History of Favorite American Foods Coca-Cola Part 2

About the famous American soft drink Coca-Cola or Coke, history and information of the soda.

COCA-COLA

High doses of caffeine have been linked experimentally with birth defects and although the same warning pertains to coffee, the point is that parents who refuse to give their children coffee often think nothing of letting them drink great quantities of soft drinks. That is, unless they are concerned about another ingredient, sugar, which is the number-one constituent of these drinks. It is the sugar, rather than any trace of cocaine, which tends to make Coke addictive. Eight ounces of the stuff (a mere sip to most Coke drinkers) contains about 5 teaspoons of sugar. The pancreas then sends so much insulin into the blood to deal with this onslaught that the ironic result is a drastic lowering of the blood sugar level, followed by a craving for more sugar.

Phosphoric acid in Coke can upset the calcium-phosphorus balance in the body and may prevent proper absorption of iron. It also upsets the stomach. The taste of the acid is masked by the high sugar content, and the combination of sugar and acid does no good to the teeth. Since soft drinks are nonnutritive and can interfere with the appetite, protein deficiency is not uncommon among chronic cola drinkers, who can develop the same kinds of liver ailments as the chronic alcoholic.

Coca-Cola also has citrus fruit concerns in Florida. Drinks such as Hi-C are made by Coca-Cola. The migrant workers have recently complained about their inhuman living conditions and concessions have been made to provide better housing. The threat of unionism, rather than great altruism on the part of the company, was the big stimulus for making these improvements based on labor complaints.

Elsewhere in the world, Coke has a variety of reputations. In places as unlikely as Guatemala and West Africa, soft drinks have become a staple in the diet. In France there was an attempt to ban all colas in 1950 but this legislation was later repealed after much pressure. In Denmark Coca-Cola is taxed severely. But here in the U.S., the word is still out, despite the fact that Coke is nutritionally a disaster, that it is "the real thing."

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