying.

If I can’t drink the drinks from these companies what else do I drink? Almost all drinks are owned by these two companies (Pepsi and Coca-Cola) including branded water bottles. The water from unbranded ones cannot be trusted. The water from Cauvery through water filters may contain more harmful things than mere pesticides. I get sick each time I drink anything other than bottled water. Did any one test the water that I get from the daily delivery boy at office, or the water that comes out of my Eureka Forbes filter, or the water given at the Chaat place? The results of those, I am sure, would be 1000 times worse compared to cola results.


  1. For your info, CSE is not Govt. org.

    And I think you can trust them much more than any Corporate.

  2. Vasukrishnan:
    My bad. I didn't know CSE was not a government organization. I don't think I trust every corporation. But, when it comes to water, whom do I trust? The water from my tap or a Bisleri/Aquafina?

  3. The water in the bottle usually comes from aquifers, where the pesticide concentration will be high, due to deposition over years. If your tap gets you water from a river or any source with running watee, pesticide levels will be much lower. Of course industrial pollution, sewage and heavy metals is a bigger risk here. Depends on the water quality at the pump location.

    Maybe you should ask CSE to do a test on water supplies in all major cities too :)

    BTW I've heard about a company in Singapore which makes kind of a magical machine. It can generate water out of thin air. By condensing the moisture in air. Don't know about the cost. The US Army uses it i think, so you can try to get one too ;)

  4. Vasukrishnan:
    Thanks for the advice. I guess, one of these days, we may have to rely on such devices.

    I returned to India after living in US for about ten years and the initial days were very bad. Since I was working and eating at regular places, I couldn't be picky in what I chose and where I eat. My stomach used go bad all the time primarily because of water. Nowadays, there is nothing that I can trust other than bottled water. When everything is so unreliable, bottled water is the only solace.

    I do not disagree with CSE. My contention is that if they started testing the other water sources, they are in for a much bigger suprise. In an unreliable world, what is tolerable and what is not?

  5. 1) Get a grip pal. CSE is not a govt. organisation. Go find out who they are and what they do.

    2) How is eating meat immoral? E=MC square?

    Get a double grip.

  6. Actually, the pesticide content found in colas was because of the sugar used in them. Water was not the primary source of pesticides.

  7. The water used by soft drink manufacturers are typically sourced from ground water extraction. The ground water, contained in aquifers are recharged by rain water that soaks in. This is the source of contamination. The fields are super saturated by uncontrolled and unregulated use of pesticides, which in turn gets wasged by the rain water and finds its way into ground water. So wherever the source of drinking water is from ground water, in India the likelyhood of pesticide contamination is great. Coca cola for example brings the cola concentrate from their factory in Atlanta GA and then dilutes it with water obtained locally. And you are right about the quality of water supplied by municipal bodies in Indian cities - lets not open a new can of worms. Although I live in the US, when I visit India I rather rely on soft drinks produced by American companies over the alternate sources for quenching my thirst.

  8. Is soda bad for bones? 3 reasons to think before you drink

    * by EatingWell Magazine, on Wed May 28, 2008 7:26am PDT

    Although I never developed a regular soda habit, I’m an avid seltzer drinker and I love to mix carbonated waters and beverages in healthy summer cocktails. But I’ve heard that drinking seltzers, sodas or other carbonated drinks may harm your bones. So I asked Joyce Hendley, an EatingWell contributing editor, if that rumor is true. She wrote about this question in EatingWell’s June issue. Her answer? "Perhaps."

    3 reasons to think before you drink:

    1. There’s research that links drinking certain types of soda with weaker bones—but carbonation doesn’t seem to be the problem. (Keep your bones strong with recipes from EatingWell’s Bone Health Recipe Collection.)

    2. Nutrition experts once believed caffeine could be the culprit. In a 2001 study out of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, people lost measurable amounts of calcium after drinking caffeinated sodas. Drinking decaffeinated sodas didn’t appear to have the same effect. As it turned out, though, people tended to make up for the losses by excreting less calcium later in the day. The researchers concluded that if sodas harm bones it’s probably because people drink them in place of milk. (Make sure you’re getting enough calcium with these delicious calcium-rich recipes.)

    3. But another study, reported in 2006 by researchers at Tufts University in Boston, suggests that colas, specifically, might be problematic. Among the 1,413 women whose dietary records and bone-density scans they reviewed, those who drank a diet or regular cola at least three times a week over five years had significantly lower bone densities than those who sipped cola once a month or less. No such effect occurred with other carbonated drinks, even after researchers factored in intake of calcium from foods.

    The likely cause? Phosphoric acid, which is unique to colas, says Katherine Tucker, Ph.D., lead author of the study. When the body breaks down this compound, the acidity (or concentration of free hydrogen ions) of the blood increases. To neutralize acidity, hydrogen ions bind with minerals, including calcium and magnesium. If they’re not available in the blood, says Tucker, “the body draws calcium from bones.” The occasional-cola drinker probably needn’t worry. “The real risk is for those who drink cola every day,” says Tucker. (Find out how to boost your bone health with EatingWell’s diet tips and menus.)

    Joyce’s bottom line: There are plenty of good reasons to quit a regular soda habit; carbonation isn’t one of them. In fact, sparkling mineral waters sometimes contain a little calcium and magnesium so they might even benefit bones. So skip the soda and try one of EatingWell’s healthy recipes for summer drinks.

    Here's a refreshing and low-calorie alternative to sugar-laden sodas:

    Raspberry Spritzer
    Makes 2 servings

    2 cups seltzer
    2/3 cup frozen raspberries
    2 sprigs fresh mint
    3 ounces raspberry-flavored syrup or Chambord
    Ice cubes

    Combine seltzer, raspberries, mint and raspberry-flavored syrup (or Chambord) in a small pitcher. Pour over ice.

    By Michelle Edelbaum

    Michelle is the associate editor of interactive for EatingWell Media Group. In between editing and writing, she enjoys sampling the tasty results of the easy, healthy recipes that the EatingWell Test Kitchen cooks are working on.

  9. I agree - who do you trust - a known devil or an unknown angel?


Dear Commenters:
Please identify yourself. At least use a pseudonym. Otherwise there will be too many *Anonymous*; making it confusing.

Do NOT write personal information or whereabouts about the author or other commenters. You are free to write about yourself. Please do not use abusive language. Do not indulge in personal attacks and insults.

Write comments which are relevant and make sense so that the debate remains healthy.