Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Coca-Cola to Enter the Competitive School Milk Market with Coca-Cola Pro?

For the next few weeks I'm going to take some time off from blogging - but don't you fret, I've curated a collection of some of my favourite posts from 2010. Today's post confused and upset a pile of folks. Guess it was just too believable - and isn't that a statement in and of itself.
In a surprise move the Coca Cola company announced the launch of its new product, Coca Cola Pro designed specifically for school children.

Said a company spokesperson,
"Children require extra attention for their nutritional needs. To that end we've designed Coca Cola Pro. Fortified with 8 grams of protein, 25% of their daily recommended value of calcium and 45% of their daily recommended value of vitamin D, Coca Cola Pro can help to ensure that your children grow up with strong bones and helps them to build the lean tissue important for their metabolisms."
Education Minister Leona Dombrowsky, when asked about the new beverage stated,
"Our goal is to ensure that kids have access to good and healthy food and Coca Cola Pro, despite having a bit of added sugar, helps to provide essential nutrients to our children. We hope to help make it available to school boards across Ontario to be run in concert with school milk programs."
Think that'd be nuts?

Think that a smidgen of protein, calcium and vitamin D couldn't possibly make Coca Cola a healthy beverage?

Well while Coca Cola Pro and those quotes up above aren't real, there is an equally ridiculous beverage being pushed on our children - chocolate milk.

Drop per drop when compared with the Coca Cola Pro I created, chocolate milk has identical amounts of protein, calcium and vitamin D with the added "benefit" of having 17% more sugar, 80% more calories and 590% more sodium.

And while Leona Dombrowsky didn't come out in strong support of Coca Cola, she did come out in strong support of chocolate milk.

You see Ontario had been considering a ban on 500mL cartons of chocolate milk. A few days ago they backed off that plan and Leona was quoted as stating (for real this time),
"Milk and chocolate milk is available in our schools because it is good for kids....Our goal is to ensure that kids have access to good and healthy food like milk and chocolate milk....You know, 'milk does a body good and that's what we want to make sure that our students have access to"
Yes Leona, what could be better for kids than a beverage that per 500mL carton contains 1/3 of a child's total daily sodium recommendation, 15.5 teaspoons of sugar and more calories than 10 pieces of licorice?

What could be better?

My mythical Coca Cola Pro. It'd have the same magic nutrients of milk but with less sugar, less sodium and fewer calories.

Yet somehow I don't think it's too bad that Coca Cola doesn't make it, instead I think it's too bad that Big Milk has so completely indoctrinated the world into thinking that milk's magic that no one bothers to question comments like Leona's, and that hoodwinked schools, parents, politicians and health professionals continue to defend chocolate milk's consumption.