Believe it or not, in 2004, realizing that the pesticide levels in their Coke and Pepsi products were so high in pesticides, Indian farmers who couldn’t afford conventional pesticides and herbicides started to spray their cotton and chilli crops with these soft drinks instead! That’s because the Indian Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) had released reports that Coca-Cola and Pepsi products contained unsafe levels of insecticides and pesticides, including lindane, DDT, chlorpyrifos, and malathion. The report detailed possible health problems associated with drinking these beverages, including nervous, immune, and reproductive system disorders, birth defects, and even cancer.
What followed was an uprising by consumers as they engaged in “smash-the-bottle” campaigns. Some states even banned the sale of these products either completely or partially throughout their regions. Although the two giant soft drink companies are fighting back, many people in India continue to choose other drinks.
While similar problems have not been documented in North America, the health problems associated with too much soda are well-documented. Sugary drinks like soda pop have been linked to obesity, diabetes, as well as gum and tooth disease, due in large part to the high concentration of high fructose corn syrup they commonly use. Additionally, soda contains a substance called sodium benzoate which can cause cell damage. Phosphates, which are also found in many sodas can contribute to higher rates of osteoporosis as well.
An occasional drink of conventional soda won’t kill you, but you can make better choices for your health by opting for organic and natural sodas. These alternatives will use things like cane sugar, fruit juices, and tantaric acid from grapes to replace other not-so-healthy ingredients. PepsiCo now produces Pepsi Raw (limited availability) and others are venturing into natural sodas (check labels for confirmation of claims!).
If your family can’t live without a fizzy drink now and then, consider making your own so that you can ensure you know what’s going into it. Soda-Club Fountain Jet makes a Home Soda Maker that is not only healthier for you, it will save you some money and cut your waste by 90 percent (you fill reusable bottles instead of disposable cans and bottles). Plus, you can make your own custom-designed sodas, which makes the process a whole lot of fun! Just be sure to pick up natural flavorings and sweeteners. Happy sipping!
Finally..Stressing the importance of eating organic food goes well beyond potatoes and oranges. The health benefits and environmental upsides of organic food can also be found in things like fizzy sodas and tasty beverages.