Saturday, June 19, 2004

Blockbuster, Coca-Cola, and really big P-words

Today, while perusing the shelves of my local blockbuster for films that were evidently too artsy and good to be carried by the rental giant, a movieshop lackey offered me a free can of Coca-Cola's new product - C2. I accepted, figuring anything offered freely should be accepted. On my way home, happily sipping on my new beverage, I started reading the can to see what exactly was so new about "C2". Evidently, CT touts itself as a "Lower Sugar Cola" - a coke taste-a-like while having only half the carbohydrates and half the calories of regular coke. To be honest, at first reaction I was decently impressed. It tasted pretty decent and as a rare coke drinker to begin with, I didn't really notice a difference. It certainly didn't have the "diet" taste of diet coke and other nutrasweet products. Anyway, as I curiously perused the list of ingredients wondering how C2 managed its impressive feat, I didn't really see anything out of the ordinary until I noticed, in all caps, "PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE". this large P-word must be the key - the new delightfully sinthetic sugar substitute. But what is a Plenylkentonuric, why is Phenylalaline bad for them, and what if it is bad for me too? Research was in order.

Um, right. So after some research, it turns out that I, once again, am talking out of my ass. Phenylalanine is found in aspartame - the key ingredient to nutrasweet. Thus, phenylalanine is in Diet Coke as well. Phenylketonuria is a genetic disorder that is diagnosed in infants by noticing exceptionaly high levels of phenywhatever in the blood stream. Thus, the disorder have to avoid phenylaline, but also need to avoid all sorts of food. Mainly sweet foods with sugar and whatnot. More info can be found here.

Anyway, the point is, from the looks of it, C2 is just that, 2 cokes (Coke and Diet Coke) mixed together. People have been doing that for years at the fountain; I'm not sure if putting it in a can and marketing it should really make it count as a new product, but whatever, it's bad for you either way, and I plan to avoid it. This turned out to be a pretty lame post, I apologize for that. But I, for one, learned something, and maybe, if you actually read it all, you learned something too. I'll think of something better to blog about later. For now, I'm going to go drink milk.

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