Saturday, August 18, 2007

to dew or not to dew

Ed.: The World's Best Mechanical Engineer comments on the Mountain Dew packaging redesign

To Whom it May Concern,
Suttonhoo has informed me that Pepsi has decided to change the Mountain Dew bottle design temporarily to an aluminum bottle. She was afraid that it might disrupt the entire Joe Henry Engineering Test Program (and lord knows that program is far enough behind already).

And indeed she was right to be concerned.

Fortunately the shape of the Mountain Dew container was critical only in those experiments using cans. But there is a deeper underlying danger. The Mountain Dew advertising remains unclear about the disposition of Diet Mountain Dew. If they redesign those containers as well, you could accidentally procure a Diet Mountain Dew instead of
Mountain Dew.

There are probably people who think I'm a paid agent of Pepsi, bribed to sway the powerful Engineering market sector into buying Mountain Dew. But no, I do this out of a sense of civic duty. And it is this same sense of duty that drives me to say this: Diet Mountain Dew is a both vile and noxious substance. And it is potentially dangerous. I'm a guy who tries to suppress his conspiracy theories because there have been a few too many conspiracy theories in my family. But I'm going to run with this one for a second.

Aspartame was approved by the FDA after a very shaky bunch of tests involving contaminated control groups. The test mice showed the same number of brain tumors as the control group mice. But the number of brain tumors were above average for both groups. It turns out the control group food was contaminated..... with Aspartame.

Two years after Aspartame was released to market, the brain tumor rates in the US started climbing. This is correlation to be sure, not causation. Guess who was in charge of the company that made aspartame at that point? Donald Rumsfeld, Chief Machiavellian of our generation.

So we can't have our young potential engineers sucking down Aspartame for ten years before they even get to college.

The message here is to carefully check your label on that lustrous Mountain Dew bottle. Make sure your Mountain Dew is full of sugar (brain food) NOT Aspartame (brain killer).

As an added side note about Mountain Dew and the brain, some recent studies suggest that caffeine improves memory, especially in women.

Good catch Suttonhoo. Only your keen marketing mind [1] could detect this brand of subtle danger.

[1] Ed. You know I love you friend, otherwise I’d give you grief for calling mine a “marketing mind”. Blech. ;)


Anonymous said...

I know what you mean man, I work for a hi-tech firm in portland and my co-workers (engineers) have like 4-5 diet cokes a day, it is insane the amount of diet pop / aspartame some people ingest especially when I don't think we fully understand this subject.

I came across a pretty good article at the health word, Aspartame - Don't "Dew" It, gives a pretty good synopsis of its history and some of the scary side effects, it is worth a read.

Anonymous said...

other than the aspartame, i think it's a great idea, because of the recent scares with plastic containers leaching chemicals into the liquids we consume. a great move for the company to start thinking about this. marketing this to people will be great because of the Bisphenol A scare with plastics.

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