The Kitchen Think: When Will Coca-Cola Man Up?


Do you drink diet soda? Does it ever concern you that it might affect your health?Press_Diet_Coke_0908

With sales dropping, Coca-Cola must recognize that a lot of us are concerned about the long-term health affects of artificial sweeteners… so it’s fighting back.

Today, Coca-Cola ran a HUGE full-page ad in USA Today in the Atlanta region defending the safety of using the sugar substitute aspartame in their soda. The ads go nationwide tomorrow.

The ad says: “The Safety of aspartame is supported by more than 200 studies over 40 years.” What I want to know is: Who did those studies? How big were they?

But seriously, if you have to defend the safety of your product there is something definitely wrong with what you’re selling. This isn’t a food product that has been tampered with… this is something that they make from a formula to sell to us.

We know now that drinking sugary drinks, diet or otherwise, can create increased sugar cravings in some people (like Mama). Do you think Coca-Cola knows something they’re not telling us?

Remember when coke wanted to “Teach The World To Sing?” How about teaching the world about aspartame, rather than just running a massive ad campaign?


The Kitchen Think: “Coke-speak”… Translated


A few weeks ago, Mama told y’all about Coca-Cola’s new ad campaign attempting to deflect some of their responsibility for our nation’s epidemic of child and adult obesity.

Well, my good friends at the Center for Science in the Public Interest have taken it upon themselves to, as they put it, translate “Coke-speak into plain, everyday English.”

This is mildly humorous, interesting and, above all, very sad because it is very true. Have a look and let me know what you think:





Kitchen Think: Throwing Your Peeps Under the Bus


Very, very disappointed that the Hispanic Federation says it is going to fight New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s drive to ban super-sized sugary drinks.

The Hispanic Federation and NAACP have joined the American Beverage Association’s lawsuit against Bloomberg’s proposal to limit sodas to 16 ounces in the city, which would go into effect March 12.

The reason? According to the lawsuit, “minority-owned delis and corner stores will end up at a disadvantage compared to grocery chains.”

The non-profit Federation has decided to ignore the life-threatening health interests of millions of Latinos, whom they allegedly represent, in order not to upset their own corporate backers… namely, Coca Cola.

How can the Federation ignore the fact that our country is facing one of its biggest health crises EVER! Obesity rates are higher than average for Hispanics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Forget about fighting for what is right for their people… it appears the Federation has been co-opted just to keep the money rolling in.

If you visit the Hispanic Federation’s website (or scroll to the bottom of this post), you’ll learn that at the group’s Gala in April, they’ll be presenting their “Corporate Leadership Award” to Coca Cola. (What a coincidence!)

When José Calderón took over the the Hispanic Federation leadership last year, he said he wanted the organization to continue being a “local and national leader on policy issues affecting our community.”


And who did Calderon take over from as President of the Hispanic Federation? Lillian Rodríguez López. Wanna guess what she’s doing now? That’s right: Coca Cola, as the Director of Latin Affairs.



Kitchen Think: Don’t Believe It’s “The Real Thing”


One thing you can say about the folks at Coca-Cola—they’ve always been brilliant at marketing.

The second thing you can now say—I hope no one believes they’re really offering “solutions” to the obesity epidemic.

In case you missed it, here’s one of the ads that Coke is running to distance themselves from criticism that their sugary drinks are closely related to the national epidemic of child and adult obesity.


Coca Cola wants us to believe that they are really, really trying to help our national health crisis by:

  1. Offering zero-calorie and low-calorie soda.
  2. Replacing normal sodas in school with less caloric options.
  3. Donating millions of dollars to charitable fitness programs.
  4. Discovering Truvia, an alternative sugar.
  5. Oh, and uh, by marketing their products a little differently.

The sad part is that the health advocates who have been pushing for an act of contrition from the big soda companies, just don’t have the money to launch a major and truly effective anti-obesity, anti-junk food campaign (despite making significant progress like pushing New York City to enact a 16 oz. soda ban).

Coca Cola says obesity is an issue that “concerns all of us,” and if we all just “come together,” we can make a difference.

Our country is facing its biggest health crisis EVER because of companies like Coca Cola and other junk-food vendors. For years we’ve been inundated with all kinds of propaganda telling us that we will be happier! and have a better life! with a frosty bottle of sugar in our hand!

But the reality is that until we (and the Obama administration) put real money and action behind the anti-obesity, anti-junk food advocates, we’re going to be stuck with disingenuous commercials… even as more of us die with that frosty bottle of sugar in our hand.



I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: