Drink Up!

Andy Rooney Offers His Own 'Taste' Test

A weekly commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney:

If parents had all the money their kids spend on soft drinks, by the time the kids got out of high school, there'd be enough money to send them to college.

Kids don't drink milk or water anymore. They drink this stuff. I'm calling it "stuff" to keep from getting sued for calling it what I'm thinking.

It's basically sugared water with coloring and sometimes bubbles. There are the equivalent of about 60 spoonsful of sugar in one bottle like this. It's a wonder sugar still dissolves.

Gatorade is relatively new but very big – owned by Quaker Oats. This is the Coca Cola company's answer to Gatorade called Powerade. It has ester of wood rosin, vegetable oil and red dye in it. It says "The Official Sports Drink of The Olympic Games." I'll bet that cost them more than it costs to make it.

This is another Gatorade wannabe. This has yellow dye instead of red dye. It says Lemon-lime thirst quencher" but there's no lemon or lime listed in the ingredients.

This is a blue soft drink. I don't drink anything blue. It turns me green.

Most of these say they have "natural flavors" but they don't say what the natural flavors are, which seems unnatural.

Orange Slice? Wouldn't you think something called Orange Slice ought to have some orange in it?

Someone figured out Americans each drink an average of 50 gallons of soft drinks a year.

We've ruined water; that's why people drink this. Whereever there's water, we've dumped something into it. Then to kill the bugs, they put chlorine in, which tastes terrible. And, anyway, who wants to drink dead bugs?

Water tastes best when it doesn't taste like anything.

Coca-Cola is a great American business success story. They spend a billion dollars a year advertising it.

Pepsi Cola is also successful but it doesn't sell as much as Coke.

I like one a lot better than the other but I'm not going to tell you which I like.

Let me read you what's in Coca-Cola then - what's in Pepsi Cola. Maybe you'll be able to tell from that which one is best.

Coke has carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup and or sucrose, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavor and caffeine.

Pepsi, on the other hand, has carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, and or sugar, caramel color, phosphoric acid, caffeine, citric acid and natural flavors.

Is it any wonder I like one better than the other?