Posted by: Nathan | May 12, 2008

“And/or Sugar?”

Yesterday as my wife and I were eating another yummy dinner complete with a refreshing glass of Squirt, I happened to glance over at the ingredients list of said soda pop. I think what drew my attention was the “Less than 1% real juice.” Naturally, I wondered of what the more than 99% consisted. First on the list was good ol’ water. Second was: “High fructose corn syrup and/or sugar.”

And/or sugar? How is it that the fine folks who bottle Squirt do not know what is in their beverage? Isn’t the entire purpose of the ingredients list to know exactly what is in the foodstuff or drink I’m consuming? What if it read, “High fructose corn syrup and/or cyanide?”

I am simply stumped about how Squirt employees don’t know what’s in their drink. Is there a giant vat into which corn syrup and sugar are poured indiscriminately? Maybe there are two vats, one for each ingredient, but no one knows which is poured into the bottle of Squirt as it passes by. Perhaps they received a shipment of high fructose syrup and sugar, but the containers came sans labels.

In any case, the “and/or” quasi-conjunction in a list of ingredients was most unsettling. One should try to avoid using “and/or” too often in any circumstance, but when it comes to telling me what’s in my drink, I’d like to be able to say for certain. Even so, Squirt remains one of my top five pops*.

*In no order: Cherry Jones Soda, Vault, Squirt, Cherry Coke, and Welch’s Grape. At least, that’s the list today.


  1. I first noticed “and/or sugar” following that oh-so-heinous corn-syrup in the ingredients of many sub-par brands of bread. This is purely speculation, but I highly doubt that there’s any chance your Squirt has any real sugar in it. H. f. corn syrup has been getting a lot of negative attention over the past few years, so it’s not surprising that big companies would try to trick you in to thinking there might be real sugar sweetening your drink assuming some FDA loophole allows it. I’m really surprised that this is OK though. These are two completely separate ingredients…shouldn’t it be required that they report exactly what’s in there?

    I’ve seen this in ingredients lists too: “may contain one or more of the following ingredients”. How long before packages simply point us to a webpage with a list of every ingredient known to humankind? Disturbing.

  2. This post is just pure Nathan! Love it! It’s just a measure of how much you’ve influenced me that that would probably bother me, too. Funny.

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