My wife has left me for ten days. She is taking her best friend on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate said friend's retirement. So I've been left to do the grocery shopping unaided.
We've let the fridge clear out in anticipation of Sally's trip, so tonight I went to the local Publix in search of bachelor chow. Tonight's dinner will be a simple repast of a french cheese whose name I can not recall and ritz crackers, followed by watermelon for dessert.
While in Publix I discovered something, that for me, provides the key to modern America. You can buy many different brands of instant iced tea mix, but they all have sweetening. Most have sugar, or possibly high fructose corn syrup, some have saccharin, some have nutrasweet, fewer have splenda and one lonely brand had stevia, I think. But you can not buy unsweetened instant tea.
I'm lazy. Boiling water requires work and effort. Pouring water over tea flavoured pellets is far less tiring. I don't much care about the taste as I going to add lemon juice to it anyway, so the better taste of freshly made hot tea isn't an issue.
But do all of our beverages have to be sweet? I drink, in no particular order: Tap water, orange juice, coffee, milk, an occasional lemonade when it is truly hot, and iced tea. If we are having a sit down dinner, I may have beer or wine. Of those beverages, only orange juice and lemonade can be classified as sweet. None of them would be foreign to Americans of fifty years ago.
But what you see in the grocery store is an endless array of sweetened beverages. No wonder we're all fat.