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Soda sucks

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I had a half glass of Coke today and threw the remainder down the drain. The sickening natural sweeteners are exceeded only by the more sickening diet sweeteners. Soft drinks are the #1 source of caloric intake in the US, around $57 billion annually. Why the attraction to this crap? How can it possibly go well with a meal?

    1. re: thew

      Obviously a non-starter for me. You are welcome to my share.

      1. re: Veggo

        i don;t really like it myself. but i understand why others might.

    2. Well, now I realize why I mostly go to places that serve beer. :)

        1. re: ferret

          No, but the first in 3-4 years, to see if anything has changed, it or me.

          1. re: Veggo

            I bought a 4-pack (too expensive for 6) of mandarin orange fair trade certified organic soda and it didn't taste much different from Fanta.

          1. re: linguafood

            now *that* sounds like my kind of beverage...assuming it's not sweetened artificially, of course ;)

          2. Agree. I never did acquire a taste for carbonated beverages, especially colas. Once in a while a cold citrus flavored soda or cold beer is okay but, even that's seldom. As a kid back in the '40's - '50's, we had a liquore store in Meriden. When my father brought some soda home for my brother, he would bring me a few bottles of Pal Orange (soda), a non-carbonated beverage probably similar to today's orange-ade.

            3 Replies
            1. re: mucho gordo

              ^5's mucho gordo, can't abide the carbonated stuff EXCEPT after a stomach virus which I haven't had in years and years...co-workers cannot function without the damned Diet Coke and it *has* to be from McDonald's even worse...argh!!! we are a nation sickened from this crap!

              1. re: mucho gordo

                I'm the complete opposite. Almost everything I drink is carbonated. I live off seltzer, since I'm pregnant, but when I'm not, I love beer and sparkling wine, along with the seltzer and a Diet Coke or two. Something about the bubbles refreshes me like nothing else can.

                1. re: invinotheresverde

                  I'm the same way. I'll take sparkling water over still any day .

              2. I would rather suck cyanide than go a day without Diet Coke.

                But then I don't drink Diet Coke with meals. I don't really "drink" anything with meals, unless you count coffee. I prefer soup with my meals and maybe an occasional sip of water.

                17 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  I am envious of those who can tolerate artificial sweeteners, but for me they are like the nasty soap taste to non-fans of cilantro. No can do. (But I like cilantro).

                  1. re: Veggo

                    I've pretty much given up soda a couple of years ago. There are very few occasions when I drink *real* coke, as in the Mexican kind with cane sugar - usually when I'm having a burger & fries, or sometimes with very spicy Chinese food (I find the sweetness of the soda to be a nice balance).

                    That said, whenever I try a sip of soda ('real' or diet), I am blown away by how freaking sweet the stuff is. Can't really drink it anymore, save for above mentioned occasions, and I often can only finish half of those 12 oz. bottles.

                    1. re: linguafood

                      Soft drink consumption in Mexico is $8 billion, most of it made with cane sugar. And the landscape is littered with non-returnable glass and plastic Coke and Pepsi bottles.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        Well, thankfully, glass (and plastic) bottles are recycled where I live. I'm sure Mexico has all kinds of environmental issues.

                        Not really the topic of this thread, tho, no?

                        1. re: linguafood

                          In the 70's and 80's in Mexico, all soft drink bottles were glass, returnables with deposits. The truly impoverished scavanged the landscape and highways, and plucked a lot of litter. I curse the soft drink bottlers there for introducing non-returnable containers to save a few pesos, with 100% predictable deleterious consequences.

                        2. re: Veggo

                          On the subject of soft drink consumption in Mexico...do they not drink diet soda?
                          On several trips to the Baja looking in markets for Diet Coke I notice some places don't even stock diet soda.
                          Same can be said for some Mexican markets I've been to in Los Angeles.

                          1. re: monku

                            I noticed the same thing in Mexico City. And I could swear that the caffeine content of Coke products (regular and diet) feel like 2x higher than the stuff in the U.S.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Coca Cola Light and Pepsi Light are bottled outside Mexico City and in Monterrey, but are not widely available in the more distant states.

                              1. re: Veggo

                                I'm beginning to see Mexican Pepsi being sold at Costco's next to the Mexican Coke.

                                1. re: monku

                                  I'm slipping...Pepsi Bottling bought the Gaseosas Pepsi bottler in Tijuana and Mexicali some years ago, so that is the source of your Mexican Pepsi - with cane sugar.

                                2. re: Veggo

                                  Plenty of Coke Light in Playa Del Carmen on my recent trip.

                                    1. re: ferret

                                      PDC - my town! Real quick, what were your food highlights, and where did you stay?
                                      Even better, there are 2 active Playa threads on the Mexico board . . let us hear!

                          2. re: Veggo

                            We all have our culinary blindspots. Mine just happens to be diet sodas, I suppose, among many other things.

                            I, too, like cilantro. Maybe a bit too much sometimes.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              And as much as I find soda disagreeable, on another thread I volunteered that I snort wasabi through a soda straw. It's neat how everything Chowhound weaves together into a beautiful tapestry. :)

                              1. re: Veggo

                                You and I both disclosed a bit too much on that thread. TMI.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Perhaps you did; I have enjoyed diplomatic immunity since 1996.

                        3. I said the same thing to a friend at work today, but I could see she did not share my views. I use to love coke years ago and gave it up for the calories. Now when I had it again some time ago, I was sickened by the amount of sweetener.
                          If you still love carbonated cola drink, like I do, try GUS (grown up soda). It is less sweet, good carbonation, but has 2 down sides - no caffeine and it is expensive.

                          1. I'm a real foodie and a wine lover (grew up in Sonoma County) but I also love my diet coke. I don't have it often but every once in a while it is the perfect fizzy compliment to my hamburger or pizza. And rootbeer.... a once in awhile treat (or the liquid for a nice "float").

                            I don't like non-diet or pepsi or yuppie soda with the exception of a few gourmet rootbeers and ginger beers. The only non cola/rootbeer soda I like is Squirt.

                            I just don't see how people can suck down the 300 calories several times a day.

                            1. i have drank coke since i was kid (coke not pepsi---pepsi is waay sweeter than coke imo)
                              and i dont way 400 lbs...
                              its also not the only thing i drink...i drink water mostly during the day...
                              i also enjoy mountain dew,ibc and the occasional orange drink
                              but i cant stand beer or alcohol..they all tatse nasty to me

                              1. I like sweet. Soda is sweet. I like soda. Course, the big appeal is the pop from the carbonation.

                                I found myself in a CheeburgerCheeburger on the weekend and just had to try their Chococola. Really didn't work. Not quite as bad as their fries, but close. At the same time I'd probably get that again over other flavors I've had over the years.

                                Anyway, soda is good, as are highballs, especially the Cuba Libre.

                                1. I hate soda, too. I never liked it, even as a child.

                                  1. Me, I like tea (hot or iced - not too sweet, please) or seltzer (Polar's seltzer are great). At home, what I like to do is have 6 parts seltzer diluting 1 part homemade concentrated agua de jamaica with 1/4 strength sugar-free lemonade crystals.

                                    Back in the '80s and '90s, when I was going to movie theatres, I would ask for a big cup of soda water, topped off with a bit of lemonade.

                                    I can't stand sweet-sweet. Needs to be tart with just the right amount of sweet, and somewhat diluted.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Karl S

                                      You should buy a SodaStream, Karl, if you drink a ton of seltzer. I received one last month (for my most recent "29th" birthday) and can't believe how often it gets used. I'm probably drinking about 4L a day, without the hassle of lugging/recycling the bottles.

                                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                                        Do you recommend a model? I have a 3rd such birthday coming up next month...

                                        1. re: Karl S

                                          I have the Genesis model. It comes with both soda and seltzer flavorings. I haven't really used the soda flavorings, as I'm not a huge soda drinker (and never a non-diet one), but the seltzer flavorings are quite nice (citrus, berry, orange). The flavors aren't as funky as the Polar ones (I love Polar's peach and the black cherry), but as a bonus, you can carbonate anything, including juice and booze.

                                        2. re: invinotheresverde

                                          How have I never heard of these? And now I want one. Problem is, the tap water around here isn't so hot unless you boil it etc.

                                          1. re: im_nomad

                                            Our tap water isn't ideal, either, and I won't drink it (although everyone else in my family does and says it's fine), but I don't notice any off-putting odor/flavor once I carbonate it.

                                            It really is a great system (save for the raspberry Crystal Light-vodka-triple sec mixture that my husband painted the kitchen with yesterday when he overcarbonated it).

                                      2. I like Polar flavored seltzer water. Other than that, I'm not much of a soda drinker. Sometimes I like a Coke with my pizza and a very rare rootbeer float. But I don't see how people can drink soda all day long as their main source of liquids.

                                        1. I love wine but have a very low tolerance for alcohol. In other words, I am a cheap drunk....one glass of wine gives me a good buzz (and as noted on a thread I started on the Spirits board, sometimes an allergic reaction as well.) So, if I am out socially, AND driving, I cannot drink alcohol, period, or risk the consequences. I prefer to drink something with flavor, not just water, so I will order a diet soda (and then coffee if having dessert). I also like the sweetness of cola, much like a palate refresher. If I am not driving, then sure, I'll order wine, or a mixed drink, depending on the occasion, but I still have to watch for the aforementioned allergic reaction. Takes the fun out of it, so to speak. Mostly, I play it safe and just get a soda. I drink diet, always (Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi, if possible), because I (a) don't want all the calories of regular soda, and (b) need to keep my caffeine intake minimal. I drink soda with lunch and dinner, almost every day.

                                          As for it being "crap," that's your opinion, and you're entitled to it. Just please don't put the rest of us down for liking or drinking soda.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: rednails

                                            No put down intended, I respect everyone's freedom of choice without judgment. There is no doubt that I eat a lot stuff that you would respectfully consider to be crap. Live and let live.

                                            1. re: Veggo

                                              ***"Why the attraction to this crap? How can it possibly go well with a meal?"

                                              No offense, but offense taken. It truly sounded like a put down to me....and agreed, live and let live.

                                          2. I don't find it goes with any meal except possibly a hot dog, and most of those I get where there's also lemonade and iced tea available. On the other hand I used to work with a man who could abide no beverage that was NOT carbonated - had drunk nothing but fizzy fluids since early childhood, and wasn't gonna start now. We used to have long, semi-serious discussions about how one would go about carbonating iced tea; he was sure he could drink that, and as he truly believed that his aversion to flat fluids was more the norm than not, he figured a patent on fizzy iced tea would make him a fortune. He did allow as how fizzy milk would probably not be so popular.

                                            3 Replies
                                              1. re: Will Owen

                                                Speaking of lemonade and iced tea -- my standard order is an "Arnold Palmer". Lemonade and iced tea are both too - too by themselves, but mixed half and half makes for a good well-balanced drink.

                                                1. re: Sharuf

                                                  That's what my son drinks, if he's not drinking Coke (the "real" thing). He buys the bottled AP Lite.

                                              2. I love Cock and Bull Ginger Beer. Love, love love it even though I know the calories go straight to my behind.

                                                In high school, I went through a grape soda phase. For almost every lunch, I would down a 25-cent can of grape soda with a 25-cent cup-o-noodle. Totally delicious then. I can't do that now.

                                                I also had a nasty obsession with Diet Vanilla Pepsi because it had this credibly good artificial and chemically taste that I couldn't get from regular Vanilla Pepsi, which is just sweet. I swear there's cocaine in there. I nearly broke down when I couldn't find Diet Vanilla Pepsi anymore. I guess it's for the best.

                                                1. It's OK if you don't like soda. i don't like coffee. But I don't judge people who like coffee, and ask how they could possibly drink it. I just assume that we are all different, and will just agree to disagree.

                                                  12 Replies
                                                  1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                    My lack of interest in soda does not infer any judgment about those who enjoy it.

                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                      are you joining Obama's white house staff? :)

                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                        When you throw quotes about obesity and refer to "crap".... there's a little judgment in there....

                                                        1. re: im_nomad

                                                          I have not mentioned obesity - you are the first on the thread to do so.

                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                            Well, when you're talking about #1 caloric intake I don't necessarily think dieting, my mistake.

                                                            1. re: im_nomad

                                                              I recognize that I embrace a minority opinion here. I simply ask that others be accurate with facts and logical with their inferences as we express differing opinions in a civil tone.

                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                I didn't realize that saying something sucks and calling it crap was considered a civil tone these days.

                                                                1. re: Jase

                                                                  I expressed my opinion of a food product with nominal nutritional value in parlance that is acceptable here. I'm not sure why you take it so personally. If you have a different opinon, share it, and we move on.

                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                    Wasn't taking it personally. Just surprised at your tone. You're usually more accepting of other people's choices.

                                                                    I think good versions of soda has it's place just like most foods. There's certain combinations of foods that just can't be replicated regardless of how much "crap" it may contain. I don't have it very often but root beer floats are just tasty and the kid nostalgia factor is very high.

                                                                    1. re: Jase

                                                                      My "tone" is probably colored by my experiences in Mexico over the last 40 years. It is a relatively poor country but one in which potable water and refrigeration is now omnipresent, and yet the population spends 1.5% of its annual income on soft drinks. I think they have succumbed to the relentless marketing and advertising by the major soft drink companies and spend disproportionately on their products. That and the choice to use non-returnable bottles.

                                                                  2. re: Jase

                                                                    I think "sucks" in this case was something of a pun, given that people suck soda.

                                                        2. re: jeanmarieok

                                                          Have you tried Coca-Cola BlāK - the cola for coffee lovers?

                                                          Tastes like someone spilled their coffee into my coke.

                                                        3. I rarely drink soda but when I do it's sort've a treat. I try to reserve it for when I'll really enjoy it. I love a Coca Cola when I'm camping, I had a 7-up on the golf course the other day and it was absolutely fantastic. The 7-up was a little too sweet but still really good. I agree that people dring far too much of the stuff but to me it's an occasional treat that I enjoy. People are all different that's what makes the world so great.

                                                          1. right wrong or indifferent, americans in general have a sweet tooth. it is something learned early in life, its why ketchup is one of the first condiments kids like, its what sells miracle whip. It gives the body a rush, especially in combination with caffeine. It is a flavor most people don't have to acquire a taste for, its built into our DNA to crave the stuff. It's why bees need stingers. "The land of milk and honey"... fat and sugar, thats what our bodies crave.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                              the craving for fat and sugar is a human thing, programmed by millions of years of scarcity on the savannah, not an american thing based on a century of plenty.

                                                              1. re: thew

                                                                I must have a mutant gene that causes me to lack the sugar craving. I still have leftover Halloween candy, and a whole homemade strawberry cheese cake from a neighbor that I have not touched in 2 days.

                                                            2. i cannot stand soda as well and do not understand the attraction of spending money on it. Well, I should carve out a good root beer made by someone who can deliver a beverage that please my palate.

                                                              Cokes, Pepsis, and that genre is not ones I enjoy. A good glass of water or sparkling water is much more refreshing IMO.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                I tip my water glass to you, jfood.

                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                  Along the lines of your root beer carve-out, my first thought when I think of 'soda' is not the coke/pepsi/sprites of the world, but of enjoying a Boylan's Birch Beer at my local hot dog joint, a Dr. Brown's with my pastrami sandwich, a Jarritos Tamarindo with my chorizo tacos, a Manhattan Special with my sausage and peppers hero (or even just by itself because it's so freakin' awesome), stuff like that. There are plenty of great sodas and occasions to enjoy them in my book.

                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                    There is nothing more thirst quenching than a tall glass of ice cold mountain spring water.

                                                                  2. Soda goes well with plenty of meals and is nice on its own. Not sure what the stats have to do with anything regarding choice of beverage for a meal, unless you only choose your meals based on low caloric content constantly.

                                                                    I am not big on sweets, so I favor the diet sodas which seem less so to me. But I can say that I've stumbled on a few very good microbrewed regular root beers, cream sodas and the like that I can assure you, would not be going down the drain.

                                                                    1. I think it depends on the soda. I used to be a big soda fan back in the '70s, but only the obscure flavored sodas like Grape Nehi or Cheerwine or Green River. The only cola I'd drink is RC because to me that tastes more like real cola. Coke and Pepsi just don't taste right anymore, too sugary, not enough cola flavor. The obscure ginger beers with the really strong ginger flavor are also a favorite of mine. I think a brand called Old Time had the strongest flavor, and not sickly sweet.

                                                                      I think the worst example of sickly syrupy sweet soda is Sprite. It's like carbonated Karo syrup. 7-UP however still manages to balance sweet with lemon-lime and I use it occasionally for mixed drinks, maybe with an added squeeze of lime.

                                                                      As for the diet stuff, I can't touch it. I also have the viceral cilantro reaction: to me the stuff tastes the way a chemical burn feels. Nothing irritates me more than ordering a nice root beer or sasaparilla in a diner and getting diet coke. I usually opt for plain ice water; helps digestion, cleans the palate while eating, and doesn't have that odd aftertaste that sodas sometime leave behind.

                                                                      1. Once in a blue moon I get in the mood for a soda. Then it is usually something tart like Ting or ginger beer.

                                                                        There are a few foods that seem to mesh with soda for me. A corned beef or pastrami and a cream soda. Popcorn (with a movie) and a coke. The flavor of American coke has changed so much that I seldom crave it. A 6 pack of Mexican or Kosher for Passover coke will last me a year or more, providing my SO, a slowly reforming soda addict, doesn't find it!

                                                                        Most meals I prefer water or wine. Ice tea if I need a caffeine pick-me-up. I tend to drink coffee as it's own meal for breakfast.

                                                                        I really feel the body gets addicted to soft drinks very easily. At one point, as a teen, I drank them frequently. Nothing else quenched my thirst, water tasted light and dull. The situation kept accelerating. Finally went cold turkey and now they usually taste excessively sweet.

                                                                        When I want flavored bubbles I mix fruit juice with seltzer.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: meatn3

                                                                          That reminds me. When I'm in a deli and order a corned beef or pastrami sandwich, I always get a Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray Soda if they have it.

                                                                        2. How can you have both sweetener and diet sweetener in the same drink? Did yo mix a coke with a diet coke? I don't understand.

                                                                          Otherwise different people different tastes.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: PeterL

                                                                            I guess I am more of a savory person vs. having a excessively sweet tooth. Soda, commercial cakes, cookies, brownies, etc. just seem way too sweet for my taste.

                                                                          2. I think some sodas (Coke included) go perfectly with pizza (much better than the cliche beer, in my opinion) and I enjoy certain renditions of craft sodas, like house-made ginger beer or root beer.

                                                                            I don't drink soda to be refreshed or have my thirst quenched...I just enjoy the taste.

                                                                            1. I don't find that sodas go well with meals, in general (though as others have already pointed out there are a few cases where they seem to go hand in hand).

                                                                              That being said, I enjoy sodas as an occasional treat, and here in LA there is a FANTASTIC shop called Galco's Soda Pop Stop that stocks a huge selection -- from the mainstream to the truly obscure. For those who do enjoy soda, I would highly recommend checking out their site (http://www.sodapopstop.com/), as they do ship.

                                                                              So, while for you it might be crap, for many others it's something to be savored and enjoyed, or even guzzled.

                                                                              Chacun a son gout and all that ...

                                                                              1. Folks, this thread is getting personal and isn't helping people eat better, so we're going to lock it now.