One of the drawbacks of concerning oneself with the food they consume is that they inadvertently learn some pretty disturbing things about your favorite foods. My one guilty soda of choice has always been regular Coca-Cola, and if you say "Would you like a Pepsi instead?" my response is always: "That is like saying we have oranges instead when I ask for an apple - they are both fruits, just like both drinks are cola drinks, but they are not the same at all."
However, when I lived in Europe and Asia, I rarely drank soda at all. On a few occasions, I ordered a Coca-Cola, and when I tasted it I would marvel at how far superior the taste was to any Coke I've had in the U.S. Why does all foreign Coke simply taste better than American Coke - its damn country of origin? Are the recipes really that different?
As it turns out, the difference is simple: American Coca-Cola is sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup and served in plastic bottles or cans. Most foreign Coca-Cola is sweetened with actual cane sugar and is served in a glass bottle.
Why not real sugar? Easy: it is far cheaper to extract fructose molecules from corn to make into a sweetener rather than actually using sugar as it is found in nature. At the same time, buyers of corn - the most plentiful crop in the U.S. - are heavily subsidized by the government and thus saves companies tons of money to support one over the other.
This is such bull. I cannot even bring myself to drink Coca-Cola bottled from my own country any more. I've resorted to paying an extra 40-50 cents more per bottle to buy MEXICAN Coke made with real sugar and served in a glass bottle. While sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are both processed by the body in the same way - i.e. they both make you fat - I would much rather go with the more natural option. It is incredibly sad that the most American product on Earth has skimped so badly on quality in the homeland just to save on money that they clearly do not need. Don't believe me that they are so drastically different? Try them both for yourself and see. Coke in a glass-bottle used to be the norm...now it's a luxury.
Coca-Cola has resorted to service Americans a crappy version of their perfect product because we do not demand or expect better. Our food is being subsidized in the worst ways and we are paying for this with our health. I'm not just taking about Coke - all our food. I want my readers to really think about the brands they love and why they gravitate towards these products. Sometimes there are major devils in the details, and you should challenge everything you find.