I always thought that root beer is a healthy naturally flavored beverage. Not exactly. Yes, quillaia extract is a natural ingredient. According to the Wikipedia: Quillaia is the milled inner bark or small stems and branches of the soapbark. It contains a high concentration of saponins and is used to enhance vaccines. That’s it, nothing else for you to benefit from the A & W Root Beer.
DyeDiet Doesn’t Buy It!
Because of three foreign food additives (red segments in the diagram) a drink of the root beer will expose you to substantial chemical risk of DDFI = 19/8 ~ 2.4 and will give you ridiculously poor nutritional value of DDNF = 8/22 ~ 0.4. See below for more detail.
- Caramel color is not as innocent as it used to be in the past. Today’s caramel color contains significant amounts of carcinogenic side products resulting from the modern technology that includes treatment with ammonia. Recently both PepsiCo and Coca-Cola companies have directed suppliers to alter the manufacturing of their caramel-color additive and remove the disputed chemicals.
- Sodium benzoate is a food preservative with relatively low acute toxicity of LD50 ~ 1.6 g/Kg of body weight (see chapter 11 of Sodium benzoate MSDS). However, in acidic medium it may produce highly toxic benzene that is known to cause cancers and reproductive damage (see Benzene MSDS). Also read PDF document Effect of colors and sodium benzoate on children.
- Natural and artificial flavorsare a bunch of chemicals that manufacturers keep in secret.
Although A&W Root Beer is made without artificial food dyes, it contains whooping 75 g of sugar (that is ~19 teaspoons!) and 580 calories per 20 OZ bottle! Looks like A & W Root Beer is sugary syrup that should be served with pancakes.
Too much sugar makes you sick and stupid
Yes, sugar and HFCS are macro-nutrients our body needs to function well but too much of anything is detrimental to our health. In the year of 2000 average American consumed 64 pounds of HFCS totaling 152 pounds of overall sugars a year per capita, see Profiling Food Consumption in America. In 1822, the average American ate the amount of sugar found in one of today’s 12-ounce sodas every 5 days. Now, we eat that much every 7 hours. On the 2009 data American adults eat 22 teaspoons of sugar a day; teens eat 34 teaspoons. No wonder, they say the nation is in the health crisis. Above all, recent research shows that too much sugar can make you stupid.
Better alternatives. You can drink Culligan filtered water for $1.11 per 3 gallons or you may want to choose mineral water for $1.50 a bottle.
Category: Soft drinks