California

Toast Your Marriage with a Bottle of Soy Milk in S.F. City Hall

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Coke: The champagne of fattening death beverages

Congrats Rice-a-Roni eaters, you're now welcome to come down and file for a marriage license at San Francisco's city hall any time. However, you won't be able to toast your union with a full-sugar Coke bought on the premises.

An April directive from San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom has started to kick in, and vending machines on city property will soon be stocked with delicious soy milk, but no Coca-Cola Classic.

[Banned beverages include] non-diet sodas, sports drinks and artificially sweetened water. Juice must be 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice with no added sweeteners. Diet sodas can be no more than 25 percent of the items offered, the directive says.

There should be "ample choices" of water, "soy milk, rice milk and other similar dairy or non dairy milk," says the directive, which also covers fat and sugar content in vending machine snacks.

Remember: We're no longer talking just about vending machines in schools—the thin end of the wedge on restrictions about what the country's fatties drink—but machines that cater to grown-ups. People capable of, for instance, administering the city government of San Francisco. But not of selecting a beverage to go with their lunch, apparently.

In positive vending machine news, Japan's first banana vending machine commenced operation last week.

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  1. So diet sodas are still allowed?

    Considering my past experiences with aspartame, I’ll stick with beverages that are better for me… like absinthe.

    (That being said, sugar-free energy drinks, which are usually sweetened with acesulfame potassium or sucralose, are usually just fine.)

    1. They still taste like death. There are precious few artificial sweeteners that are not awful. Those that aren’t are not in wide use yet.

      1. I’ve found Splenda to be decent. And since it’s not digested, the health consequences are probably minimal to non-existent.

        1. Everything I’ve had with Splenda has been easily detectable as fake. The marketers really tried to pass it off as “just like the real thing”, and they fooled a lot of people who repeated it to me, but I found it very obvious, but less so than the old standbys. It probably also helps that I usually avoid carbonated beverages (at least compared to most people around me).

          When you’ve never had a taste for diet drinks and you avoid them at all costs under normal circumstances, it’s really easy to identify fakers. People who live on diet drinks have already dulled their taste buds.

          I also find that those who drink diet pop are much more “addicted” to their beverages than those who drink full sugar pop.

          1. that’s right…I know lots of people who drink like 8 cans of Diet Coke a day. What is the point of that? I have trained in pharmacology but god knows what is actually in that stuff. It cannot be good. And I live in a city where the tap water tastes great. If you need the caffeine it is surely cheaper and easier to have a strong cup of coffee in the morning rather than watered down caffeine drinks all day…

        2. I out splenda in my tea as it is the “least bad” I’ve found so far.

        3. I’ve heard good things about Stevia, but it’s rare-ish and expensive still.

          And it’s usually hype coming from people desperate to make their diet crap taste better, so I take it with a grain of aspartame.

          1. I tried stevia and it tastes as bad as Equal to me, it’s just derived from plants instead of a chemist’s lab, so it’s “more natural.”

          2. From my experience, Stevia is pretty bad. Then again, it might’ve just been the beverage it was in, but the drink tasted like I was being made to drink shrubbery.

        4. In my experience, splenda can be an good approximation of HFCS’s taste or absolutely disgusting depending on the flavors it’s paired with. Fruity flavors tend to mask the weirdness of its taste – it works great in Cherry Coke Zero, but is awful in normal Coke Zero.

    2. The Federal government is killing people by the ban on cyclamates.

  2. Lack of calories doesn’t equal healthy you nimrods, and I wanted to mainline corn syrup then too bad for you. You’ll just have to go on knowing that some people will make different choices than you. Well, when you stop taking people’s choices away from them.

    Fuck. It’s small, it’s inconsequential, but it’s still infuriating and just encourages our betters to decide what’s right for us.

    1. But don’t you see, our city government needs something to do! Our streets are clean and safe, schools are top-notch, taxes are low, businesses flock here because of the sensible regulations, and the budget is in surplus! So they just don’t have many big problems left to solve.

      1. The truly sad part is that some liberal in SF is reading that and nodding his/her head.

        1. Well, even the liberals here probably think those things are screwed up, but they blame Bush or Schwarzenegger or capitalism or Prop 13 or Reagan or racism or insufficient progressivism or whatever.

          1. The government is under no obligation that I am aware of to sell drinks in their vending machines that turn fat ass Americans into even fatter assed Americans.

            You can always walk around the corner and buy that 36 ounces of Coke from Ahmed’s corner store in SF. He’s got two stores on every block there.

            The walk will do you good. If you aren’t too fat to walk a block or two, that is.

  3. Rice milk is horrendous.

    1. Horchata is tasty enough.

  4. Rice milk is horrendous.

    1. Squirrels!!

    2. So is soy “milk.” It is beyond me how people who claim to eat natural unprocessed food can drink that swill–it is about as processed and artificial as food can be. Lots of sugar added to it too, or otherwise people would throw it back up.

      1. Isn’t there some estrogen issue for men with ingesting large amounts of soy?

        1. Apparently it makes you gay. Bug, or feature?

          1. Well, that’s unacceptable.

          2. In San Francisco it’s a feature.

            1. Roto-Rooter, the San Francisco treat!

      2. My wife gets it. I go nowhere near it.

        I haven’t really drunk milk for years. Slight lactose intolerance + boredom with overexpensive cereal = other options for breakfast.

        Protein is better anyway.

    3. I prefer it to soy milk, but that’s because it tastes like water and rice rather than water and grass clippings.

      1. A recently developed milk allergy sent me scrambling for a decent-tasting alternative.

        Soy milk is out (allergy), and everything else tastes like utter crap. Rice milk, coconut milk, almond milk… DISGUSTING

  5. I knew the city was gay but this is ridiculous…

    1. The soy milk will bring on the man boobs. In this case that’s a feature, not a bug.

  6. They can’t be trusted around a fully stocked vending machine, but they can be trusted with control of your life.

    1. A kid could make the same argument about parents.

  7. I have a sip of HFCS Coke in my mouth as I type. It tastes like. . .freedom!

    Sugar-sweetened Coke would taste ever freer.

    1. Should have stocked up when it was Passover.

      1. Mexican Coke is always nice and increasingly available in Norteam?rica.

        1. True dat. It’s easy enough to find in bodegas, but you have to watch out since many of the Mexi-sodas are HFCS anyway.

          1. Our local Walmart has been carrying mexican coke in the ethnic foods section for about 3 months. My family was astonished at the flavour.

            1. What is this? Wal-Mart? Could it be possible to synthesize excited sugared Coke in a Wal-Mart matrix? Preferably in Tampa?

              Oh, man, cheap Sugar Coke. I’ve been waiting thirty years for you, baby.

              1. I never said cheap. It is $1.25 for a small bottle. (maybe 12 oz?) Money well spent IMO.

                1. If Wal-Mart is selling it, they’ll get it to me cheaply eventually. If demand gets high enough, they’ll start bottling it here again.

                  1. Sweet Lord, if it’ll speed that up, I say open the southern border now!

                  2. Costco has flats of MexiCoke, and it’s not too pricey.

                2. Sweet Christ. It’s $1.00 per pint in Akron.

          2. Costco in Houston has it by the pallet.

            1. In this, Texas is the luckiest state.

              1. Kentucky, too!

                1. Michigan, too. (the Coke, not the luck…)

    2. Coke de Mexico has been available in local Marc’s and Acme stores in NE Ohio since about mid-March. It’s been heaven.

      1. Fresh Market carries it.

      2. Like most things with Marc’s, when it’s gone, it’s gone. But amazingly, they keep bringing more out every couple of weeks. It’s glorious. On the other hand, there probably aren’t too many people other than me and the Hispanic community that gets it, and they’ve got enough of their own grocery stores in Akron, methinks.

    3. It’s moments like this that I’m rather pleased to live in Canada, where soft drinks still use real sugar instead of corn syrup.

      However, as my thoughts drift to my marginal income tax rate, the pleasure subsides.

      1. What? Canada has Sugar Coke along with Mexico? What was the damned point of NAFTA if I can’t have Sugar Coke, too?

        1. Do you find the grip of the corn and sugar beet farmers upon your testicles… uncomfortable?

      2. I’m not sure this is actually the case. “Glucose/Fructose” in the ingredients is actually HFCF, per http://www4.agr.gc.ca/AAFC-AAC…..p;lang=eng

        Key commodity inputs needed to make soft drinks include concentrates, sugar, glucose/fructose, aspartame, acesulfame-potassium, caramel colour, sodium benzoate, phosphoric and citric acids, caffeine, seasonings and specially treated water. (Glucose/fructose is a generic term for high fructose corn syrup or HFCS). The industry uses about 20 times as much HFCS as it does sugar as the sweetening agent. Except for water, the bulk of raw inputs for this industry are imported, mostly from the U.S. However a small portion of corn syrup is supplied domestically.

        (paragraph 4 under ‘Structure’)

  8. I wonder if this is the right line of argument to be taking. I mean, why is the city of San Francisco using taxpayer money to contract the maintenance of vending machines in the first place? They are adults after all; should be fully capable of packing their own veganified lunch.

  9. In positive vending machine news, Japan’s first banana vending machine commenced operation last week.

    We’ll never achieve vending machine parity with the Japanese. They have porn vending machines too! Market failure!

    1. I miss the beer and hot coffee vending machines most.

  10. Chevette
    Large Cooler
    Roll of Quarters

    I see an underground market ripe for the picking.

  11. Vending services like this are usually contracted out.

    I’m betting that a friend of Gavin Newsom’s wants the vending contract, so they have to do something to make the current contractor not want the contract anymore. Then the new guy gets it and a few years later will convince the city that they could make more money if the machines were stocked with Coke Classic.

    1. …or New Coke.

  12. An April directive from San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom has started to kick in, and vending machines on city property will soon be stocked with delicious soy milk, but no Coca-Cola Classic.

    Vending machines have a finite amount of space, right? And choices have to be made, right?

    This is no different than if the city chooses Pepsi Products over Coke. Or if they didn’t want any carbonated beverages and chose to stock up on Snapple (yuck) or Arizona Iced Tea?

    Choices have to be made, and the city chose to sell what they consider more healthy choices rather than less healthy ones.

    I don’t see what the problem is? Wort case scenario is that the vending machines don’t prove very popular and don’t make money and then the choices will either change or the vending machines won’t get used.

    Is consumption of any of these choices mandatory? Are people not allowed to bring beverages of their choice with them??

    Can someone tell me what exactly I am supposed to be outraged about ??

    1. Wort case scenario

      Wait, are we talking about homebrew being available in vending machines? Because I’m all about more beer.

    2. If the problem was that people who frequently use vending machines in city hall were complaining that there wasn’t enough soy milk and juice in the machines, then you might have a point.

      But it is obviously a stupid and misguided public health move, so you don’t. They are trying to change people’s behaviors, not adapt to them. And I am sure that the vending machine company would be happy to install a juice and soy milk machine next to the Coke machine (or whatever) if there was demand.

      1. But it is obviously a stupid and misguided public health move, so you don’t. They are trying to change people’s behaviors, not adapt to them. And I am sure that the vending machine company would be happy to install a juice and soy milk machine next to the Coke machine (or whatever) if there was demand.

        It really doesn’t matter what you perceive the motivation to be. And although it’s stupid and misguided to you, that doesn’t mean that is objectively true. In fact, I think this is a great way to promote healthier lifestyles — it’s non-coercive and doesn’t cost tax dollars.

        The fact is that the city chose certain offerings over others. Just like when they chose Pepsi over Coke. It’s not usually a response to people overwhelmingly demanding Pepsi products, it’s a choice they make (in the pepsi v coke case it’s a financial incentive) — and no one is entitled to having junk food in their vending machines.

        The vending machines are voluntary – so again, what’s the problem? That a government entity is promoting healthy choices and enabling those who want a healthy alternative in a way that doesn’t cost the taxpayer money and doesn’t force anyone to do anything?

        1. The same “states rights” assholes are condemning a choice by a city.

          Typical right-wing idiocy and duplicity.

          1. Bet you’re against school choice, aren’t you, shrike…

            1. Of course he is. It’s okay for politicians to send their precious ones off to Sidwell Friends, but fuck the proles and their snotty-nosed little demon offspring. Public school is more than adequate to raise the next generation of state-worshiping worker drones.

          2. They aren’t asking the federal government to intervene, so what’s your point?

        2. Typically the vendors control what goes in their machines, as they are the ones who are seeking to make money off of them. They stock the machine with what sells the most. Obviously they are open to suggestions from their customers. This is not a supply demand issue otherwise there wouldnt of had to of been a law issued. Government wasnt created to promote healthy lifestyles.

        3. It’s not the government’s responsibility to promote “healthy choices”. If, under most vending contracts, the city is getting a cut of the revenue, they should be encouraging the most popular products be stocked – not forcing people to purchase “healthy” products. Besides, those inclined to purchase that “healthy” crap are probably carrying it to work in their hemp briefcases.

    3. just like the Beer Summit was a “takeover” of Anheiser Busch.

      These slap-happy wingnuts here decry isolated salt guidelines as proof that Obama is a socialist while they pine for another GOP Bushpig who actually took over trillions of wealth in the private economy.

      1. You weren’t here when Bush was president, were you?

        1. Man, I’m rich! I’ve got a trillion-dollar bill in my wallet!

          1. I’ve got a 100 trillion dollar bill. I bought a few Zimbabwe bank notes.

    4. Can someone tell me what exactly I am supposed to be outraged about ?

      It’s a fine example of the worst type of executive micro-management.

      But I think for the most part, it’s the humor factor of fat police on the march.

  13. We’re no longer talking just about vending machines in schools?the thin end of the wedge on restrictions about what the country’s fatties drink?but machines that cater to grown-ups. People capable of, for instance, administering the city government of San Francisco. But not of selecting a beverage to go with their lunch, apparently.

    Win,

    1. The incorrect assumption in that statement is that the people who work in SF’s government are capable of running the city.

      Actual experience proves the opposite.

  14. What ever happened to water fountains?

    1. There was time that they were so popular that here in Alabama, there were 2 fountains on almost every street corner.

      1. Nice.

        1. and sick…I like it

      2. Good work.

    2. They’re now stocked with sustainable urine.

  15. Of course, since this is at City Hall, the people who will suffer the most from this idiotic edict will be city employees. Is it wrong to be happy about that?

    1. Is it wrong to be happy about that?

      No; the silver lining in the cloud.

    2. Considering that these are some of the city employees, maybe not.

  16. What I love most of all about this story is the quote, in the article, from Newsom’s spokescritter:

    “It’s entirely appropriate and not at all intrusive for city government to take steps to discourage the sale of sugary sodas on city property.”

    Emphasis mine. Yuppers, it’s “not at all intrusive” for the San Francisco municipal government to try to involve itself in people’s dietary decisions.

    1. Emphasis mine. Yuppers, it’s “not at all intrusive” for the San Francisco municipal government to try to involve itself in people’s dietary decisions.

      So when an entity chooses Pepsi products over Coke products, they are involving themselves in people’s dietary decisions as well?

      1. No, they’re responding to whether more employees drink Pepsi or Coke.

        Demand based versus top down, mon frere.

        1. No, they’re responding to whether more employees drink Pepsi or Coke.

          BULLSHIT.

          They are making a financial decision as to who offers the best terms, and has little to anything to do with consumer preference.

          It’s still top down, it’s just a matter of what criteria is used to make the decision.

          1. Right, and by “best terms”, the person who provides the product who generates the most revenue.

            Straightforward economic decision making. As I said.

            versus this nonsense…?

          2. “They are making a financial decision as to who offers the best terms, and has little to anything to do with consumer preference.”

            Let’s reason this one through, shall we?

            Assume there are two competing companies (for simplicity, Coke and Pepsi) who both would like to distribute products via vending machines in the venue.

            There’s no reason not to allow both companies to sell their products, but the redundancy of having two overlapping supply systems suggests that it would be more efficient to contract with a single supplier.

            The resulting monopoly would give the supplier some degree of pricing power as well as the benefit of scale to bring down their costs. This translates into higher profitability, so they should be willing to pay for the privilege of exclusivity.

            The question would be, who would prevail in an auction… Coke or Pepsi? Each company’s bid strategy would take into account two things: A) The total excess profit they expect they could generate; and B) the total excess profit they expect their adversary could generate.

            If A > B, they’ll bid B (plus a dollar), knowing that they don’t need to give up all of their profit surplus, rather they just bid high enough to outbid their adversary.

            If B > A, they’ll bid A expecting to lose. In effect sacrificing any profit potential, but denying their adversary any additional excess profits at no real cost to themselves (since they’re not going to have to pay their losing bid anyway).

            The winning bidder will be the firm that expects greater profitability, and that firm will pay only slightly more than their adversary’s expected profitability. (This gets much more interesting when information asymmetries are considered).

            So, which company will have the greater profitability? Some simple math…

            Profit = Revenue – Costs

            Revenue = Volume x Price

            Costs = Fixed Cost + (Volume x Variable Cost)

            Profit = Volume x (Price – Variable Cost) – Fixed Cost

            Assuming the two firms’ costs per unit are approximately equal (it’s not much more than water, sugar, flavouring and packaging), and the fixed costs are similar (restocking, cash collecting and maintaining machines), the only possible difference would be expected product volume and pricing.

            Volume and price forecasting requires estimating consumers’ collective demand curve, and thus has everything to do with consumer preferences.

            The firm that offers the best terms is the one which, taking into account consumer preferences, forecasts generating greater profit in that particular venue, and would therefore pay more for the privilege of exclusivity.

            QED bitch.

            1. Thank you for bothering to break it down for him.

              I tried saying it in one sentence. It didnt get through.

            2. p.s. 2 comments to your clarification

              1) distribution costs are significant. Driving liquids around in DSD models is a major input. Neither here nor there, but in your particular schema, you’d want to factor in ‘location’; one bidder would bid higher based on lower cost to get the product on the ‘shelves’ that are closest to the point of manufacture, as it were. This is a main reason that in the beverage business the industry is fragmented between the “franchise owner” (e.g. coke and pepsi) and the bottlers, who take on all the fixed costs of manufacturing and distribution. Also why there is a strong regionalization to the footprints of the beverage companies. Consumer preference and product access tend to go hand in glove to a degree. See: the unholy consumer penetration of Dr Pepper products in Texas & the midwest.

              2) There are cases when these companies outbid each other for access to what are considered key ‘cohorts’. (I don’t consider government workers to be anything close to this, FWIW, just saying). As in my example, movie theatre chains, sporting stadiums, hotel chains etc. present examples of locations where the suppliers bid for exclusivity because of the value of the ‘face time’/brand exposure. Whether or not you are drinking a soda at the ball park, there’s no way you’re going to not notice all the Coke signage, etc. Or see the preview before the movie. And so on. With fast food chains, it is much more about the actual unit volume and pricing power, as you pointed out.

              (Disclosure: former/sort of current beverage industry analyst)

              1. Both very good points, which I hadn’t considered. (I should definitely have thought about proximity as an essential component of general distribution costs, but it didn’t cross my mind in relation to a single urban venue. Marketing to key cohorts is a bit more advanced, so I’m not surprised I didn’t think of that one.)

                Disclosure… I have never worked in the beverage industry, but I used to be a management consultant, so I’ve learned to sound semi-convincing while spouting off on the dynamics of industries I have no prior experience in.

                1. No worries. You dropped science well enough to convince me you’ve done substantial industry research in the past. I also briefly did the management consulting bag, particularly for CPG/FMCG type companies (food, bev, cosmetics and toiletries). The fun part of that stuff is the consumer psychology element that factors in so strongly… For instance, pricing power of Organic foods. Or whatever. Or the ability to create pricing power through exclusivity (e.g. Shu Uemura; Bathing Ape T-shirts) or totally screw yourself through massive overexposure (e.g. Starbucks)

                  Anyhoo, good one there.

      2. When a vending machine lessee enters into an exclusivity agreement with a PepsiCo lessor, the lessee is virtually always doing so because the PepsiCo lessor is offering better contractual terms than a competing Coca-Cola Co lessor. The intrusion into the third-party customer’s dietary decisions is incidental, and in any case he’s reaping the benefits of the lessee’s smart dealing when he pays a few cents less for a soda than he otherwise might.

        That is demonstrably not the situation here. The entire point of the exercise is to interfere in third-party customers’ dietary decisions, and deliver Sunstein/Thaler “nudges” to soda-drinkers by increasing the scarcity of their preferred beverages in favor of swill favored by health nazis, hippies, and other assorted elitist cocksmokers. In fact, the linked article makes pretty clear that this is likely to be more costly for the city in the long run, because complying with the edict will increase lessors’ costs — which they’ll recoup through less favorable contractual terms with the city.

  17. Hmmm…looked at a few websites and found that soy “milk” compares favorable to 2% cow milk, but I saw nothing on 1% or skim. Makes me wonder why…

    Also, found this nutritional info for a one cup serving: 131 calories, 4g fat, 124g sodium, 1g fiber. I will stick with my green tea and skim milk.

    1. 1 US cup = 8 fluid ounces

      Coca-Cola: 140 calories per 12 ounce can = 93.3 calories per cup; 30 mg sodium.

      1. And… so?

    2. It’s funny that processed soy products have a reputation as health food when they’re pretty much the non-animal equivalent of dairy and red meat. In addition to soy milk packing in the calories as well as soda, a chunk of firm tofu has more fat by weight than pork loin.

      I’d expect people in the building to gain weight, since people tend to underestimate how many calories are in juice and soy milk – soda is so obvious in it’s unhealthiness that people understand that it’s a bad idea to kick back 6 cans of it a day, but 100% juice and soy milk sound healthy, so many people won’t figure out just how many calories they are consuming until their pants start getting uncomfortably tight.

      1. MattXIV|7.6.10 @ 6:26PM|#
        It’s funny that processed soy products have a reputation as health food when they’re pretty much the non-animal equivalent of dairy and red meat.

        This shouldnt surprise you.

        Ever notice how so many ‘soy’ products are basically marketed as Meat Items? Soy Burgers, Soy Dogs, Soy Chorizo? (Really – I overheard this girl talking about how good it was… I was going to ask if they did a soy blood-sausage with rice-based intestine….but realized they wouldnt get the joke. If soy products were so yummy on their own, they wouldnt have to sell them as ‘meat alternatives’ but something good on its own. I guess flavorless Soy Mush really never took off as a marketing concept.

  18. Wow, something that I care less about than a Moynihan post. Go figure.

  19. We’re no longer talking just about vending machines in schools?the thin end of the wedge on restrictions about what the country’s fatties drink?but machines that cater to grown-ups. People capable of, for instance, administering the city government of San Francisco. But not of selecting a beverage to go with their lunch, apparently.

    This is quite an odd argument to be making.

    The implication seems to be that people who use these vending machines are somehow entitled to have the beverage of their choice available. As a Pepsi drinker, I should have been outraged at my Park District’s offering of only Coke Products. My rights have been violated all this time while the Park District must believe that I am incapable of making the right beverage decision and has been preventing me from selecting the beverage of my choice.

    People are quite capable of choosing the beverage of their choice, and if it isn’t available they will have to settle for whats there or go shop elsewhere.

    What is it that is so objectionable? Is it offensive that someone is offering healthy alternatives in a vending machine? Are entities that offer vending machines required to sell junk food and sugary soda?

    Just because the city decided not to offer a certain product doesn’t mean that it thinks people are incapable of making decisions for them since consuming the offerings are not mandatory.

    This whole posting is absurd. The City chose certain offerings over others, as all entities who offer vending machines tend to do — since the number of things that can be offered is finite. But somehow because the city chose healthier offerings, that somehow makes it a big nanny??

    This is some shallow thinking and a post that really doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.

    1. What is it that is so objectionable?

      That the State deems what should be available for your consumption based on arbitrary (and frankly – healthwise, meaningless) distinctions rather than simple supply and demand. Vending machines usually provide a mix of products most closely matching what most people WANT, as opposed to what your overlords feel you SHOULD want.

      Is that so complicated? For what its worth, its not providing “healthy alternatives” ; its BANNING things that most people drink because they think you shouldnt want those things.

      Your argument would make sense if they kept the Coke machines, and also added a special “hippy” section offering alternatives, but thats not whats happening. Even though most people drink soda, you can’t get it anymore. The City (I like how you capitalize it as though The City is something we should honor as guardians of our better natures) has no mandate to ban adults from having access to things that are unhealthy only if consumed exclusively.

      People are quite capable of choosing the beverage of their choice, and if it isn’t available they will have to settle for whats there

      You are right here, but totally miss the point; certain things are now not “available” because the state has intervened in people’s personal choices, and prevented them from making certain choices. No matter how meaningless, because as I point out below, they are 1) also omitting perfectly healthy other options, and 2) forcing other highly sugary products (100% juice) into availability while limiting say, watered down, less sugary juice drinks.

      Seriously tom, this post makes perfect sense, and you’re the one being dense and contradictory.

      1. Is that so complicated? For what its worth, its not providing “healthy alternatives” ; its BANNING things that most people drink because they think you shouldnt want those things.

        It would be simple if it were true.

        You are being quite dishonest and disingenuous. Nothing is banned. They city is allocating it’s resources as it chooses.

        Your argument would make sense if they kept the Coke machines, and also added a special “hippy” section offering alternatives, but thats not whats happening

        YOU AREN’T ENTITLED TO SPECIFIC PRODUCTS IN SOMEONE ELSE’S VENDING MACHINES! Get it? It’s really simple. They don’t even have to offer vending machines, and they get to choose what products they want to sell for whatever reason they choose.

        AND THAT DOESN’T VIOLATE YOUR RIGHTS NOR IS IT A “BAN”

        Even though most people drink soda, you can’t get it anymore. The City (I like how you capitalize it as though The City is something we should honor as guardians of our better natures) has no mandate to ban adults from having access to things that are unhealthy only if consumed exclusively.

        Wow, how much stupid in one sentence.

        So you can’t buy soda in San Fran anymore?

        I don’t think you even know what a ban is. Unless the city is the only entity allowed to sell beverages, then it isn’t any type of ban at all.

        You are right here, but totally miss the point; certain things are now not “available” because the state has intervened in people’s personal choices, and prevented them from making certain choices.

        And when they choose to stock Pepsi products instead of coke people are prevented from choosing Pepsi and those Pepsi products aren’t available. Yet no one would flinch or call that a “BAN”.

        And the state didn’t intervene in people’s personal choices, the state chose to change their OFFERINGS. People are still free to choose from those offerings, or bring their own or shop elsewhere.

        Seriously tom, this post makes perfect sense, and you’re the one being dense and contradictory.

        No it doesn’t and neither do your ramblings. The contradictory ones are the libertarians who are upset that an entity is choosing to stock it’s vending machines as it sees fit.

        Like I said before, how is what is going on now any different than when they choose to offer ONLY Coke products and not Pepsi or 7-up or any other offering?

        The only reason you idiots are “outraged” is because they are offering something you perceive as being associated with the left. If they would have had an exclusivity agreement to only sell Pepsi over Coke you hypocrites wouldn’t bat an eye.

        1. If they would have had an exclusivity agreement to only sell Pepsi over Coke you hypocrites wouldn’t bat an eye.

          Of course we wouldnt, because as I’ve pointed out at least 3 times now, that comparison is meaningless, because the choice to go Coke or Pepsi would be based on how much revenue they’d get from either operator (the highest bidder for the right to stock these machines). And the highest bidder would be the company that either a) sold the most product in those sites (i.e. where there was a higher consumer demand for Coke or Pepsi), or b) felt that there was a particular marketing benefit in maintaining their product in that particular venue (e.g. Coke and Pepsi frequently outbid each other for the rights to say, movie theatres and sporting stadiums, not because one may sell more or less product in those venues, but because they are able to expose their brand to large numbers of people in any given weekend. Either decision is based completely on basic economic decision making.

          There is a reason they dont stock Pepsi in government offices in Georgia. No one would drink it, regardless of the bidding offer. And Pepsi wouldnt make any money, so they wouldnt bother bidding in any case.

          In either case, the decision would not be based on whether Gavin Newsome thought Coke or Pepsi were either a) better tasting himself, or b) more healthy for people who just dont know any better.

          The difference between your Coke/Pepsi analogy and this is that this decision completely lacks any characteristic of either an economic decision about revenue for the state, or based on what consumers in Govt actually *want*. Its completely based on an arbitrary (and healthwise, illogical and baseless) decision about what the State thinks are healthy choices, and that people should only have access to these ‘healthy’ (read: not so much) choices if they use these facilities.

          Its fucking stupid, an example of political nanny grandstanding (his last gesture was to ban bottled water from public buildings – it has bad carbon footprint!), and has nothing to do with your Coke/Pepsi idea. Hope that is clearer now. For the third time.

      2. If IBM did the same thing to their vending machines, would you care? We’re not talking every machine in SF, but only the ones in City buildings.

        1. If IBM did the same thing to their vending machines, would you care? We’re not talking every machine in SF, but only the ones in City buildings.

          Exactly. Every private entity chooses what they want to offer in their vending machines, but if the city engages in the same decision making process somehow that’s the nanny-state in full force.

          And worse, we are only talking about VENDING MACHINES. They aren’t banning convenience and sundries stores from offering all the junk food they want either, nor are people prohibited from bringing their own stuff nor are people required to purchase anything from the vending machines.

          And not only that, if SF decided to only sell Snapple or Pepsi in city buildings, no one would care either. Only because the products are associated with “TEH LEFT” is this even a discussion.

          1. Only because the products are associated with “TEH LEFT” is this even a discussion.

            Nonsense. There’s nothing politically inherent in soda vs. green tea.

            100% juices are made by both coke and pepsi. Most beverages are made by Coke and Pepsi! I wouldnt be surprised if the Soy Milk brand they chose were owned by some big ol’ food conglomerate. Its not about the products: its about the LACK of them. The only thing “left” about this issue is the idea that the state should have an interest in regulating what people pour down their piehole.

            And note, that on this thread, you are the only one to suggest a political reason for this: I dont think there’s the slightest concern that this is a Dem/GOP issue; its a State vs Markets issue. If people wanted soy milk at work, they wouldnt have to make it a fucking law, my friend. They’re making a “Law” – think about how unbelievably stupid that is for a second – that BANS soda from being sold in govt offices. What people care about here is not *what* they are banning, and what they are mandating, but that THEY ARE DOING IT AT ALL.

            Seriously man, you lost on your first post. You’re just going deeper in the dumb-hole.

          2. Nobody’s disputing that San Francisco has a perfect right to make whatever retarded demands of vending machine lessors it can get away with.

            Rather, we’re pointing out that the demands are, in fact, retarded, and are an example of attempted social engineering by leftist asshats.

          3. Exactly. Every private entity chooses what they want to offer in their vending machines,

            Uh, no they dont! They dont even think about it! Private entities will deal with whomever can offer the most in return for the right to sell stuff on their property. And the company that offers the most in return is the one that can *sell the most* of X or Y or Z to consumers in that location. You think companies care about what beverages are in their vending machines in their offices? NO! The beverage companies do, however, and they are very careful to balance out what their product mix is to meet consumer demand. The host entity doesnt worry about it, because they dont have to. Because they know the market will allocate products in front of the consumers that generate the most revenue for them.

            Now… contrast this basic reality with the granting of Soy Milk some market share disproportionate to its actual consumption…? Thats social engineering mon frere. Which will fail, and which will result in SF losing money, and with consumers spending their $ elsewhere. Lose-Lose.

        2. So the city is perfectly in its right to ban certain products from its contracts.

          Fine, no dispute. People can bag lunches. Whatever.

          But it is remarkably stupid that you think there is nothing wrong with the state basing its decisions on what people drink based on what they THINK they should want, as opposed to what they do. So they’ve created a little inconvenience for people? So what. Sure. No problem. But its still idiotic. As PapayaSF said better above: you’d think they would have bigger fish to fry than what you wash your lunch down with. I find it funny that in all the rabid defense (not you – tom) of this, there isnt actually any case being made that its a *good* idea. Just that its perfectly in their rights. So the machines make less money, because they dont have the products people want? Big deal! But that argument basically says, “its perfectly OK for the state to make decisions based on arbitrary appearances, rather than either productive generation of revenue or responding to demand”

          Its silly, anti-economic reasoning, that seems to think that politics of pretend do-goodism is somehow reasonable and ‘nothing wrong with it’. Other than silly interventionism and waste, sure! So what if the state makes less money from their contract. It looks good on paper, right? Moral narcissism in public policy is fucking gay. Yes, its their ‘right’, but its still bloody stupid and has nothing to do with health.

          1. So the city is perfectly in its right to ban certain products from its contracts.

            Fine, no dispute. People can bag lunches. Whatever.

            But it is remarkably stupid that you think there is nothing wrong with the state basing its decisions on what people drink based on what they THINK they should want, as opposed to what they do

            No, it’s remarkably stupid to think that there is something wrong with the state not enabling unhealthy eating.

            It’s also quite stupid to pretend that the state — who insures all the public employees and many private citizens — has no legitimate reason to promote healthy choices over unhealthy ones.

            What you are saying is that the state MUST provide the most popular choices or the choices that bring about the highest revenue. It’s a truly remarkable and absurd sentiment.

            Popularity and revenue is one consideration, but it doesn’t have to be the end all be all.

            Just like a private employer could only want healthy snacks available for their employees even if that means they wont take in much revenue from the vending machines on site so can the state, and there is nothing at all wrong with that.

            You seem to think that because the only consideration *YOU* would make would be revenue considerations, that the state MUST make the exact same value judgment as you. THAT is quite stupid.

            The bottom line is, the state is an employer paying for health insurance for their employees — they have a an interest in promoting healthy lifestyle choices to their employees — just like a private employer. And the state can’t even compel you to avoid the unhealty ones — something an employer can do and you hypocrites celebrate.

            Thinking that the state shouldn’t be able to make that value judgment and treating that as indicative “nanny-state” is just plain stupid.

            1. It’s also quite stupid to pretend that the state — who insures all the public employees and many private citizens — has no legitimate reason to promote healthy choices over unhealthy ones.

              Again (sigh… I’m about done with this) if the issue were “promoting healthy alternatives”… then why not simply offer alternatives rather than saying, “product X shall not be sold on govt property”?

              Very different thing.

              And if you think the state should not have a mandate to make the most revenue from its services, but rather its perfectly fine for them to lose money in nice-feeling but policy wise (in this case, health) meaningless gestures… than what you are saying is that there is no responsibility at all for government to act sensibly in terms of any policy. The fact is that there is little particularly healthy about the ‘alternatives’ being offered, and that even if there were, they would have Zero impact on individual health. What you drink with lunch is .0001 related to health compared to smoking, exercise, and a wide array of other factors. If you think that the fact that they provide health insurance to public employees justifies trying to micromanage choices of occasional beverages, I’d be surprised there’s *anything* you think they dont also have an interest in. Unprotected sex? Playing potentially dangerous sports on the weekends? Have hobbies that may prove unhealthy?

              You present your argument as a perfectly sensible behavior by government, but in the course of which, you basically provide an large umbrella excuse for yes, idiotic, micromanaging nannyism. Which is what this is. And again = you dont ever even try to make the case that it may be *effective* – which it isnt and wont be! You dont even seem to care that it could be effective or not. You seem more determined to justify the *right* of the state to make these kind of asinine decisions, be they useful or not! You are nothing if not a microcosm of the typical Paternalist/Nanny State argument.

              1. Just thinking about this a bit, we have machines at work that offer fruitish drinks and water, alongside the cokes. And I’m with the private sector. That selection reflects, of course, the demand of the employees.

                Frankly, the idiocy of this aside, the fact is that government employees will bitch and moan until the city relents or an entrepreneur gives the workers an easy alternative.

                It’s a dumb move, indicative of misplaced and uneducated paternalism. While soda may be generally useless in any dietary sense, most fruit juices, soy products, etc. are at least as bad. At least for the drinks that people in general will actually consume.

                1. Exactly.

                  As someone who’s been looking at beverages for a decade+, they are all the same thing, nutrient wise. Water, and maybe some calories. All the other stuff is nutritiously irrelevant: flavoring, and stuff you’re going to pee out anyway. (see: ‘Vitamin’ Water: Coloring Your Urine Since 1996)

                  And he’s not even limiting calories as a policy: Juice is worse than soda in this regard! there’s a reason people drink it at breakfast for the sugar boost, and not all day long.

                  Maybe people will do what I did (if they’re *allowed* 🙂 probably not!)… I had a Keurig automatic single cup machine at my desk, had coffee easy in the morning, and tea all day if I wanted it. Mostly sans sugar. Saved me a few hundred bucks a year, as well as trips away from my workspace.

            2. Where is xeones when you need him?

              No, it’s remarkably stupid to think that there is something wrong with the state not enabling unhealthy eating.

              Yo CT, fuck your nanny-state.

    2. Another ridiculous hole in your non-arguments

      “”This is quite an odd argument to be making.

      The implication seems to be that people who use these vending machines are somehow entitled to have the beverage of their choice available. As a Pepsi drinker, I should have been outraged at my Park District’s offering of only Coke Products.

      You headfake here: no one ever suggested that SF was making an issue of BRAND choice; they are excluding whole categories of products from availability. So whether it was Coke or Pepsi would make no difference: you will not be able to drink EITHER of their Soda products, their Tea products, their energy/sports drinks products, their vitamin enhanced water products, their fruit beverage products… and so on. All you have to choose from are the approved categories: 100% juice, water (I am confused about this since newsome previously banned bottled water from govt offices), and dairy/non-dairy beverages.

      Ahh, the cornucopia of public choice! 3 kinds of things. Anything else, hit the road jack. Of course, banning the VAST MAJORITY of beverage products is so *totally just like what everyone else does*, right? Right.

  20. Juice must be 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice with no added sweeteners.

    Well, that omits the vast majority of ‘fruit beverages’, even the neuveau ‘organic’ types… (e.g. http://www.purityorganic.com/juice.html)

    Most ‘juice drinks’ are less than 100% juice, and even a lot of 100% juices are from concentrate with added juice sweeteners like pear juice syrup; is that 100%? Not really. Plus, 100% juice has WAY more sugar than most ‘soda’. I personally prefer the watered-down stuff for drinkability.

    This also omits most tea beverages, which are usually pretty heavily sweetened. And I suppose things like “Vitamin Water” fall under “sports drinks”, since they are pretty indistinct from each other in composition.

    Frankly, this is completely arbitrary BS feel-good political marketing. Which I suppose is the majority of San Francisco politics, but for gods sake, Soy Milk? Can I also get a Tofu and Chalk sandwich to go with that? Almond milk in in fact more palatable, but I bet its probably too sugary for the beverage police.

    They should put up ‘White Guilt’ vending machines in SF. They’d make a fortune. You’d get a little card, like indulgences, that say, “Congratulations! You’re now 10% less racist for the next 2 weeks.”

    I wonder what has become of the Beer vending machines they used to have on Tulane campus. That was a real convenience when you were sleeping on someones floor during Mardi Gras, and could grab a brew on the way to/from the toilet. To AND from! I also vaguely remember encountering a Wine vending machine in Prague in the early 90s… little plastic 12oz airplane sized bottles, lightly chilled. Actually pretty nice when you were eating mostly bread and pate-type stuff on the street, to save money for all-night debauchery.

  21. anecdotal at best

    A while back, Mrs. brotherben brought home a bag of trail mix that was mostly soybeans. I loved it and snacked on it for a few days. Then my underactive thyroid problem had me exhausted with migraines for about a week. The soybeans were the only thing noticably different in my diet so I assume they were the culprit. I haven’t tried em since and avoid foods with lots of soy.

    I am intrigued by the new Silk Almond milk. Haven’t tried it on my Capt. Crunch yet.

    1. Not new. Well, its new for Silk, but the almond milk stuff has been around since the mid 90s.

      Its tastier than Soy; a little ‘woody’, but less ‘beany’. Sweeter too. But I find most of that stuff terrible for cereal. Unless you like blue, 1% milk. I grew up on the full-fat stuff, from the dairy, in bottles. Everything else tastes watery to me.

      1. P.s. it didnt occur to me until now, but… Captain Crunch?

        Tell me you have a life threatening case of lactose intolerance, because soy milk and captain crunch…?? its like matter+anti-matter. I’m surprised the bowl doesn’t explode in an atomic fireball of irony.

        Now, if you’d said, Musli…

        Or this hilarious shit:

        http://www.peacecereal.com/index.html

        The hilarious part = I was researching this company, and discovered its owned by a the sect of Sikh Yogi Bhajan, who was one of the richest religious entrepreneurs in the world. He started a bunch of Yogic centers around the world back in the 60-70s and built an business empire around. The “Peace” in peace cereal is that you are funding his larger organization’s marketing efforts.

        Notable:
        “””Sikh Dharma’s main business arm today is Akal Security, a firm that specializes in protecting government sites, military installations, missile ranges, civil amenities and even airports across the US. It is an enterprise of staggering proportions.””

        Hey, I like Peace! Give me another dollar. Thats basically the message. Also, protecting military bases is peaceful!

        Even funnier is that hippies eating this stuff have no idea they’re paying that extra 10% just to make a bunch of rich Sikh charlatans even richer.

        1. It was a joke mostly. I like trying different things. The almond milk sounded tasty. The peace cereal story is a hoot. I think that most people that base their purchasing decisions on a lifestyle choice have no clue where their dollars are going.

          I too remember mom bringing home big, wide mouth, glass jugs of warm milk. She’d put them in the fridge to settle out. I would make sure I was up first the next morning and skim ladles of cream onto my cereal. The best thing I found to put the cream onto was fresh blackberries.

          1. I think that most people that base their purchasing decisions on a lifestyle choice have no clue where their dollars are going.

            True. From experience; I used to do surveys of consumers (boring work, really) about topics like this that would be repackaged and sold as marketing tools for the food and bev industries.

            More interestingly is the fact that most consumers who consciously engage in these kinds of “lifestyle” decisions have a terrible aversion – more like pathological resistance to – actually learning anything about the actual impact of these ‘lifestyle’ choices in the real world. You try and ask them about it and immediately there is a terrible defensiveness that it feels like the ‘right thing to do’, and that anyone who challenges it is clearly a corporate spy trying to kill the potential wonders of these ‘small’ gestures once combined.

            Like, e.g. = ‘Carbon footprint’… people may choose to buy certain products, or cars, or engage in certain behaviors (reusable cloth grocery bags?) because they want to ‘help the environment.

            When you point out that even if *everyone* did all these things they do, that it would have basically zero effect on carbon emissions, and in fact the larger issue is, say, their electricity consumption, or the fact that they would be better off moving into a high-rise building rather than a large, hard to heat home… or working closer to where they live, rather than commuting long distances in their Prius… there is an instant rejection of these ‘facts’ as being irrelevant to their Lifestyle. “‘Better’ is not ‘good'” they might admit, “but it’s still *better*”

            Better in what way? They feel better.

            Be it carbon footprint, behaviors toward food consumption, ‘ethical’ consumerism (dolphin free tuna! Rainforest safe coffee!)… all of them are part of an exchange of responsibility from the individual to the collective. Meaning, buy the product: now you have done your part and the problem is all other people’s fault. Even if that in fact is not true. The reason Ethical Marketing works so well is that it is an easy non-solution to complex problems that people claim to care about.

            e.g. I personally care about global warming! (Hypothetical; I sort of do, but like the Copenhagen consensus put it fairly low down the list) But I dont think cloth grocery bags compare to say, the role of the Yuan in funding cheap industrial exports from China. Or the fairly large growth in electricity consumption per capital from the explosion in personal devices and other modern conveniences (read: cell phones, laptops, ipods, Tivo, etc)

            When you try making a rationalist argument that the best solutions to these perceived problems are in fact not fairly small personal consumption habits or behaviors, but larger and more demographic realities of which they are clearly still a part, there is a tremendous resistance to dealing with it. They spent that extra 20% not to have to think about these things anymore! I bought Peace Cereal! I oppose the Iraq war! I voted for Obama! These are Other People’s Problems now!

            This is a fairly easy explanation why many of these problems won’t be solved (e.g. Obama’s Green Jobs) by popular policy. The popular versions of Ethical Behaviors are all easy, simple, small, and commercial. The real solutions are harder, ugly, and inconvenient.

            Which is another point as to why banning selling Soda from SF public facilities will be popular, but of course not have any bearing on how healthy SF public employees are. It MAY have a bearing on mr Newsome’s reelection campaign, however, as it probably resonates with the similar empty gestures Californians make every day themselves.

  22. Um, is “Soy Milk” code for what I think it means?

  23. They ought to consider banning socialist twerps from S.F. City Hall, also. That would have the beneficial side effect of reducing the need for vending machines of any type.

  24. And this idiot will likely be our governor one day.

  25. Check the ingredients on your hecho en Mexico Cokes, guys. Many of those authentic-looking reused 10oz. bottles for $1.50 are full of regular corn-syrup Coke, because all people are looking for is that “hecho.”

    The Passover ones are all good.

    1. Coke from Fresh Market has been consistently sugared so far. It says so on the bottle, and I can definitely taste the difference. Until the sugar blows out my taste buds, anyway.

    2. Check the ingredients on your hecho en Mexico Cokes, guys. Many of those authentic-looking reused 10oz. bottles for $1.50 are full of regular corn-syrup Coke, because all people are looking for is that “hecho.”

      Some of the bottles I have seen that are hecho en mexico say Sugar/HFCS. But it’s my understanding that by law, the ones made in Mexico have to use Sugar.

      1. And do you know why?

        Because the state mandates that foreign companies use mexican sourced sugar.

        Hey, its the state! There’s nothing *wrong* with that… har har. Nothing wrong with them forcing products onto the market, fattening children, causing diabetes… they can always get sugar free products in San Franciso! All they have to do is migrate somewhere that allows free markets… oh, wait.

        1. Because the state mandates that foreign companies use mexican sourced sugar.

          And thank God for that because it results in a superior product.

          The so called less regulated market resulted in a mediocre product.

          And if you really want to get into that, the Mexican mandate is a logical response to the US corn subsidies that make HFCS the cheaper sweetener.

          Subsidies that your precious corporations lobby for using their moneyspeech.

          1. OK, in Mexico it’s a superior product

            In San Francisco, it is to be banned from public vending machines.

            Please reconcile.

            1. Oh, I get it. When the State does something, “it’s good!”. Even if the two examples of interventionism you are in favor of are completely and utterly contradictory.

              1. Ooh, good catch. I want to see ChicagoTom try to wriggle out of that one.

                1. He wont

                  1. Try that is.

                    1. I’m going to theorize a potential ChicagoTom rationalization>

                      “The government should a) force American beverage suppliers to only use American Sugar in their beverage products. AND, b) the US government should also ban that product from being sold ‘excessively’. Makes perfect sense.””

                      Although if A were true, he’d be replacing the corn lobby with the sugar lobby, and he’d be complaining that B was being stymied by ‘corporate interests’, rather than a product of the government’s own creation.

  26. They aren’t banning convenience and sundries stores from offering all the junk food they want either, nor are people prohibited from bringing their own stuff nor are people required to purchase anything from the vending machines… yet.

    That’ll be $3.50, ChicagoTom.

  27. An April directive from San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom has started to kick in

    Gee, I’m glad the mayor doesn’t have anything important to do, leaving him plenty of time to putter around with minutiae of this sort.

  28. There should be “ample choices” of water, “soy milk, rice milk and other similar dairy or non dairy milk,” says the directive

    And those choices will remain ample, until they are thrown out unbought and replaced with fresh unsaleable stuff, because who will buy that shit?

  29. So sugar, a natural ingredient, is banned, but diet sodas aren’t. Hmm. These food police need some schooling.

  30. Well, considering SF’s problems with public toilets that are always in use by a sleeping homeless person (because it wouldn’t be right to charge a buck for a fundamental right like peeing), I guess this helps solve the problem by only offering drinks no one would drink anyway, so no one will have to pee.

    1. Before the toilets went in the city insisted they all be wheelchair accessible. The company pointed out that this would mean they’d be occupied by the homeless and hookers, but the city insisted.

  31. Wow, even Seattle kicked Nickles out of office for just these kinds of shenanigans… I guess San Francisco lost that round…

    1. Believe it or not, Newsom was the more conservative of the two candidates in the last election.

  32. Ohno! I need sugary drinks from time to time. Keeps me awake. Gavin uses Mr. Steve Jobs as role model.

  33. Diet drinks it even worse at sugar.

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