Ahh, now that’s some refreshing carcinogens! It’s not likely to be in Pepsi’s new ad campaign, but a report last week revealed that Pepsi Cola still contains an ingredient that has been found to cause cancer in rats. And, they’re not in a hurry to take it out.
That report – the one that says there’s a potential cancer-causing ingredient in your cola – it’s from 2007. It was only in 2012 – when California mandated that cola companies put a warning label on their beverages – that the big wigs decided to make a change to the manufacturing process to eliminate the carcinogen.
Are you now wondering why no government has mandated that they REMOVE the substance instead of just warning you about it? Or, why not EVERY government is demanding warning labels? Yeah, us too.
It appears that Coke complied with the recipe change across the board, but Pepsi only changed the cola bound for California. How was that decision made? Did someone say, ‘Sure, take the carcinogens out of that cola for those west coast hippies, but leave it in for the rest of the world’?
The only reason we know about the substance still being in Pepsi is because the Center for Environmental Health (an American watchdog group) conducted tests on Pepsi and Coke cola products from around the USA to see if it was still in there. There have been no such tests done on cola products being consumed in Canada.
Promises have been made by the big producers that all cola will be made without the carcinogen by 2014 but without any formal regulation and no mandate; there are no guarantees.
By the way, 4-Methylimidazole – the offending ingredient – is used to make that iconic caramel colour we associate with cola. They don’t really need it for taste – just for colour.
The obvious answer here is to STOP drinking the stuff! But, if that isn’t in the cards for you, there are other solutions too.
DIY. While making your own soda at home has never been easier thanks to at home carbonation systems like Soda Stream, you can take it a step further and make your own cola syrup to add to your fizzy water. But, chances are, once you read the warnings about the ‘corrosive’ ingredients you’re likely to stick with the plain old fizzy water.
Get Steeped. Believe it or not, there is a way to enjoy the cola flavour without having to pop open a can. You can steep it. There are few teas that taste just like the real thing – Red Leaf Tea offers up Cola Matcha Tea or try 52 Teas’ Cherry Vanilla Cola Black Tea. Make it thirst quenching by chilling it and serving it over ice with a fresh lemon wedge.
Whether you’re sipping a steeped cola tea or making friends with a new sparkling beverage, make sure you send some love to California. Or, better yet, pay that fantastic state a visit. If it weren’t for them and their demand for warning labels, the big cola companies may well have gone on quietly taking our health for granted. .