Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Wednesday, February 03, 2010 Pop History
(Apologies to Glark for the title)
Have you seen those commercials paid for by the Corn Growers of America or whatever? At some picnic or birthday party, someone busts out some juice or similarly wholesome treat. A tight-assed counterpart remarks, "Isn't that made with high fructose corn syrup?" Our hero, politely enough, is like, "So?" Then the tight-ass says, "Well, you know what they say about high-fructose corn syrup." And then our hero is like, "No, what do they say?" And the tight-ass has to be all "well…uh…" and it's not like the HFCS booster is going to help them out here. What happens next is that the tight-ass gets totally schooled, getting such tight science as "high-fructose corn syrup doesn't cause that much cancer" or "high-fructose corn syrup has way less mercury than a thermometer from 1952" dropped on them. Boo-yah!
And it's not like I care one way or another or anything, but all those commercials make me want to do is find out as much as I can about "what they say" about high-fructose corn syrup. Because if these commercials tell you anything, it's that you never know who's going to call you out on your uninformed ignorance about the most esoteric subject, and I don't want that to happen to me.
Even then I wasn't all that worried about this danger, until I started seeing all these "throwback" and "legacy" sodas in the stores lately. The ones made with sugar instead of the dreaded High Fructose Corn Syrup. So far I've only tried Pepsi Throwback, and to be honest, I couldn't tell the difference at first other than the fact that it comes in the old red-white-and-blue can I remember from childhood rather than the current "deflated Harlem Globetrotters basketball at midnight" look of the current packaging. But now I could totally tell them apart in a blind taste test. At least that's what I tell myself.
I have yet to try "Legacy Dr. Pepper," and haven't even checked out the packaging closely to see if they've brought back that cryptic clock or the old 99 44/100 slogan. And although "Throwback Mountain Dew" features the character that earned it the nickname "Hillbilly Piss" back in the day, even it isn't going to try and market something in 2010 that promises to "tickle your innards."
Mainly, I'm waiting for Coca-Cola to come out with the revival of the original recipe they sold over a hundred years ago. That will be some real excitement.
In the meantime, I'm practicing using my most condescending attitude to ask, "No, what do they say about cocaine?" posted by M. Giant 8:43 AM 2 comments
If you want to know "what they say" about corn syrup, read "Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan. It's basically about how the corn industry and government subsidies of said industry are Eeeevil. I started reading it, and it was interesting and very informative, but my book mark is still on page 50 (and I started it in October). Ultimately I decided I would rather spend my free time reading novels by Lisa See instead. I do plan on going back to it... eventually?
Throwback/heritage sodas really do taste better. I am just old enough (39) to remember the difference. Sugar sweetened soda is slightly more acidic and less sweet. My favorite aspect is the lack of aftertaste. I'm sure it doesn't hurt that both Pepsi and DP were childhood favorites. Still, I won't be fully satisfied until the return of New York Seltzer.