Another compensated post. Don't get mad.

This is a compensated post. Coca-Cola is paying for my travel, lodging, and activities in Atlanta, and BlogHer is paying me to write this post. 

I know, I know. You hate it when bloggers get paid and "sell out." I get it. But some of these offers are so good I'd be stupid to pass them up, and I try my hardest not to be a stupid person.


I’m getting on a plane in a few days to fly to Atlanta, Georgia to attend the Conversations with Coca-Cola blogging leadership event that will be held at Coca-Cola’s national headquarters.

I’m kind of excited.

I’ve always been a Coke girl. When I order a Coke in a restaurant and the waiter asks, “is (insert competitive product) okay?” I say no and change the order to an iced tea. I don’t know if this is because of marketing prowess, stubborn tastebuds, or habit. I can’t think of another product I’m so brand loyal to--- usually I go for what’s on sale, or try something new/different upon recommendation or because of slick advertising.

Because of this brand loyalty, I immediately said YES, PLEASE when asked if I’d like to attend the event.

That, and it’s a free trip. F.R.E.E.
I’ve always been one to embrace the free.

The focus for this upcoming conversation is Living Positively, which is something I definitely try to do on an (almost (--- because really. this is real life, here.)) daily basis. I try to Live Positively by remembering to take time to be thankful. to breathe. to listen more than I speak. to cut myself slack. to model wise choices for my girls. to help when needed, yet refrain from doling out the assvice.

I’ve always been a big reader of personal development and self-help books. I believe that one of life’s meanings (of which I believe there are many) is to continuously self-reflect. to grow. to try to understand different perspectives. to learn something new everyday.

and evidently to use lots and lots of uncapitalized prepositional phrases!

I want to ask about getting Coke products in our school district. Not the actual soda, but perhaps Minute Maid, Odwalla, or Dasani water. This is a rather tight rope to walk, since many of my peers are against any advertising in schools, but our school district needs funds, badly. We no longer have PE, music, summer school, or any enrichment programs. Our classrooms are badly overcrowded, and I’m worried the teachers are beginning to “phone it in” in some cases. I, too, worry about advertising directly to kids, but I also worry about my kid getting lost in the shuffle because of over-crowding.

Do you have any questions for the Coca-Cola corporation that you’d like me to ask?

Do you love this article?

Please share it with your friends!

Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at June 08, 2011
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What they say about this article

  1. Coke museum in Atlanta, I remember it fondly. I do a lot of camping with scouts or church groups, kids always get a kick out of anything made with pop like cobblers etc. Do they have any good camp recipes involving coke products. Thanks.

  2. While I'm a coke girl too. Please don't ask about getting Dasani water at the schools. It's WATER! Even if they have the little green caps it's still a waste of plastic to drink water from a bottle. Maybe ask coke to provide reusable bottles that kids can fill themselves at drinking fountains. Okay, Rant over :-)

  3. Ooh, good for you! have a great time! We went to the CC factory (?) in Las Vegas many years ago...tasted all those crappy flavors from other countries. We had a blast.

  4. I don't have a question so much, but there's a big push on to boycott everything Pepsico right now because of some terrible and scary research practices leading to eventually putting some pretty grizzly things into their products. It might benefit Coke (as well as consumers) if they were made aware of it and market to that particular consumer group that is boycotting.

    I am not buying Pepsi/Frito Lay any more (Gatorade, Nestley, Seattle's Best, Starbucks.... the list goes on and on), so if they would accommodate me just a little bit, I'd buy from Coke, and I'm sure a lot of other people would, too.

  5. i don't understand the difference between diet coke and coke zero. it would be enlightening to know about, also find some slow cooker rib recipes that use coke as a tenderizer!


  6. I'd like to know if they have any plans to follow Pepsi in releasing some sort of "pre-HFCS" Coke made with cane sugar instead of HFCS or Corn Sugar or whatever they're calling it now. I know we can get it that way from Mexico, but it's a shame that we can't get it that way from a US plant.

    I tend to agree about not getting water in vending machines at schools for many of the same reasons. Concession stands - that's a different story.

    I'm with you on the "we don't serve Coke", though. Just don't care for the other alternatives in colas, though I will drink a Jones cola sometimes. :-)

  7. i like SSB idea of a coke reusable drink bottle for kids. im a coke zero addict!

  8. a)Totally a Coke girl. While it was invented in Atlanta, it was first put in a bottle in my hometown in Monroe, LA! We're all about the Coke!

    b)Even if I KNOW a restaurant doesn't serve Coke, (actually I'm a Diet Coker now...) I'll ask for it, then refuse competitive product and ask for water to let them know they lost my 2 bucks b/c they don't offer Coke products.

    c) I think you are totally onto something. As funding for public schools have completely cratered this year, I started saying, "We will NOT survive unless we have corporate sponsorship." Xerox needs to start sending copy paper, Coke products need to provide waters, Nike, Addidas, or Reebok needs to get on board with funding our PE, etc. We can no longer do it on the backs of the American people and compete globally. Backing you all the way!

  9. I'm going to second the water bottle idea along with the HFCS in Coke products. I've started to become more concerned about BPA in plastic bottles and have heard that it's in pop cans as well. It would be nice to know if Coke is thinking of coming out with any alternatives in their packaging that would eliminate this chemical.

    I'd happily pay a little more for products that don't have BPA or HFCS in them!

  10. Good for you, on accepting paying gigs that are not a conflict of interest for you! And thank-you for telling us so.
    Only comment I have is, if Coke can manufacture their product in Mexico that is in GLASS bottles and with cane sugar they can do it in the USA.

    And guys the lesser of evils is Dasani water has no empty calories in it.

  11. I would also like to know if they are planning to stop using HFCS and switch to a more natural sugar--I might start drinking Coke products if they cut out things like HFCS and artificial food dyes in some of their other sodas/drinks ;)

  12. I'd take posters all over campus if the schools were better funded.

    You are not a sell out! I'd be right there with ya.

    Side note: I didn't know Coke owned Odowalla. LOVE them!

  13. If it ain't Coca Cola, I ain't drinking it! My kind of gal!!!

  14. I'm a Coke girl too. I never thought about it before, but it's probably the product I'm most brand loyal to too. There's no way I'd order anything from that competitive company.

    Congrats on being invited to the event! I'd love to find out more about what Coke is doing to make their packaging more green.

  15. I know schools are under-funded, but I have a real issue with turning over our kids to corporate sponsors in public schools, where attendance is compulsory. Where is the line? If corporations really want to support education, then they should support it without requiring their branding all over the place. Otherwise, I'm always going to see it for what it truly is--marketing dressed up as "corporate care."

  16. Anonymous6/08/2011

    Wow, I guess I'm in the minority here but I think advertising in school is a horrible thing to expose our kids to and that goes for xerox, nike, or any others including organic brands. By allowing corporations access to the purse strings we're setting ourselves up for a bad situation later. I don't want my daughter's class teaching healthy eating habits with a soda or sugar-sweetened juice machine sitting around the hallway corner.

    I'll hop off my soapbox now though. I love coke too. I'm quite fond of their Christmas commercials and tasty tasty beverage. I hope you have a good time hanging out at their conference, learning more about the brand we all know and love. ^_^

  17. I've loved/followed your site for a few years now, but this is the last time I'll be by. Disappointed in both your selling out, and your readership's acceptance/appreciation of your 'success.' America truly is a sad, soulless nation; consumption ≠ citizenship.


  18. Former reader!6/08/2011

    Here's a question:
    How many people will unsubscribe from a blog, when instead of a post about cooking, they get a COKE commercial?!?
    ...probably just me, don't worry. I'm a jerk when it comes to this situation.
    FWIW, I don't mind the "selling out", I'd totally do it if I were in your shoes! But I just hate commercials. If my time gets wasted, I get even by unsubscribing. It's a win/win, I don't get abused with blog-fomercials and you don't...have me here reading your stuff.

    And so, this is goodbye. Have a safe trip!

  19. Cheryl6/08/2011

    I'm not mad. I'm happy for you! :) Chose to comment after Buddy.... I love that you are making money doing what you love. You go girl!!!

    And I love your blog.

  20. My favorite Coke is the Mexican Coke in the glass bottles with cane sugar. It doesn't taste as different from regular Coke as Pepsi Throwback and regular Pepsi do, but there is still a difference. Have fun on your trip!

    LOL, Andy, what do you do for a living? Have a job, I assume? Hypocrite. Having a job (and trust me, I know enough bloggers irl to know that blogging can be a full-time job) does not equal being a sellout. Not bothering to mention that you are being compensated for a review, THAT is selling out.

  21. Have fun on your trip. As for a question for the Coke people, I would be interested in what they are doing as a company to help with education funding by way of scholarships and grants. I think that is of more interest than actually placing a product in the schools. Kids should be using refillable water bottles and have clean water to fill them with. Or Milk. Let them enjoy other products at home. That's my two-cents.

  22. I'm very disturbed by the idea of corporate sponsorship in schools. Children are so susceptible to their weaselly tactics. Coke isn't interested in the well-being of children or their education. Coke wants to brainwash them in their tender years to ensure a steady stream of sales for the lifetime of the child, knowing full well that for many of them, it will result in obesity, diabetes, and other serious health problems. I think it's wrong to offer ourselves and our children up to them for money. There must be a better way.

  23. My question is about the future of the coconut water market and whether or not Coke will become a more active participant in marketing and distribution of the Zico brand.

    Hope you enjoy Atlanta. Be prepared for the heat and humidity - it's been mid-to-upper 90's here for the last 2 weeks!

  24. Hi, Stephanie.

    I'm not bothered by these posts as long as they are relevant to your blog purpose, fit your normal style (unlike a like a car ad smack dab in the midst of Brennan and Booth banter on "Bones"), and don't start to glut your space. And, I can skip them if I'm not interested.

    That said, boo on bottled water!! Extremely inefficient use of money and energy resources to transport and (hopefully) recycle, trains children to pay for "convenience size and packaging" instead of planning ahead. Some people are willing to do anything to get kiddos to drink water, and yes - water quality is not great in some places - but bottled water is not the solution and sets the young ones up to continue the trend.

    Corporate placement in schools is a tricky thing overall, but I'm not going to get into that topic.

    I hope you have a safe and beneficial trip.

  25. (Also, I got all anxious seeing that soda can next to the laptop. Hope it was an empty prop :-) )

  26. If you can find out if they're making a diet coke product that tastes good without dumping extra salt in it (a la Coke Zero), that would be cool.

  27. Hey, someone has to pay the bills! If Coke wants to help, I say let them!!

    I'm a coke girl too, my mom raised me on Diet Pepsi but as soon as I was on my own, I switched. Big difference.

  28. I'm a (diet) Coke girl myself, and right there with you on refusing the other product in restaurants.

    Can't think of a new question, but I want to say "me too!" to the questions about the BPA bottles and HFCS vs. cane sugar.

    As for those who are disappointed in you, they should take a look at schools. Kids are ALREADY being marketed to, as are we all. Why shouldn't the local business who helps pay for uniforms get their logo on a banner or t-shirt sleeve? We should be building communities, working together with business to create the best schools possible, not trying to make schools into little islands of non-reality.

    As long as you keep telling us when a post has been compensated, that's all you owe us. I am so grateful for your time and recipes and writing that I can hardly begrudge you recognition when you do it well. If you have any free time on your trip, send me an email. I'm in the 'burbs of Atlanta and would be thrilled to meet you IRL! Have a great trip (and brace yourself for some serious HOT weather.)

  29. I am a Coke girl though have been trying for months to give up my habit. However, if they ever bring back fully sugared Lime Coke I will forever and ever drink/buy/push their product. What happened to Lime Coke????? Arg!

  30. I don't think you're selling out, Stephanie. It's too bad that some feel fine commenting on your vocation in that way. So few can live their environmental/clean product/organic/no harm sort of ideas out in a TRUE way. I understand that this is a paycheck for you, too, now, not just a creative outlet. It's the American Spirit and I still appreciate that! Entrepreneurialism is what has made this great nation and it's what will keep it going... if we can unplug from Facebook, texting, blogs :D and other distractions long enough to work hard. Go Stephanie and thanks for years of helpful recipes/tips! I appreciate you and your positivity!

  31. Not worried about a sponsored post since I can choose to read it or not. But please dont add a ton of sponsors all over the blog site like some do. makes loading a pain and makes me feel like I HAVE to support them and you are no longer the person I am following.
    BTW in schools or not I choose to ALWAYS send my kids lunch and snacks making my position known about the state of our lunches and snacks etc. Sadly if its what some schools need to get funding...
    Anyway quick recipe: hunk of cheap beef roast, can of coke, can of tomatoes and left over veggies(root types work best) makes a yummy dinner served over rice pasta bread... you get the idea.

  32. I read your blog because I get great ideas for crockpot recipes. Important to me that you actually made the recipes and reported your family's reaction to them. Kudos to you for getting noticed by Coke. (FWIW I also will order tea if the restaurant doesn't have Coke. As long as you continue to provide a variety of recipes along with your honest assessment of them, I will continue to read.

  33. Thank you for all of your comments/questions/suggestions. These are great, and I'm going to print them out to take along.

    As for the school funding, I am not crazy about vending machines or blatant marketing--- the jr. high has a juice/water machine and they make about $300 a month. I don't like that as much because the money is STILL coming from the parents, not the corporations.

    Our school district is $750k in the hole. we don't have tech aides, librarians, art, music, PE, science on a reg basis, etc. I'd like to see if we can get grants, corporate sponsorships of certain programs---something like that. If we can get Xerox or HP to pay for a tech aide, or coke to fund the PE program (via PowerAde or something similar) I'm probably okay with a bit of branding.

    It is DEFINITELY a slippery slope, and one I grapple with on a daily basis. I am constantly pausing commercials and talking to my kids about who is paying for what and what they're trying to get you/us to do, so I'm not concerned necessarily about my OWN kids, but all of society ---- because you're right--- what comes next?!

    at the same time, nothing is going to change unless Education is properly funded and I do not see that happening in the near future, I just don't.
    Should I pull the kids and homeschool?
    but then when would I write these compensated posts that you all LOVE so much...

    Writing is tricky. It doesn't pay the bills the way I thought it would when I was young and fantasized about living in the woods ala Thoreau.

    still trying to figure it all out. :-)

  34. Can you ask them to please make Coke with real sugar like they do for the rest of the friggin' world? It tastes so much better than the stuff here. So why does a company established in the US give the US a subpar product compared to everyone else?

  35. Anonymous6/09/2011

    I won't hold anything against you for making a little money on your writing deal. Ditto to the others on HFCS. It hits home especially for me since my best friend is SEVERELY allergic to corn, and some days she really misses being able to have a soda when eating at a restaurant, and the amount of corn in our food really worries me anyway.

    In middle and High school we had both Coke and Snapple group vending machines. Snapple group is Snapple Dr. Pepper, Nantucket Nectars etc. I know it made a fair amount of money for the school, and I don't think it was any worse as far as advertising than the billboards we drove past on the bus ride in.

    Ditto to the others about bottled water-that's a major pet peeve of mine. Here's an idea though-maybe try getting in contact with Brita and Nalgene. They have a program called Filter for Good-they have Nalgene reusable water bottles (made here in the USA and BPA free!) that you purchase and they give discounts for brita filtration systems. Maybe Brita could install water filtration systems on the bubblers at schools so the water would TASTE BETTER so the kids would actually drink it, and nalgene could donate or sell at a discounted rate, the water bottles to the school?

  36. Anonymous6/09/2011

    I don't drink much soda, it uspets my stomach, but I am a Coke girl! I always buy a little glass 6-pack to slip under the Christmas tree! Weird I know, but it's a family tradition.I think it was about the only soda I was allowed all year! And for breakfast none the less!

    *There was always a "forced" nap, after lunch I suppose to avoid the mood swings, lol*

    I'd like to know where the one share of Coca-Cola stock I was given in a class stock market study went!!! The next few years I DREAMED of being able to retire at 18 off that single stock... I don't think I did well in that class. :p

  37. hey, I'm trying really hard to not post anonymous comments, but I was too fast with the publish button on that last one, and had a "helper" on my lap.
    You don't need to put an email or url address in the form, but please make up a user name.
    If you commented up thread and used Anonymous I didn't post it; please send again with a name.

  38. Ask them to remove BPA from the cans! Oh! How about half-caff? For those of use who are crazy sensitive to caffeine but aren't interested in a diet drink. Real sugar would be icing on that cake!

  39. It is one thing to sell out for the money, but why risk your own personal health. If you are really still drinking soda out of a can and that photo isn't just a prop I would highly encourage you to take a look at some of the recent research.

    I drank Coke my entire life, starting as a young child. I have tried to quit many times because of the HFCS and other various reasons. The latest news about BPA made me quit cold turkey. I am really angry to think I have been putting toxic chemicals into my body my entire life.

  40. Of course you should accept compensation, after all, it's all your dedicated and hard work that got you there! Me luv Coke, always have, always will:) Enjoy your trip, have a Coke blast!

  41. Have a great time at the event - sounds like fun. My personal experience with a school district having ties with a advertiser....we had Coke as a sponsor here for Portland Public Schools (Oregon) and while it was great for the extra cash that the school district needed...every time we had an event we had to make sure we purchased Coke products (and they weren't always the least expensive and we always had a tight budget).
    p.s. I am a Diet Dr. Pepper gal

  42. Can they make Diet Coke with a stevia-based sweetener?

  43. Debbie B.6/09/2011

    I'm all for advertising in the schools. With all of the cutbacks due to the economy the schools can use all the help they can get. However, there should be some limitations to this. As far as Coca Cola is concerned, they have several healthy alternatives to soda pop, so why not advertise those types of products in the schools.

    BTW, I have been to the World of Coca Cola several must try the soda called's a real experience!

  44. samcarter6/09/2011

    I remember visiting Atlanta for the first time, and overhearing a man in an airport restaurant ordering his food. The waitress asked him what he wanted to drink, and he said, "Pepsi, please," and the waitress's face FROZE--I swear conversation around him STOPPED, as well--and she said, "Hon, down here we got Coke and Coke PRODUCTS."

    It's true. You cannot order Pepsi in hardly any Atlanta-area restaurants. It's kind of hilarious. Once I took my kids down there, and throughout the airport my oldest kept counting how many Coca-Cola vending machines we saw. He'd never seen that many in one place before!

  45. I only buy two kinds of Coke:

    Mexican coke, currently imported by a number of stores in NYC (including Costco), and

    Passover Coke (limited quantities available once a year!)

    Both of these are made with sugar. I don't do HFCS, but I love the occasional coke.

    I want to know, as others do above, if Coke is thinking of marketing coke made with sugar in the US. If it comes in a glass bottle, I am even more all over it.

  46. Debbie B.6/09/2011

    P.S. I'm with dawna...ask Coke if they can come out with a beverage that uses Stevia! My husband can't drink/eat anything with nutrasweet or splenda in it and this alternative would be great!

  47. Coke girl here too! I wish they would make Coke Zero with Stevia.

    I don't see anything wrong with putting healthy(ier) products in the schools to make money. It's better than all the candy sales we have going on around here!

  48. Oh, I miz my diet coke but I gave it up when I gave up all fake sugar substitutes - will they ever consider making it using Stevia instead?

  49. If you wanna be bravzen (brave and brazen) you could ask if they have any plans to eradicate HFCS - particularly from the kids drinks, but essentially to all. I don't drink cola of any kind (weird, but that's me - not much for soda period really) but I adore the Minute Maid lemonade and limeade. I haven't bought it in a while though, making my own from scratch instead, because even the light version contains HFCS :-(

  50. Elaine6/09/2011

    Oh, congrats! It's exciting to get a free trip. I have no issues with sponsored posts when you are completely upfront about it.

    My question is about the carmel color. Coke is often considered gluten-free but I can't find anything on their website about gluten. Will Coke label cans with a "wheat" warning if their carmel color is derived from wheat? What if it is made from barley malt?

  51. I hope you have a lot of fun. If you get a chance to ask them about making a caffeine free version of coke zero I'd greatly appreciate it. I would love a zero calorie, no caffeine way to get that original coke taste.

  52. I don't blog myself, just follow a few. Curious why some folks would consider being compensated for a blog post "selling out"?

    Just trying to see the logic, because the way I see it, what's better than making a little dough, while sharing a piece of your world with us? I think I must be missing something...

  53. Totally fine with the occasional sponsored post, as long as it's disclosed. Love the blog, and have made many great meals with your recipes!

  54. Have fun at your conference! It doesn't sound like selling out to me, either.
    I love your idea of getting Minute Maid products into the schools- very clever! I personally think bottled water is stupid (it's water. We pay taxes to have it filtered for us) but as long as there's a recycling program with it, it's not a bad idea.
    I'm HORRIFIED at the classes your area doesn't have!

  55. I have a question for Coke. Once a year (around easter/passover time) they make Coke Kosher, with natural products and without corn syrup. I think it is great that they do that, but why once a year? Why can't that have that product available all year long? I would buy it and honestly I am not a coke/soda person. Anyways, that's my question. Have fun on your trip!

  56. I love Coke! I think the drinks you were talking about were great ideas. Water from water fountains are loaded with chlorine and other particles/chemicals, yuck. I never let my kids drink from those. At least Dasani is clean water. Have fun at the conference!

  57. I have zero problem with corporate sponsors putting products in schools-anyone that has ever volunteered in the lunch room or "school store" can state without equivocation that children seeing a can of soda is the least of the problems with childhood obesity or underage advertising. No one gets obese drinking a can of soda now and again, so all of the doomsayers can just stop that nonsense right now. If you want to rant about the evils of soda, do it at the parents that pack their children a nitrate laden sandwich, a bag of chips, a packaged dessert, and a soda. Every. Single. Day. The kids who need it least are generally the ones that get the most of it, so you're doing little, if anything, to modify anyones behavior by fussing about a vending machine in school.

    In any case-The machines are in every recreation center, water park, mall, grocery store and convenience store and they see them every time you take them anywhere. I don't see anyone picketing the local piggly wiggly to have the vending machine removed because kids might see it.

    Here's an idea-see if Coke can sponsor the LARGE water bottles, the refillable ones that offices have, for school classrooms. That water is awesome!

    For the record-I homeschool, in a district with one of the highest public school tax rates in my city. Our schools still have instrumental music, PE, etc. Schools are losing funding rapidly and there doesn't seem to be a stop to it-either pay more in taxes, or accept that someone else is going to help pay for your schools and that they're going to show their product. NO ONE gets something for nothing.

  58. I'm sorry, I understand wanting FREE, and even liking Coke, although I'm a Pepsi girl myself. But, I go to your blog to get an opinion, not a corporate sell-out, but each and every "compensated" blog you do makes me less likely to click on again. Don't sell yourself, or us, out for free, please.

  59. Christine6/09/2011


    We live in Atlanta and my husband works downtown at Coke. BEST.....JOB....EVER!! Not only have I always loved me some Coca Cola, they really are a great family friendly company to work for. I hope you have a great time at the conference!

  60. I cannot believe anyone could complain about a compensated posting after all the wonderful FREE recipes! Sheesh! Good riddance!

    I would like to ask Coke why they can't make a diet drink without Aspartame - strongly desire one with Stevia. I cannot tolerate aspartame and don't feel it is safe. Have fun and enjoy yourself and forget about the ridiculous ones who complain! Like they would turn down a free trip.

  61. I couldn't care less about your post being sponsored. As long as You stay You, get all the sponsorship you can! Go Girl!

  62. i love cherry coke and as for you being paid to do something like this as long as you are up front about it who cares, so i say do you and have fun!

  63. I'm a coke person too. Actually diet coke is my favorite! I've been drinking diet coke forever and my husband calls me diet coke kid or DC Kid for short. Lol. I even had a tshirt made with that on it. (We've been dating since high school.)

    Everything is becoming about the advertisement and product placement. I don't blame you for taking advantage of a free opportunity for a trip to Atlanta. I would blog all day for Coke if they sent me there.

    The question I would like you to ask Coke, is why they don't make products with the diet coke logo? I seen Coke cups, chairs, plates, etc. but rarely can I find anything that says diet coke. I know this is silly but I'm curious.

  64. Anonymous6/10/2011

    I've been enjoying your recipes. You post them free, take time to let us know how they turn out and do it without compensation. You don't seem to do many sponsored posts, and the last one had a recipe. If you enjoy a product, why not post about it? Especially if they're offering you a trip!
    I know you'll have too many questions, but if you have a spare moment I'd like to know when they'll sell root beer in New Zealand! I'm an American transplant. I can find it in a local American goods shop but would love to see it on the supermarket shelves alongside other Coke products!

  65. dusterdolittle6/10/2011

    Re: Compensated Post

    Oh how I laughed with your concern about "doling out the assvice." I read it as a misspelling but also thought it hit close to home to what is sometimes brought to our family discussions.

    Anyway, enjoy your trip, and thank you for the many wonderful recipes.

  66. dusterdolittle6/10/2011

    One more thing. Due to funding constraints our local school district has had to remove all extracurriculars from its program. No more state ranked: marching/concert bands, sports teams, FFA (and this is an ag district), science and math clubs, gifted programs, and the list goes on. Fewer teachers per student, etc. All of our school boards are scrambling for new methods of school funding. I wish you well. We home educate our child, but I fear for the outcome down the road for my child's public schooled peers. Please, people, support the schools. And Coke, take notice. Uneducated people do not get food stamps for Coke. And, no sports=fewer soda drinks sold. I ran our football concession stand for years. I know how much liquid passed over that counter.

  67. I am upset that people are being so negative about a compensated post. You’ve been posting free, tested, and updated, recipes for over 3 years now. You deserve thanks and appreciation, not snarky comments. Keep up the good work and please ask Coke if they are planning on using Stevia :)

  68. Hi Stephanie,
    It's my first time posting here. I really like your blog, and I have no issue with compensation that is transparent. Your blog is media, the vast majority of media is advertiser supported, and you have a lot of readers. Why shouldn't you be compensated?

    My only issue is not with you, or even Coca-Cola. I have a history of working with big brands. It disappoints me that brands like this are the ones who can afford to invite you and others to be involved in something like this. It's too bad that some of the other brands you use that are much smaller and offer healthier products (though I recognize that Coca-Cola has a portfolio of products) aren't able to do the same thing.

    It's a mixed up world -- you find yourself wanting to ask Coca-Cola about the possibility of helping bridge the budget gap in your child's school. You know they are the kind of company that has the means. And yet, you probably would rather find a supporter who had a better reputation of providing a product that helps kids vs. contributes to the obesity epidemic.

    This is a great opportunity, though, to bring to their attention many of the things mentioned in this blog. You generally can't beat big business funding and sway, but you can leverage the fact that they listen to consumers and their influencers.

  69. As long as corporates sponsors put ehalthier choices in their machines in schools - juice, water, diet sodas only - i'm ok with it.

    I think bottled water is getting an unjustly bad rap. Tap quality can be lousy, not everyone owns their home & can install a filtration system, or can afford a system, and while simple filters like Brita improve taste, they don't remove most real toxins. Machines that have no water will dispense plastic bottles full of other stuff instead. The no-bottled-water bandwagon needs to be re-thunk.

  70. You go girl! Have a fabulous time and do us all proud!

  71. Michelle6/10/2011

    I would like to tie my request in with celiac disease. As many celiacs react to corn as they do oats, yet "no oats" is widely promoted in the gluten-free diet and manufacturers blow off the celiac corn reaction which has been known about since the late 1970s. I drink Pepsi Throwback when it is available and actually prefer the taste of Pepsi to the acidic taste of Coke, but I do buy the Mexican Coca Cola in the glass bottles when Pepsi Throwback is not on the market because the Mexican Coca Cola is smoother and doesn't have HFCS like regular Coke. They all have some corn-derivatives like caramel color but I don't react to those. If Coca Cola produced a non-HFCS pure cane sugar sweetened Coca Cola full-time, I would switch to drinking that even when the occasional Pepsi Throwback comes out.

  72. You do understand what Coca-Cola is trying to accomplish here, right? If they wanted to help fund schools, they could donate a tiny portion of their billions in profits. What they're really after is taking advantage of the economic crisis and state budget cuts to get their name in front of kids. It doesn't matter if they put their "healthier" drinks in the machines, what matters is that they're training those kids in brand loyalty and getting some positive PR with parents and school employees. I, for one, would like to see school be the one place where kids could go and not be surrounded on all sides with corporate logos and advertising. God knows no place else is free of that garbage.

  73. I'd abandon Pepsi completely if only Coke would make a sugar-only soda rather than one full of HFCS.

  74. My question for Coca Cola is this: Did they 'revive' the recipe for "Tab" and use it for Coke Zero? I think Coke Zero tastes exactly like I remember Tab tasting... which I wish was readily available once more. Loved it!