Estimates suggest 85% of Americans old enough to eat solid food consume at least one caffeinated beverage any given day. That hasn’t stopped activists from opening a scare campaign designed to “de-normalize” — fancy-pants Ph.D.-speak for “make regular people feel guilty about” — your morning cup of Joe, soft drink, or tea.
The “news explainer” website Vox.com (which is not exactly known for getting basic facts right) recently gave time to a researcher who fretted about Americans’ caffeine consumption, warning based on (here we go again) a “study conducted on rats” that teens should abstain from caffeine, lest they become stupid. We suspect most people who drank coffee, tea, or soda in high school turned out all right, but what do we know. Either way, caffeinated beverages (tea is believed to be the first cultivated) have been around for millennia, with some crediting the widespread adoption of coffee for fueling the Enlightenment, hardly a time of stupidity.
This needs to be a warning to consumers—the activists aren’t going to stop their crusade to control the dinner table with only foods you like or companies you like. They want it all, until all the American public is left to subsist on Center for Science in the Public Interest boss Michael Jacobson’s “wonderfully healthy” 16th-Century peasant diet: “perhaps a pound of bread, a spud, and a couple of carrots per day.”
Activists are only starting with sugar, soft drinks, and even meat, but their ideology demands endless conflict and endless control. For cheese, for coffee, for the good things in life, consumers must resist the efforts of self-important activists. If it’s not your chosen food or beverage today, it may be tomorrow.