Sunday, July 8, 2012

Is Peace Tea All Natural?

Peace Tea was pretty popular in my world for about 3 weeks. I guess I should have known it was too good to be true; Peace Tea is only 99 cents, has only 150 total calories for a large 23 oz can, it tastes sweet yet retains the tea flavor, and it is widely available in the cold section of almost any convenience store.

There are so many times when even I get confused by marketing loopholes like this one. The outside of the can is fun and sexy, like Woodstock if it was on a golf course and Bill Murray was there. Doesn't Bill Murray just make everything seem awesome? There are four 'wooden' markers on the side of the can stating that this product is 100% natural tea, no artificial flavors, no preservatives, and no artificial colors. A quick nutrition label check proves there are only 50 calories, well 50 calories per serving but I'm smart enough to do the math and see there are an approximate 3 servings per can which calculates to 150 calories. A little tricky of them to assume either 3 people will share this can, or I will save it for 3 different servings on different occasions and not drink it all at once, but 150 calories really isn't that bad compared to the other options on store shelves.

It wasn't until I had been buying these fairly frequently that I checked the full ingredients label; and there it was - Sucralose. "How can that be?" I asked myself, "the label clearly indicates it's 100% Natural Tea!" Ah yes, loop-holes. 100% Natural Tea does not say anything about the rest of the ingredients, it is only stating that the tea used in this drink is natural. Duh, of course tea is natural. And my presumption when I saw the word "no" paired with "artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors" was that it was saying nothing was artificial, wrong again. I would presume that this company wanted to make a cheap beverage, widely available, that is still low in calories. With all of the 'antioxidants in tea' rage right now, and market demand for 'all natural' products, they buried their sins at the bottom of the bottle.

Sucralose may not be the worst thing in the world, but it is definitely not natural.
Tate & Lyle manufactures sucralose at a plant in Jurong, Singapore. Formerly, it was produced at a plant in McIntosh, Alabama. It is manufactured by the selective chlorination of sucrose (table sugar), which substitutes three of the hydroxyl groups with chloride. This chlorination is achieved by selective protection of the primary alcohol groups followed by acetylation and then deprotection of the primary alcohol groups. Following an induced acetyl migration on one of the hydroxyl groups, the partially acetylated sugar is then chlorinated with a chlorinating agent such as phosphorus oxychloride, followed by removal of the acetyl groups to give sucralose.
Source: wikipedia

I don't really know what any of that scientific mumbo jumbo means, but I'm pretty sure I shouldn't need it to explain to me what is in something I'm drinking.

More proof that the more money you spend on your marketing team, the more likely it is that you're trying to sell a bad product.

Ingredients label for Peace Tea Caddy Shack


Chris J said...

You read my mind. I asked in a very neutral tone on their Facebook fan page about the Sucralose thing and within minutes, my question was deleted. So, they obviously have something to hide if they are to pander to the health-conscious crowd.

David Spaulding said...

Well, it is listed as the last ingredient as opposed to soda which pretty much always starts off with "water, hfcs...". I try to stick with water and go for a Peace Tea maybe once a week. Now if they would just bring back Ceylon Tea..

Kazan22 said...

"Sucralose is found in many food and beverage products, used because it is a no-calorie sweetener, does not promote dental cavities,[12] is safe for consumption by diabetics,[13][14][15] and does not affect insulin levels."
That stuff sounds terrible.

Xanquebo said...

it tastes like synthetic crap. Put in every peace tea to create a "pleasant" aftertaste. But it is not broken down by the body at all and therefore is a CARCINOGEN...seems that the peace tea company(puppeteered by Monster Energy) wants the people who normally avoid the toxins laced into nearly all mass produced foods/beverages to drink up their fair share of the poison by enticing them with slogans and artistic designs touting "all natural" and "here you hippe take a sip"...yeah right. Thanks peace tea, for exploiting my philosophical views and eagerness to trust and accept your naturalistic facade. god damn

Blake Pennington said...

Just because it doesn't break down in your body does not effect, in any form or fashion, whether the item is "bad" for your body. For instance, take the commonly grouped vegetable, corn. Corn does not break down in your body either. The human fecal matter, after consuming corn, does prove this statement. As small as the item is, corn is much larger than the "Splenda" particles. So the statement of the "hidden artificial preservatives" harming your body is invalid.

Dony Morris said...

I read an article that said that sucralose is made from sugar but the resulting chemical is closer to DDT than sugar. If it is not harmful, why not put it on the front of the can "NOW WITH SPLENDA"

JackyBRyant25 said...

Artificial sweeteners are all bad for us. Our bodies were not made to digest them. Phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol are toxic and affect the nervous system. Acesulfame-K is a potassium salt containing methylene chloride and it is carcinogenic. Saccharin is a sulfa-based sweetener and the main ingredient in it is benzoic sulfimide. Many people are allergic to sulfamides. Saccharin caused bladder cancer in rats. Some have pointed out the same affect was seen in rats who were given "vitamin C", but I would point out that ascorbic acid is a synthetic form of vitamin C...not natural vitamin C. I really liked this tea, but I will not be drinking it anymore.

Blacccy said...

I am having a fibro attack tonight so I knew I must have had something with aspartame today. So I thought back and the only thing it could be was the Peace Tea. Sure enough. Now I can just lay here and cry from the pain.

Sue said...

I got a can of Peace Tea on hot summer day in CA. After reading on the can 100% natual, no artifical ingredients, I was so happy thinking I found a not so sweet (50 caolories per 8 oz) tea with real flavors. I chugged down about half the can and shortly felt very dizzy and a nauseous. I pulled over and looked at the can and was shocked to see sucralose in the ingredients list. I drank some water and got back on the road. But I had weird symptoms moving around my body for another half hour, like it affected my nervous system. I have had sucralose in other foods without such an experiecne so I believe without any fats or proteins to slow the metabolising, this stuff went right into my sesytem and played havoc.

Sue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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