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A Secret History of Coffee, Coca & Cola Format Kindle
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One word came to mind while reading this book: HORRIBLE!
I can't believe anyone would say, "Wow!" after reading this book. It is shaped like a hardcover children's book and reads and is illustrated like one too, except, of course, the word "cocaine" doesn't often make an appearance in books written for children.
The book's title is misleading, but that doesn't stop Mr. Cortes from continuing his theme of sweetheart deals crafted by wayward government employees (e.g., kickbacks are alluded to but not specified) for Coca-Cola's financial success (i.e., source of funds for hinted-at kickbacks).
This book reveals no secrets. The company that imports coca leaves for Coca-Cola has a government-issued licence to do so. Every step of the process is transparent, highly regulated, and not at all unusual. Everyday, government-issued licenses allow some companies and individuals to do certain tasks that those who lack a license may not do. Easy example: physicians have a jurisdiction-specific, government-issued license to prescribe, order, administer, dispense, and/or procure prescription medications. To do so without a license is a crime.
The fact that coca leaves are imported to the United States, have their cocaine content removed, and then are shipped to be used as an ingredient to make Coca-Cola syrup has never been a secret. The information may have startled the author (and, just saying, he formerly wrote a book about the perks of marijuana; if that's where his expertise lies, then, yeah, I can see why Coca-Cola's coca leaves surprised him but that doesn't mean Americans at large have been denied information).
About 100 years ago, Coca-Cola chemists and executives fiddled with the original recipe. Federal agents had seized gallons of Coca-Cola syrup, which were the defendants in a case that made its way to the Supreme Court. (That's right, the syrup was the defendant ... not the humans who made the syrup. This happens a lot too.) The issue was not -- nor is now -- the cocaine content of the drink. Caffeine was considered an adulterant, robbing consumers of good health, and not a natural ingredient in the recipe. During the years that passed as the case moved upward and was then remanded downward, the folks at Coca-Cola decided to exit litigation by drastically lowering the syrup's caffeine content and, around the same time, ditched cocaine as well because the executives in Atlanta saw a prohibition against that drug coming.
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