Coke, Corn and the Drought of 2012

vintage illustration coke ad american farmer  1940s

Have a Coke and a Smile

There seems to be a whole lot less to smile about these days.

As the good cheer of Coke comes under blistering attack for its empty calories contributing to the obesity epidemic in America, the very corn used to create the high fructose corn syrup used in the sugary concoction, is itself under assault by a perfect storm of drought and excessive heat.

The proud American farmer who once claimed boasting rights to a bountiful corn harvest has been devastated by the drought of 2012.

The post-war farmer in this 1946 Coca Cola ad proudly displaying his prize corn crop to his neighborhood pals at the local soda shop stands in sharp contrast to the countless media images we have seen recently of American farmers woefully holding wilted corn ravaged by the drought.

Corn has been the backbone of Americas agriculture for generations with 75% of our food supply containing corn.

The wilting heat and drought now  threaten to send food prices soaring due to short supplies of staples like corn, soybeans and wheat.

Bubbly Blues

But not to worry soda lovers.

They’ll still be plenty of pop to go around.

Soda makers like Coca Cola will simply switch back to using good old-fashioned sugar instead of the less expensive and considerably sweeter high fructose corn syrup.

In the early 1980s, Coca Cola had pulled a switcheroo in their usually closely guarded formula. It was no secret that they switched from sugar to high fructose corn syrup as the sweet syrup was more cost-effective.

Sweet Dreams

As it turns out there may be a silver lining fans for fans of the sweet carbonated beverages

U.S. sugar stocks are plentiful.

Record crops of US sugar beets are expected this fall as well as large sugarcane harvest in the Gulf Coast region.

For those with a sweet tooth, that’s something to smile about.

For N.Y.C.’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, not so much.

 

Copyright (©) 2012 Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved

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