Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An ode to one of the greatest inventions ever...Coca-Cola.

Governor Patterson of New York proposed a 18 percent "obesity tax" on non-diet soft drinks.

Is obesity a problem? Yes. Do many children drink too much soda? Yes. Is the state facing a major budget deficit? Yes.

However, while the tax will raise money, I don't think it will address the obesity problem. If they are going to tax soda, tax the diet ones too. After all, nobody knows the long terms effects of drinking those chemicals.

I love Coke. I try to limit my intake to one or two glasses a month. In Italy, Coke is still made with sugar. In America HFCS replaced sugar back in the early 80s. And yes I can tell the difference.

Last year New York Magazine asked several chefs what they thought about the tax. Prune Chef/owner Gabrielle Hamilton's words about Coca-Cola were so dead on. There are very few things I love more than a nice ice-filled glass of Coke. Preach on Ms. Hamilton. Preach on.

I question the idea of legislating or taxing the “symptom” and not addressing the root problem. A well-timed ice-cold Coca-Cola is one of life’s greatest taste and sensory experiences: the way it makes your eyes sting and tear up, and the back of your throat gets that chalky moment as good or better even than some of the highest tannins in a big red wine, and then the full sugar and caffeine rush that completely cures what ails you. I’m not saying every day and I’m not saying three a day. I mean one perfectly placed Coke in your week.


Claudio said...

I go for Chinotto LOL
Italian answer to Coke, ever tried?

Sonia said...

I think it's interesting that they want to target soft drinks but not the diet drinks. Obesity is a problem.. yes.. BUT it's not only due to soft drinks. It's funny to me when I see people at McDonald's ordering their combo meal and getting a diet drink.. because that helps you not gain weight.

I have a friend who is a US size 4 and drinks nothing but Coke. Is she thin? Yes.. too thin I think. Is she healthy because she's thin? No.. She doesn't drink enough water. When she came to visit me in Torino, she drank nothing but Coke & Red Bull... and she was begging me to stop and sit and rest... She couldn't handle the walking. It was so sad.

I'm with you... I love me some Coke, but I try to only drink it when I go out to dinner or on a special occasion.

Eleonora said...


YES, wonderfully said.
(as she clumsily scuttles off to the nearest cafe to buy a 33cl HFCS-free glass bottle)

Craving craving craving...

J.Doe said...

This comment is not really on topic but I just read that since Coke (and Pepsi) are made with HFCS in the US, some people in the US who prefer them to be sweetened with sugar buy those drinks from ethnic markets where they are produced from factories overseas that don't use HFCS. I thought that was interesting. I was never a fan of either Coke or Pepsi but the Nestea iced teas made overseas with sugar taste good while those stateside made with HFCS are too sweet and gooey and taste bad.
And I agree with you, the 'obesity tax' won't help the fight against obesity, but it will help NY get more tax money.

Rose in Cali said...

Hear, hear! I don't understand why personal responsibility is never addressed. No one MAKES you obese. And I wish they'd use sugar here in the U.S. instead of HFCS. I remember how good Coke tasted in Italy.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

claudio - No I haven't tried it. I'm not a big Cola drinker. Only Coke. No Pespi, RC etc, etc.

sonia - I don't get that diet soda thing with a big mac either. A lot of people confused thinness with being healthly. Just because someone is a size 0 doesn't mean they are healthy.

eleonora - I've craving some to now but will try to hold out until the weekend.

j. doe - I remember when I lived in L.A. so many people I knew would only buy Mexican Coca-Cola. I read somewhere than Pespi is going to starting making a "throwback" soda that uses sugar. I don't drink Pepsi but wonder if Coke will do the same. I agree with you. I love the San Bendetto ice tea here. It's not too sweet but in the States couldn't stand the taste of Neatea.

rose in cali - I feel bad for kids who are not learning about nutrition at home but adults decide what to put in their bodies. A tax to shame people into eating better isn't going to work. Not when the culture is advertising junk food 24/7, makes junk food cheaper than healthier food and pushes fast food over sitting down and eating a real meal.

Claudio said...

OH MY GOD, you still haven't tried chinotto?
Go to the nearest supermarket and try it now!!!
Some don't like it (chinotto is a citrus fruit), some love it. I can say I love it.
Talking about obesity, the tax won't solve the problem. They just needed some money I think.

PS here is a picture, so u'll take the original one http://www.mondoffice.com/App_Themes/it-IT/images/product/it_30630_1_enl.jpg

Redbonegirl97 said...

Diet soda is horrible, just like the regular. People still smoke no matter how high the prices go and I think that adding on another 50 cents to soda isn't going to curb the obesity rate in any way.


nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

rbg - true, I agree with you and Chef Hamilton. Taxation is not going to get at the root of the obesity problem.

Gil said...

Soft drinks will still be cheaper than beer.

J. Doe, you are correct. They stopped using sugar in the US bottling plants a the corn fructose was cheaper about 50 years ago. We all, kids, noticed the difference in taste. There are some ethnic markets in Connecticut that can't keep Coca-Cola from Mexico that is made with pure old sugar in stock.

Kim B. said...

sometimes at World Market in the States you can get the Coke made in Mexico with the real sugar rather than HCFS. I hadn't thought about the Coke in Italy being the real stuff. Will have to pay attention next time I am there!! (And here in FRance as well).

I'm like you, Ragazza. I loooove Coke but know I can only have one or two a month (i'm not so restrained on my chocolate-and-cookie-vices).

And Chinotto . . . .yukkkkkkkkkkk. Definitely an Italian thing, Marco loves it.

and you're totally right, those diet sodas are SO bad for you, we don't even know yet. I hate to think what we're going to find out about them some day.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

gil - I wonder if there is already a tax on alcohol?

kimb - I forgot about World Markets. There was a big one in L.A. next to the Farmer's Market/The Grove Shopping Center.

I'm not so restrained when it comes to San Carlo Chips. Which of course I love to eat while drinking a Coke. ha

I haven't tried Chinotto because I don't really love Cola drinks...just Coke. I can't drink Pepsi. I've tried.

Claudio said...

Ok, but chinotto isn't a coke clone.
It is different.
If you have the chance, try it ;)

Kim B. said...

Chinotto to me tastes like un-liquored Jaegermeister soda. That VERY herbaceous taste. Very anise-y. (I could be completely wrong but this is what I remember).

WineGrrl said...

Gimme some of that yummy Mexican Coke any day...HFCS is illegal there, so it is made with REAL cane sugar. It tastes just like the Coke from my childhood.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

winegrrrl - I agree. I prefer the real thing.