Recently, a new policy took effect in San Francisco which banned the sale of sugary soda beverages from vending machines on city property. I don’t live in that great city, but this initiative caught my attention. If you’re thirsty and see a vending machine, don’t plan on getting your favorite cola. You may like that tasty, carbonated drink, but you’re no longer allowed to buy one from a machine.
But what about freedom of choice for thirsty consumers? Sorry. It’s gone.
Instead of sugary drinks such as certain sodas, sports drinks, fruit juice that’s not 100% pure, etc – there is to be a healthier set of alternatives.
What constitutes healthier, in this case? Well, diet soda (you know, that noted health food) can still be a small percentage of the offerings. Apparently, water, milk, soy milk, and rice milk are among the others covered in the recent directive.
Just imagine this scenario:
John Doe, doing construction work near city property, wants a break from his hard work, and would like to quench his thirst. He strolls over to the vending machines, ready for his treat.
He then scans the choices, and thinks to himself, “Juice, milk, soy milk. Hmmm….not sure that I see what I’m looking for yet.”
Then he keeps looking, and his eyes freeze on his target. His thoughts scream out at him: “Aha. RICE MILK! I want the rice milk. Just what I crave to quench my thirst! Perfect. There’s nothing like some rice milk on a day like this!”
Now, I have to say that while I have a diet soda once in a while, I realize that they’re not good for us to drink. If sodas take the rust off cars, or dissolve coins if given enough time, they can’t be too good for us – particularly our teeth. So, I do applaud the intent of keeping people healthy. And I have to admit: I do have soy milk on occasion. I even purchased almond milk once, though it didn’t do much for me.
That said, instead of restricting people from making specific purchases, how about educating them on good nutritional choices? Then let people make their own decisions. In schools, I’m absolutely in favor of restricting choices. But as adults we can make our own choices.
A better solution for people, instead of buying drinks from vending machines, would be to carry water. Make a small investment in a reusable canister that you can carry with you, and fill it with water as you leave home. It will save you plenty of money over the course of time. It will also keep you healthier. What’s a better drink for a thirsty person than water?
Let’s say you’re working 250 days a year, and have the existing habit of getting a drink out of the vending machine every day. If the cost of a drink is $1.20, you will be paying $300 over the course of the year.
$300 in savings and a healthy, calorie free drink instead of soda – or rice milk – seems like a pretty good deal to me!