In recent food news, Pepsi is launching three beverages that will sweeten with cane sugar as opposed to corn-syrup. “Pepsi natural” will be sold in glass bottles, as if resorting to real sugar is a form of nostalgia for the days before corn ruled the food world. Pepsi is trying the line out in select stores across the country for a trial period of about three months, according to Reuters, and will also be testing out “Pepsi Throwback” and “Mountain Dew Throwback,” also sweetened with sugar and donning vintage packaging.
It’s hard not to wince a little when food products, or in this case beverages, start announcing “natural” on their labels. Shouldn’t everything we drink be natural to begin with? Alas, supermarkets and concession stands are lined with liters upon liters of artificially sweetened liquids. I’ve never been a big soda drinker, but I have always noted the difference in taste when drinking the rare soda in Mexico. And no, it’s not just because of the lime perched on the rim or even because of the glass bottle. It’s that Mexican coke uses real sugar. Sugar, that when drunken in excess or even that often, will rot teeth and do a number on the digestive system. But at least the flavor of sweetness in my Mexican cola is proportionate to a natural sweetener, and not to a chemically compounded corn bi-product.
So cheers to Pepsi. It’s a small step, and it’s not like cola is going to somehow get much healthier when using natural sugar. In fact, I’m sure the nutritional value won’t change much at all. But as a symbolic gesture, the company deserves a kudos for at least indirectly admitting how unnatural it’s product is, and for taking a small scoot in the right direction by introducing a natural ingredient in place of a cheaper, perhaps more efficient, fake one.