Thursday, February 3, 2011

Clean up on aisle 2

I don't know what is in your vending machines, but if you wander around UVU campus, the drink machines contain drinks such as Mtn. Dew, Pepsi, lemonade, juices, energy drinks and neuros. They're expensive, well a dollar twenty five... spending that much each time you need a drink gets costly (yes, I know water bottles exist, but I don't like water bottles).

Yesterday, I really wanted a soda, and Chan really wanted some Sprite, so I went to the grocery to buy some. After wandering around, I found the drink aisle. The first half is dedicated to liters of bottled sodas. The center islands are dedicated to cases of canned sodas. The second half is the chilled drink section. I grabbed a 2 liter of Sprite and went for the cold drinks for myself.

Just as grocery shopping is a bad idea to do on an empty stomach, so is drink shopping when thirsty. I meandered down the little fridge section, gazing at all the options. Two thirds of the case were purely energy drinks. My eyes naturally just skip those shelves now. I noticed a couple of shelves of bottled waters that claimed to have magical powers such as "increases metabolism!" but none of them promised to cure my thirst. Besides, carbonated water is just disgusting.

After eliminating a good portion of the drink section, I was left with fruit smoothies that contain milk, and juices that are more expensive than the shoes I'm wearing. Neither of those were really for me: lactose intolerant and poor.

I decided I'd just grab a Dew and go home, but something caught my eye. Right there, wedged between gross bubbly water, and "canned sleep" I found neuros! Neuros haunt me from the vending machine every day. I've always wondered what they were. They come in awesome bottles, so it must be an awesome drink.

The first thing I noticed when looking at them was the different names each one had. "Neuro Bliss", "Neuro Sleep", etc.

I went for the "neurobliss" because it's easily the most eye-catching. This drink promised to increase my memory and other brain functions. It sounded just perfect! "Intelligence in a bottle!" After reading the label, I checked the ingredients. It all sounded very scientific. Then there were warnings. In most cases, a drink that needs a warning is not a drink I'll be partaking of. If the warning on a drink is something along the lines of "Contains soy" or "Contains lactose" or "Manufactured in a plant that also manufactures peanuts" that is fine (the first and third being more fine than the middle).

This drink contained the soy warning, along with two other warnings. "Do not drink Neuro if you're pregnant or nursing" and--this really got me--"Don't allow children to drink Neuro." What could be in a drink that promises all sorts of brilliant outcomes that isn't healthy for children? And why would I put something in my body that I wouldn't put in a child's?

I realized right there that I don't want to have anything to do with those drinks.

I stood back and looked at the mini-macro fridge or beverages. Two thirds were energy drinks that have more caffeine than one person needs in a lifetime. One sixth were magic waters that could help me "shed those extra pounds" but not cure my thirst. One twelfth were expensive juices that make no promises except to help my wallet "shed those extra pounds." I realized that our society has become really, really messed up. We can't just go to the store and buy a simple soda without needing to take out a separate loan, and plain ol' H2O is apparently too boring, now we need magic, cure-all water!

I think it would be more beneficial in the long run to invest in a portable drinking fountain.

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