Sunday, September 25, 2011


For those of us who MUST drink carbonated beverages, soft drinks, soda, pop, soda pop, fizzy water, whatever you want to call them, what the hell is going on???

If you've been paying any attention, the price of "soda" we'll call it has shot up this year like a bottle rocket. Right now, retail price for a gallon of brand name soda, oh like Coca Cola or Pepsi, is hovering around 4 US dollars per gallon.  That's $1.99 per 2 liters.

The average retail price around here 12 months ago was $1.49 for brand name 2 liter.
It quickly jumped to $1.69 per two liter, and stayed there for nine months.  That first jump they blamed on a shortage of high fructose corn syrup.

Then, a couple months ago we started hearing rumblings that corn prices were beginning to shoot up, and there would not be enough corn produced to meet world demand.  The price shot up to $1.79 retail per two liter.

A few weeks ago, the news was full of "the corn harvest in US has been decimated by drought, hurricanes, rain, floods, many many factors, there will only be a 27 day surplus of corn to carry over into next year.  We were told farmers had planted more acres with corn this year than any other year since WWII, this was the second biggest crop planting in history, and yet weather had kept it from being a bumper crop.  They tell us for the world economy and corn in particular to stay stable, we must have more than 30 days surplus heading into the next year.

So bing, bang, boom - retail price around here shot up to $1.99 per 2 liter for brand name.  At the same time, brands started circulating "throwback" versions of their sodas using real sugar cane sugar instead of corn syrup.  People loved it, it caused a frenzy, but as the beverage industry discovered sales of soda did not plummet at $1.99 a 2 liter, they quickly pulled the real sugar versions so they could continue the high prices and blame it on a corn shortage.

Now.  Sale prices.   All through this time period, if you were willing to watch for loss leader sales and be patient and stock up, you could regularly find these very same 2 liter bottles of brand name soda for anywhere from 88 cents, to 99 cents, to $1.29, to even WalMarts "low low rollback price" of $1.49.    These sales occur often enough that if you were careful about your purchasing, you could keep a fair supply on hand at half retail price.  HALF.

Since people who are poor cannot afford $1.99 for 2 liters of cola, the beverage makers introduced a 1 liter bottle and priced it the same as an old two liter used to be.   Surprise surprise!  People are dumb.  People are desperate.  People are addicted.  However, if they can get a 42 ounce cola at McDonalds for a buck, or a 20 oz single for say 79 cents, then even poor gulllible addicts would not buy the one liter.  It was unnatural anyway, eeewwww!  *shiver*

So now, since they refuse to lower the retail price back down to less than $4 a gallon, they introduce the 1.5 liter bottle.
Whaaaaa????  What's this?  You see a display of them stuck in the frozen food aisle.  It looks like a two liter, but something is wrong.... something different.   You have nothing to compare it to visually, hence it's location away from all other sodas.  And the price.... $1.09 !!!  But wait a minute, the 2 liter bottles in my cart are "on sale" for $1.79.
Oww!  What is happening in my head?!  It HURTS!!!  I think it's MATH!!

Goshdammit, if I WANTED to do Math, I'd be a Rocket Surgeon!!!  OK, now I'm mad.  Hmm, let's do some cyperhin and gazinta's.... one times two carry the five, erase erase, plus three.... wait a minute!  If I divide the price of soda into half liters, there are three of them in this new 1.5 liter bottle, and therefore 1.09 divided by three equals ... equals....oh damn it let's just say 36 cents per half liter.  OK, now there are Four half liters in the 2 liter bottle.  $1.79 divided by four equals 45 cents per half liter.   So the 1.5 liter bottle costs the equivalent of $1.45 for two liters.  And the two liter on sale bottle is $1.79.

I quickly empty my basket of 2 liter bottles, ditching them in the freezer cabinets and load my basket with 1.5 liter bottles looking all around to see if anyone sees me.  Then I smugly rush to the checkout stand before someone discovers their mistake.  Only it's no mistake.  I'm STILL paying 50% MORE than I would if it were truly on sale as it will be if I just wait, but I think I'm getting away with MURDER.  Clever Clever soda companies.  Clever Clever retailers.  I even like the smaller diameter bottles, easier to hold.  Now I fully expect they will slowly raise the 1.5 liter price up until it costs even more per ounce than the 2 liter.  Just watch.  I bet you won't see them go on sale, either.  And poor people can afford $1.09, so you've brought them back into the loop.  And at that price, who would buy a generic crap soda 2 liter over the REAL THING 1.5 liter?

OK.  It's basically water that the beverage companies are sucking out of the Oglala Aquifer for free at a rate so high the Aquifer is sinking an inch a year, and it underlies all the states in the middle of the country all the way down to Mexico.  Farmers are upset because THEY were sucking that water out for irrigating scrub desert land in Kansas and Texas etc. and now our bottled water and soda guzzling habits are impacting them.  Forget about people who depend on wells for their water in large areas, they will soon be shoot out of luck.  OK, so they are depleting the aquifer in our lifetimes (well that part of it the oil drillers are not ruining by frakking) and then they are adding artificial COLOR that means DYE plus artificial sweeteners plus artificial flavors plus CO 2 carbonation, they force a large amount of carbon dioxide gas into the liquid to make it a "fizzy lifting drink" that tickles your nose and cuts throught the phlegm we all get from pollution.  Where do they get this CO 2 gas?  It's made industrially.  And no, the oxygen in it does not benefit you.  Then they add HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP as the main source of sweetness and taste.  They substtuted it into soda at the same time they put it in virtually every other food in the supermarket, years ago, because cane sugar was too expensive.  Corn was plentiful, cheap and government subsidized.  No matter it does not taste the same, and many people have low level corn syrup allergies.  This is why if you are in your forties or fifties, most the food you taste now tastes like crap compared to how it used to.  Oh, and the carbonation?  Dehyrdrates your body, acts as diuretic, and no study has ever been done large scale on the health effects of that much CO 2 gas going thru your body.  And the caffeine?  Well of course this is the main addiction for most people.  One of the most addictive drugs on the planet.

Don't even get me started on the tricks they use when listing how much caffeine is in a product.  They fudge it to make it look higher now than it is, since people want super caffeine.  Compare Coke Zero and Pepsi Max.  Pepsi Max measures their caffeine per 8 ounces.  Coke Zero measures theirs per 16 oz.!  Ta Da!  Divide it in half, and Coke Zero caffeine is no higher than regular Coke.  Insidious.

OK, back to my original complaint.
You can buy crude Vodka cheaper than chocolate milk.  You can buy beer cheaper than SODA. Even GASOLINE is cheaper per gallon.

HOW COME Always Save bottled drinking water is 99 cents a GALLON,
While beverage giant "drinking water" is 2 bucks or more a gallon?????  Especially when they come from same sources, or brand name is even worse?
And designer water, forget it?  Add so called caffeine or vitamins or flavor to water, forget it, same price as soda.

And the ELECTROLYTE LIES!!!  The only real decent usable source of electrolytes in a quantity to do your body a favor while drinking a reasonable amount of liquid is PEDIALYTE.  You drink a couple cups of Pedialyte a day, no more charlie horses, bye bye muscle cramps, your kidneys and liver say Ahhhhhhhh!, you become hydrated.  You would have to drink FIFTY BOTTLES of GATORADE to get the same electrolytes, but then you'd get a ton of sugar.  Powerade even worse.  None of the "sports drinks" that claim electrolytes even come CLOSE to gviing you enough to matter.  But people are dumb.  They believe the advertising.  Plus, pedialyte can taste like warm spit, Gatorade is sugary yumminess.

Well, I don't have any answers to all this.  If you find it possible to avoid soda or other rip off beverages in your life, then more power to you.  I don't know where it's all leading, but it will turn ugly one day.  You think people were pissed off when they could not obtain any food, just wait until billions of addicts can't get their SODA.

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