Archive for July, 2014


July 1980

One factor in the high grocery bills that lots of people complain about at every opportunity is the strange attachment Americans have to any liquid as long as it isn’t water. They go to great lengths to avoid drinking water: collecting and storing numerous awkward bottles, accumulating perculaters and dripulators, assembling packets of powder in many colors, shelling out immense amounts of money. All this, in order to pour a fluid down their throat that tickles the taste buds and stimulates the body.
Like Admiral David G. Faragut who shouted, “Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead!” as he sailed his squadron into Mobile Bay in 1864, people slurp a massive combination of chemicals and drugs in pursuit of gustatory pleasure and to overcome fatigue with no regard to the long term effect on their health.
What are the dangers in our popular water substitutes? One of the most prevalent, coffee, is expensive, stains the teeth, and is loaded with caffeine. Many nutritionists say caffeine is harmful to personal health. One cup of coffee can quickly destroy a good night’s sleep for some people.
Tea is cheaper in price than coffee, but it, too contains caffeine, though in lesser amounts. Since people usually drink a lot of iced tea in the summer, the result is about the same as for coffee. Neither coffee nor tea have any calories and are accordingly popular with weight watchers.
The sky- rocketing price of chocolate and cocoa has made drinks from either product costly. They contain a smaller amount of caffeine, but are usually loaded with sugar and are high in calories. Their one redeeming quality is the milk used in their preparation, since it is a good source of calcium, protein and vitamins.
Another widely used alternative to water is the cola drinks available in even the poorest and most decrepit neighborhoods here and abroad. They combine the worst features of all the other drinks and are high in sugar content, empty calories, and caffeine. The cost of soft drinks is excessive, too. Their advertisement is directed toward young people and encourages them to drink colas so they can be glamorous and seductive. “Regular” use of these drinks among young people helps to establish the caffeine habit for life. It also helps the cola companies pay big salaries and big dividends.
Other kinds of pop are not much better for a healthy life than the colas. They, too, are full of caffeine and chemicals. The only way to tell what is in the bottle is to read the microscopic words printed on the top of the lid with a magnifying glass in a strong light. Even then the rank and file consumer won’t have the least idea what the effect on him will be in the long run.
The popularity of diet colas and pop is growing. Their use is an example of spending money for nothing. Good money goes for a bottle of diet drink, each swallow of which may be injurious; those in important positions in government regulatory agencies can’t agree on what will be the final result of drinking endless cans and bottles of diet pop.
Beverages, such as Kool Aid, made from artificially colored and flavored powdered mixes are high in sugar, color additive, and calories. Their advertising is appalling. It gives the misleading information that a truly devoted mother must see to it that her darling children lap up several quarts of the concoction daily to grow up strong and fearless.
While people continue to guzzle these health- eroding and high- priced fluids, coffee, tea, chocolate, cola, pop, and Kool Aids, there is a drink that is extremely cheap, naturally delicious, relatively pure, devoid of calories, and readily available as close as the nearest faucet – water. With the addition of a little ice, it is the best thirst quencher that can be found.
There are health enthusiasts that swear by a cup of hot water every morning for a smooth functioning body. Adding two or three tablespoons of frozen lemon concentrate to a cup of hot water makes an apertif that can be further enhanced by a dash of cinnamon, allspice or cloves to become a comfortable companion along with a good book on a quiet winter evening.
Taking a good look at the amount of money spent for harmful beverages and cutting down or better yet, eliminating them would, in many instances, free sufficient grocery money to purchase a balanced diet of meat, eggs, milk, cereals, fruit, and vegetables. As farm women vitally concerned with the cost of food to our customer, the consumer, perhaps we might tactfully and pleasantly spread the word when the subject of stretching the food dollar is discussed at club meetings, on the job, or in a grocery aisle.


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