Mt. Dew? You are what you drink. I had to take Hydrocodone.

Posted: January 17, 2012 
Filed under: Eating, Food, Humor, Leadership
Comments: Leave a Comment


(a) I drink pop. (Soda, or “Coke,” for my southern friends.) Not a lot. We don’t keep it in our house much; but I enjoy a root beer when I’m out for lunch. My weakness is a fresh-mixed vanilla coke from Sonic during Happy Hour.

(b) I’ve never cared for Mt. Dew. I don’t quite get what it’s supposed to taste like. Plus, except for the aforementioned vanilla coke, the only other pop I drink if root beer without caffeine, so I don’t like the jittery way Mt. Dew makes me feel.


(c) I am neither a health-nut, nor a legal analyst.

So, why would I pay attention to the lawsuit between an Illinois man and PepsiCo, the maker of Mt. Dew? I wouldn’t pay it much attention except for a quick glance at a blurb in the paper about PepsiCo’s defense in the matter. NOW it has my full attention.

It seems Ronald Bell, from Edwardsville in Illinois (down near St. Louis), purchased a can of Mt. Dew in 2009. He claims to have found a dead mouse in the can. It seems he doesn’t see the blessing that it was better than finding a live mouse in the can. I know you think I’ve gotten to the disturbing part of the story, but I haven’t. If you drink or eat any packaged product that comes out of factory, you must assume there are occasional tasty “extras” you’re consuming. Every major company has a statistic on how many “extra pieces” like bugs, ants, hair, fecal matter (yes, seriously!) get into their product. And the FDA considers a certain amount of those items to be acceptable in the course of doing business. I really hope you’re not eating a bowl or Spaghetteos or breakfast cereal while you read this. If this is making you queasy, you should never work in the back kitchen or a restaurant…ever. Law of averages says you’re going to win the extra protien once in a while, especially if you eat out.

Sadly, I’m speaking from experience. This already happened to me a few years ago and it got me seriously ill for a while. I had to buy hydrocodone to combat it, and it got everyone in the family worried for a while. Thankfully it did go away, the infection was found in time and resolved, and I was back up and running in no more than a couple weeks. It opened our eyes though. And boy, could it have been a lot of worse.

No, that whole mouse in the can thing is old news – happened over a year ago. In fact, there are no criminal charges in the case. Again, cost of doing business. One mouse in a can out of millions of cans sold is acceptable. The news is what happened in the civil case last week. PepsiCo presented their defense based NOT on the promise they have controls that would guarantee a mouse couldn’t get into a can. Don’t think on that too long or you’ll get nauseous all over again. Nope, the PepsiCo case was based on the fact Mt. Dew would break down and eat away anything inside the can. Ummm, excuse me…  The Madison Record reported the details of the case: “The expert witness, veterinarian Lawrence McGill, said if a mouse is submerged in Mountain Dew between four and seven days, the rodent ‘will have no calcium in its bones and bony structures.’ After 30 days, ‘all of the mouse’s structures’ will be disintegrated.” As a consolation, he did say there will still be some gelatinous “goo” left over in the can from the decayed tissue. Can somebody get me a can of Mt. Dew? I’m thirsty for some sweetened, acidic goo.

I’m going to guess someone in the marketing department at PepsiCo was pounding their head against their desk and screaming, “NO! Admit a mouse got in the can! Pay the guy a million dollars for finding a mouse! Don’t let our attorneys tell the public our drink will eat away their bodies from the inside out!”

Granted you’d have to be submerged inside a drum of pop to have it eat away all your bones and soft tissue. But, think about how much the average teenager, office worker, video game player, or night shift employee drinks while chugging can after can of that soda. It moves through us quickly, and goes through our stomach that’s equipped to more easily handle that kind of acid, but…c’mon.

I believe the new Mt. Dew ad campaign will be “Mt. Dew – It didn’t kill you yet! And, now, with added protein!”

Seriously, on the positive side, Mt. Dew does have lower acidity levels that straight orange juice. Which sounds good until you consider that most people don’t drink a liter of orange juice over the course of the day while sitting at their desk. Besides, we all know most soda brands also include BVO (brominated vegetable oil), which is a chief ingredient in flame-retardent chemicals. This really means the pop I drink is both trying to eat away my body and keeping it from bursting into flames. Seems like those processes cancel out one another.

I think I’ll go have a glass of water now. Please, don’t tell me fish poop in my water supply. I can’t handle that detail right now.

The Unexamined Life and All


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