top of page
Beverages: What's ideal for all living creatures?

July 2023 / by Cookhouse Hero

My family used orange juice as a way to say sorry. Kids are given sugary, chemical-filled juice boxes as a "healthy" option. And high-fructose corn syrup (from tax-payer subsidized GMO corn) is used by Big Beverage and Big Fast Food so that soft drinks can be sold cheaply at a high profit. What's ideal? Water and tea. Simple as that.

  • Real Food Recipes: Sweet Potato Soul offers a refreshing hibiscus and pineapple-skin tea. LINK

  • In the News: Healthline shares 7 science-based health benefits of drinking enough water. LINK

  • Feeding Families: Habitz explains how to help kids break their soda and juice habit. LINK


(water and tea... simple as that)

CH BLOG - July 2023 / © by Cookhouse Hero / Reading time: 3.75 minutes

Clever marketing and sugar addiction strike again.

     Big Beverage is getting rich. And fast. One reason is our unintentional addiction to sugar. HFCS - high fructose corn syrup - is contributing to out of control type-2 and type-3 diabetes, obesity, and other chronic conditions. Although it's common knowledge that sugar-based beverages can lead to illness and death, we still can't get enough of this stuff. Cha-Ching! Another reason is that HFCS is subsidized by our taxes which farmers use to grow GMO-mono-crop corn (with all due respect to hard-working family farmers who are caught up in the contract-farming racket, too). This corn is turned into high fructose corn syrup, which is then sold by Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Mountain Dew, A & W Root Beer, etc at a high profit. Ever wonder why Big Fast Food can sell their beverages so cheaply? Now you know. The actual cost of a $1 soft drink (.91 euros) is mainly labor and packaging. 


     So, what's also behind the liquid curtain? Clever marketing strikes again! The amount of advertising dollars in Big Beverage is mind-blowing; an estimated $524 million (447 million euros) were spent on marketing campaigns in 2022. Here are the top five Big Beverage advertising spends in 2022:

  • Anheuser-Busch InBev Leuven, Belgium / Beer, Hard Cider, Flavored Malt Beverages $57.7 M (52.5 M euros)

  • Nestlé Sa Vevey, Switzerland / Coffee, Water, Juice, Juice Drinks, RTD (ready to drink) Tea, RTD Coffee, Energy Drinks, Sports Drinks, Dairy-based Drinks, Beverage Mixes, Liquid Concentrates $45.1 M (41 M euros)

  • The Coca-Cola Co, USA / Soft Drinks, Water, Sports Drinks, Juice Drinks, RTD Tea, RTD Coffee, Liquid Concentrates, Dairy-based Drinks $43 M (39.1 M euros)

  • PepsiCo Inc, USA  / Soft Drinks, Sports Drinks, Water, Energy Drinks, Juice Drinks, RTD Tea, RTD Coffee $36.2 M (29.7 M euros)

  • Starbucks Corp, USA /  Coffee, RTD Tea, RTD Coffee, Juice Drinks, Tea, Water $32.2 M (29.3 M euros)


Clever writing pulls on our "neuromarketing" brain-heart strings. Coke adds life. It's the real thing. Every Generation Refreshes the World. And my personal fav: It's the weekend everyday!

Spirits might (and might not) be a double-edged sword.

     I've written about the alcohol industry's tendency to squash solid, evidence-based clinical research that connects alcohol consumption with cancer (see link below). One drink a week doesn't show up on negative radars, but more than one does. There are also some solid studies focused on the health benefits of red wine and other spirits. At the same time, there are reputable studies that debunk this info. The research I've focused on are placebo-controlled, peer-reviewed clinical trials not funded by special interests, and they're pointing to an overall negative effect of spirits on our health and longevity. When I lived in Bavaria, a shot of clear spirits was offered after a heavy meal as a digestive. It was amazing how much better I felt within a couple minutes. And beer and wine have been consumed for eons and was a primary beverage for our ancestors. All of this info is true, in their own ways. YET, similar to the high fat-sugar-salt content in modern foods, the modern liquids we consume are highly-processed. And harmful. This isn't about enjoying a cold brew at a baseball game or a champagne toast at a wedding... as a treat. This is more about getting educated on the highly toxic and disease-causing products that are making us sick, obese, addicted, and food for fungi (ie; dead). 


In beverage education, I found that the most mis/disinformation campaigns and the most resistance are about alcohol. Smart advice about not drinking so much is a tough reality-pill to swallow. For me, I love a spicy bloody Mary at a Sunday brunch or a cold beer at a White Sox game. I get it.

What to do?

     The ideal beverage for all creatures, great and small, is water (generally 60-64 ounces a day / 1.77-1.89 liters... too much water and tea are harmful, too). So, is it any wonder that single-use bottled water is a cash cow? For example, Starbucks bottled water, Ethos, is sold as a Save-the-World product with a promised 5 cents per bottle donation "to support water, sanitation, and hygiene education programs in water-stressed countries." News flash: the profit margin for Ethos water is 98%, it's not made with recycled plastic, and it's manufactured by PepsiCo. Starbucks is the Emperor of Greenwashing Marketing Tactics while the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (see link below) grows with single-use plastic beverage bottles every moment. Plus, the bliss-point/crave-ability factor of Starbucks products (and products made by many other companies) is high. Beverage scientists have intentionally created addictive products while shareholders laugh all the way to the bank. Shameful. Buyer beware.


     The other ideal beverage for human consumption is tea. Green and hibiscus are the two most nutritious choices. If your body can properly process caffeine, then earl grey and other black teas are cool, as well as coffee, which has been shown to improve brain health. Giving our kids disease-causing drinks needs to be re-examined. Pressuring friends, family, and co-workers to join in celebrations with spirits needs to be reconsidered. And subsidizing HFCS that makes Big Beverage and Big Fast Food crazy-rich needs to stop. As an alternative, let's subsidize farmers to instead grow fungi, hemp, produce, nuts, seeds, whole grains for human consumption, and legumes. Also keep in mind that the packaging alone of our unhealthy beverages is a profound reason to drink water and tea. Turns out, we're killing our oceans with plastic. Ouch! So, the next time you're thirsty, say yes to water and tea. Simple as that.

Click on the links below and get inspired to drink (and eat) water!


From the KidZone

  • Dehydration... means that your body doesn't have enough water in it to keep it working right. People get water by drinking and eating. You lose water when you sweat, pee, have diarrhea, or throw up. You even lose a little water when you breathe. By the way, water is the healthiest beverage for humans. Absolutely the best choice. Tea is cool, too.

  • Eat nutritious high-water foods... cauliflower, zucchini, strawberries, cucumbers, peaches, oranges, celery, broccoli, lettuce, bell peppers, pineapples, cantaloupe melons, honeydew melons, and watermelons.

bottom of page