January 10, 2008

After sustained cogitation on the matter I’ve come to realize that I was a poor choice to take over as beverage correspondent for the Salad community. Whenever possible I will drink water rather than juice, soda, or coffee because it is the one area of my diet I am able and willing to micro-manage. Never mind that my fastidious ways do not carry over to any other area of life, especially in terms of comestibles. I will insist on sparing myself the calories of orange juice and the harmful effects of Nutrasweet even when paired with deep-fried turducken. (Though we certainly should be mindful of what we put into our bodies, I believe there is a lot to be said for simply thinking healthy. After all, a less stressful lifestyle is a key component of many weight loss and general health programs. This is not to say that turducken is even necessary let alone good. Then again who am I to speak ill of it – I’ve never actually had any. But I digress.)

Sometimes I find I just think too much about what it is that I find in front of me. I have taken to reading nutrition labels more than usual. When it comes to beverages this is a sure-fire formula for just saying no. “All natural” beverages are often anything but and those that really are are unsweetened or, more bluntly put, disgusting. Starbucks and various mocha-frappa-chocalately-jolty-java-infusion drinks are so much marketing, albeit often very funny . Passover, the Feast of Freedom, is really a reminder of the extent to which the United States government embitters our lives with corn subsidies. Once (that is, continually) we were (are) slaves to high fructose corn syrup but for those eight days we are free to receive the revelation of how good regular soda (made with sugar) can be. This is not to say I do not fall victim to certain imagery myself and on a more regular basis. The Prigat line of beverages makes me feel like I am participating in the millennial return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. Mango, nectar, kiwi – the desert has bloomed and it has produced odd, metric system sized cans.

Coffee, in my view, is to be enjoyed in moderation i.e. not every day. I do not want to be in physical need of any substance. To be addicted to crack-cocaine and to be addicted to coffee is a difference of degree, not kind. (Yes, I am very fond of that construction). If caffeine can be avoided then why not? Those of us fortunate enough to live in New York City are happy to drink water without fear of Brita. Besides, we wouldn’t want to be accused of being hipsters by being caught at an Oren’s .

And so, dear friends, I leave you with timeless wisdom: “moderation in all things” ~ Aristotle; “Don’t smoke crack” ~ LT, The Water Boy.