Scholastic and Sunny D recently embarked on a symbiotic campaign, called the Sunny D Book Spree, which gave children "free" books in exchange for a certain number of Sunny D labels. The stunt lasted from August 2nd 2010 to November 30th 2010, and in that time forced a 382-kid California school, with perhaps the assistance of their friends and families, to guzzle thirty thousand Sunny Ds within that 121-day period! That does not stop baffling me! (http://www.sunnyd.com/contest-martina-mcbride-book-spree/, http://www.city-data.com/school/ridge-crest-elementary-ca.html)

A friend of mine once suggested to me that Sunny D is perhaps named so because it is made from just about everything under the sun. If you look at the ingredients of Sunny D, which the corporation tries pretty hard to hide on its flashy website, you will doubtlessly notice that the swill contains less than 2% of anything derived from a fruit, and NOTHING derived from an orange, the fruit of which the lucrative libation claims to be the juice! One will also observe that the other 98% of this scatological solution is water and sugar. But not real sugar, that's far too expensive for such an avaricious association as Proctor & Gamble, the owners of Sunny D.  No, they've chosen to use the kind of sugar that is actually worse-for-you-than-sugar sugar. The kind that will fatten you like swine and is cheaper to produce than foot fungus. Perhaps most alarmingly, the dreary drink also contains cornstarch and canola oil. Now, I don't know if anyone else thinks the way I do (I don't think this world could stand two of me), but I'm rather uncomfortable with the idea of someone putting oil in my beverage (no lipids in my liquids!). Sunny D's slogan is "Sunshine in a Bottle." I hope they realize that too much sunshine gives you cancer.

That being said, do we, as a country, really want to encourage, nay, require our children to drink this unnatural amalgam in order to get their hands on some books? What part of that makes sense? I'm certainly not advocating children abstaining from any form of junk food, I could even bear to promote a trip to Wendy's now and then, or a Dr. Pepper here and there. but the Sunny D Book Spree made schools across the country sell out their students to a corporation which already preys on children, but is now using two perfectly innocent entities as vehicles for advertisement! In the dying realm of print, Scholastic certainly isn't excelling, putting more focus lately on audiobooks, ebooks, and a smorgasbord of other software, but altogether struggling in a downtrodden economy. And schools, although palliatively highlighted in Obama's 2012 budget, are desperately underfunded, and have been for decades. Slyly seeing this missed opportunity, Sunny D decided to take advantage of these weakened organizations, fully knowing that they would take whatever they could get from such a begrudging benefactor. Evil? That's a question for Aristotle. Of whom I'm not particularly fond either.
Curious bystander
3/22/2011 09:15:33 am

There's that weird slightly citric, slightly candyish flavoring in Sunny D, also found in "Fruit Juicy" Hawaiin Punch and Jolly Ranchers - some strange interaction of chemicals that gives it a certain roundness of flavor and tanginess... Whatever it is, it could make you eat anything. And does.

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