It’s Because He Can’t Handle the Zero Calorie AWESOMENESS, That’s Why

Yes, I know about Hugo Chavez banning Coke Zero from Venezuela. You can stop sending me the urgent e-mails and tweets, thanks. No, I can’t hazard a guess why, aside from the rather dubious contention that it contains some form of a harmful ingredient. I think we’ve already well established that President Chavez has more than his share of loopy in any event, and it’s not as if Venezuela was on my list of places to visit, anyway. Not that I plan my visits with an eye toward cola availability, mind you. That said, when New Zealand stopped making Raspberry Coke, let’s just say my fervor to visit that particular island country cooled a tick. I will speak no more about that.

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

41 replies on “It’s Because He Can’t Handle the Zero Calorie AWESOMENESS, That’s Why”

You realize that Venezuela has a thriving cattle and pork industry? That’s right, beef and bacon. Now, tell me again about your reluctance to visit that Mecca of meat lovers everywhere? I thought as much.

Ok, so he bans Coke Zero, that’s weird. What I don’t get is why people are writing to you about this. Are you some sort of Coke Zero expert?

(I know you have a love for bacon, dare I say fetish?)

The way I feel about Hugo Chavez, if he bans something that is just another reason to drink it.

Not that I need another reason to drink Coke Zero. Its glorious taste is all the reason I need.


Please come to New Zealand — if you really want to drink something unfit for human consumption, you don’t need Raspberry Coke. We have millions upon millions of sheep that can supply all the warm urine your heart desires. (Don’t ask.) Or all the ambrosial Coke Zero you can handle.

Your call.

My sister spent an entire vacation in London searching for iced tea…

Which is rather surprising, given that London could have supplied her with ample quantities of a) tea and b) ice.

Maybe he just doesn’t like it. My husband’s place of employment has banned microwave popcorn. Not because it might burn and stink up the place, but because the normal tasty smell is actually disgusting to one of the VPs. I don’t think that man is human. And I bet he doesn’t go to the movies very much.

I’m not a fan of the popcorn smell, either, but mostly I wish my place of employment would ban microwaving anything fish-related.

Do we need a canonical Coke Zero page now?

Funny thing about the asparitame folks- their ire (or glee!) would be totally misplaced here as Coke Zero is sweetened with sucralose, this being the exact difference between Diet Coke and Coke Zero.

Not that that will stop them- just look at the comments in the linked story.

Aspartame and Sucralose both give me headaches if I consume them in significant quantities, probably because of my massive number of food allergies (it could be the caffiene too). Drinking diet cola of any stripe is generally straight out.

I really wish coke would drop a sugar-sweetened cola on the market that didn’t cost $20 a case at costco.

Well if that’s the reason Venezuela banned it, that seems perfectly reasonable to me- but what’s weird is that they apparently have not provided any rationale or justification whatsoever.

How hard is it to say, “We have concerns about this ingredient and are pulling this product while those concerns are addressed” or similar?

The obvious follow-up question would be, are there other products available in Venezuela containing cyclamate (likely) and are they also banned (doesn’t sound like it)?

The whole thing is just odd, but then Chavez is a pretty odd guy.

@#30 Coke that is Kosher for Passover is made with sugar, so are all such soft drinks.

Around New York, and I suspect all large US cities you can get it for about 6 weeks at no difference in price. Finding soft drinks that do a Kosher for Passover variation usually don’t produce the corn-syrup one at the same time.

The Other Keith @32 — Nope. Coke Zero does have aspartame; however, there is a variant of Diet Coke that uses sucralose.

Other Ben @22 — I’m not an aspartame “truther;” I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories about the stuff. I can tell you, though, that there are people out there who have weird reactions to it — my husband is one of them. It’s not psychosomatic, either; there’ve been several instances where he inadvertantly ate some and started wondering why he was feeling ill until he looked at the ingredients. But it seems safe for most people.

ntsc @ 33: I’ve never seen any in the SF Bay Area, though I do note that the supermarkets near my home now carry gluten-free kosher cakes around passover, which is glorious and amazing and I only wish that they had more of this stuff available year-round. I will have to see where I can pick up this kosher-for-passover coke when the holiday comes around again, though!

Not that I blame you, as the original article also talked about Chavez banning Coke Zero, but if the FDA banned some imported Venezuelan drink, would you talk about how Obama didn’t like it?

Martin @ 38:

Of course not! This only applies when the news refer to a so called (by some Americans) banana republic.

And John, I find excellent you don’t want to come over here, we Venezuelans much prefer nice people visiting us.

Sorry, but I have it on good report that Coke Zero tastes vaguely like unwashed ass. Report, that is, as I have tasted Coke Zero but have not, in fact, partaken of unwashed ass. Because even I have standards, and those standards say that Diet Coke doesn’t suck so bad after all.

If I must have Coke Zero–and I mustn’t–I’ll drink it like I used to drink Budweiser on rare occasion: very cold, to numb my tongue, and very fast.

See? Chavez isn’t *that* crazy.

And? Coke Zero is NOT sweetened with sucralose. If anyone has any question about this, email me. I’ll go get one out of the machine down in my apartment building’s laundry room and photograph it for you.

Had it been sweetened with sucralose, it would taste much less like unwashed ass. Alas…

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