Secret Ingredients

PepsiCo has announced they will be removing a controversial chemical in their popular sports drink Gatorade, but you can still get your daily dose of the flame-retardant brominated vegetable oil (BVO) in Mountain Dew and Amp, which is probably important considering the massive levels of caffeine and sugar could cause you to spontaneously combust. Brings a whole new meaning to internal combustion doesn’t it. 

But PepsiCo isn’t the only beverage company using this stabilizer in its beverages. About 10% of the available sodas have it. Most citrus flavored drinks use BVO to keep the flavor from separating in the drink. Sodas with separating ingredients would have to include instructions to shake well before consuming, and we know how well that would work out.

It’s no secret the FDA isn’t very interested in the health problems related to ingredients in the food supply. Though food is what the “F” stands for, drugs are where the money’s at, just ask any street peddler. Plus, health problems from chemicals in food further fuel pharmaceutical profit potentials, so it’s a nice little circle.

Thanks to Sarah Kavanagh, PepsiCo had to come out about this. They said they were already planning to remove BVO from Gatorade, and have been working with alternative ingredients for over a year. She spoiled their secret mission. Wouldn’t Austin Powers be proud. So now Gatorade is switching to sucrose acetate isobutyrate (SAIB), an organic compound mixed with some chemical compounds and liquefied. Yeah, that sounds safer. It does still carry the GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) label, whereas BVO was lost its GRAS status to an infinite interim of maybe safe maybe not safe status over 40 years ago.

We eat and drink a lot of crap that we have no idea about. Yellow #5 comes from coal tar. Remember Olean, aka Olestra? The chip industry’s answer to fat-free chips was the shit, until people realized how much it made their butts leak. There’s the whole growth hormone in cows milk making women’s boobs bigger argument too. Plus there’s arsenic here and formaldehyde there, so we don’t really know what it is we are eating, or what we are eating was eating before we ate it.

The common denominator is cheap and fast manufacturing to increase production and lower costs. You would think that consuming more fruits and vegetables would be the simple answer, except that pesticides, insecticides, and other  -cides in commercial food production are waterproof, and any remnants are sealed on by the wax coating used to make the food look pretty under the shiny grocery store fluorescent lights. There is always the organic option, if you don’t want to ever be able to afford anything else.

The moral of the story is, maybe Soylent Green wasn’t so far off afterall. We are in the middle of a green smoothie craze, aren’t we.


7 thoughts on “Secret Ingredients

  1. With food now adays you really do have to pick your battles … every day seems they’ve found a new additive in our food that does something bad to us. Good post


    • Food is less food and more chemicals and compounds meant to taste like food. Regulations come after the product is on the market and if it has caused enough problems that people start talking. Even then it’s not enough. Olean is still used for fat-free chips. BVO will remain in drinks, even though the FDA can’t definitively say it’s safe; there’s too many powerful companies using it and there’s money in that.


      • I know…I was avoiding Hydrogenated Oil almost more than a decade ago now…and it is astonishing how many things that crap is in. Now its Fructose, which helps cancer cells grow. Nice. I read labels…I’m one of those people that can be annoying to shop with …always “do you know what’s in that”? 😉


        • Side effects have to be listed with medicine, but not with food. What would we buy if we knew the side effects of the food we are eating? Not much, probably. Some of these “food” are linked to cancer, thyroid imbalances, diabetes, early onset puberty…and the list goes on. I have to wonder if these cigarettes aren’t the healthiest thing I’m putting in my body (until Saturday when I quit).


          • I know eh, atleast with smokes I know what I’m ingesting…cause legally they have to tell me. I agree…if they did have to list side-effects…however, you know darn well there will always be those who just don’t care and will drink their 40 diet soda’s a/day and not understand why they’re unhealthy ….like, duh…I don’t know. YEAH….for quitting. I gotta do that too


            • I’m quitting because I’m ready. I set a date and made it public so I couldn’t go back. I hope it sticks. I’m also the only one in my office who smokes and I live alone, so it helps that I don’t feel like I’m leaving a fellow smoker behind. I just hope I’m strong enough to make it last.


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