The company Coca-Cola announced that its bottling company in Venezuela has stopped production of Coke and its other sugary drinks for the time being. This is because of a huge shortage of sugar in Venezuela. Coca-Cola will continue to produce its diet (or light) drinks in Venezuela that don’t use sugar to sweeten the taste. The shortage of sugar is partly because fewer farmers are growing sugar cane crop. The cost of growing sugar cane has shot up. The price of sugar cane is controlled by the government, where the farmers cannot charge beyond a maximum price that is set by the government. Therefore, farmers have turned to growing other crops that will make them more money.
Well, how much sugar can a 12-ounce of Coke have? One can contains over 9 teaspoons of sugar.
Sugar isn’t the only shortage Venezuelans are dealing with. Another is “power.” Power shortages are caused by drought problems which have led to low water levels in the country’s rivers and dams. About 70% of the country’s energy comes from hydroelectric power plants (where falling or flowing water is used to generate power). With very low water levels, the hydroelectric plants are not generating enough electricity for the nation. There have been daily power cuts around the nation.
Venezuelans are unhappy with their government. Many have signed a petition for the removal of their President Nicolas Maduro.
Coca Cola was invented in the United States in 1886 by a pharmacist named John Pemberton (image). Pemberton initially sold the drink for medicinal purposes, and claimed that it cured a few diseases. A man called Asa Candler bought the formula of the drink and went on to create the Coca Cola Company in 1892. Today the company has more than 3,500 beverages and sells its drinks in over 200 countries.
Here is a video of a Coca Cola’s advertisement that became popular called “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing”. There are two more videos, one about how much sugar is in a can of Coke, and the other is an experiment using cans of Coke and Diet Coke to see which will float or sink.
Did you know?
The story above contains an oxymoron. Oxymorons are a combination of contradictory words. Can you spot the oxymoron? It’s “huge shortage”. 🙂
Image Credits: http://www.coca-colacompany.com for Coca-Cola’s image and Pemberton’s image
Sources: http://money.cnn.com, http://www.reuters.com, http://www.coca-colacompany.com