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December 1, 2018. Sparkling water. Blow-your-own-bubbles for Better Cheaper seltzer and soda pop. The gift that improves health, saves money and prevents planetary wear and tear.

Not bad for something that costs $64 and fits under the smallest Christmas tree. It’s a soda siphon that makes the freshest sparkling water in town. Soda water that costs 99% less than the bottled stuff.

Sparkling water that’s the base for your own truly delicious low-sugar or no-sugar sodas. Sodas that cost 50% less than the bottled and canned stuff that’s the single worst thing in many diets. The reason why the Better Cheaper Soda Lab comes up with a new soda recipe or two every month. A $10 gift subscription brings A New Way Every Day – for a year – to Raise Your Standard of Living and Lower Your Cost of Living.

The fizzy details
Let’s start with tap water vs. bottled water. Well, tap water’s practically free; bottled water, not even close. Water quality? Get a good filter – your drinking water will be better than most bottled waters. The bonus that’s nice: naughty bottled water has an environmental impact 285 times greater than tap water. It’s the greenhouse gas emissions associated with making and transporting all those plastic bottles.

Now for the bubbles. Blow your own. Get a soda siphon; fill it with your filtered tap water; carbonate it with a small, cheap, recyclable carbon dioxide cartridge. The freshest and best sparkling water in town. Less than 40 cents to carbonate a quart of almost-free filtered tap water.

What about flavor? Use fresh, healthy ingredients to make sodas to taste. Your taste. They’re Better and Cheaper but not so much Slower. A little maple syrup, fresh lemon juice and ginger makes the most amazing Ginger Ale. Soda that really pops. Watch:

Cost-Benefit Analysis
Better: You choose the ingredients; you get exactly what you want and none of the stuff you don’t want.
Cheaper: Save more than 50% compared to the price of bottled soda in the supermarket.
Slower: Watching it happen – in seconds – is a great new source of free home entertainment. Kids and friends will marvel at it.

The CDC notes, “Since the mid-seventies, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased sharply for both adults and children.”

Well, what’s changed since the 1970s? The American Journal of Preventive Medicine tells us, “For all age groups, sweetened beverage consumption increased and milk consumption decreased. Overall, energy intake from sweetened beverages increased 135% and was reduced by 38% from milk, with a 278 total [daily] calorie increase.”

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service looked at just fifteen years and found “A big jump in average calorie intake between 1985 and 2000 … Of that 300-calorie increase, grains (mainly refined grains [especially corn for HFCS]) accounted for 46%; added sugars, 23% …”

Yes, most of the daily calorie increase came from food products – largely colas and other sodas and drinks – based on high-fructose corn syrup and sugar.

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