When Did Iced Tea Turn into THIS???

lipton brisk peach iced green tea

As the days are getting warmer, the beverage aisles in your friendly neighborhood supermarket are seeing increased foot traffic. One of the presumed healthy choices is iced green tea.

There are green teas, usually made with water, green tea, and a bit of sweetener. Then there are monstrosities such as this:

WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP,CITRIC ACID, SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE (TO PROTECT FLAVOR), NATURAL FLAVOR, GREEN TEA, POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVES FRESHNESS), PHOSPHORIC ACID, GUM ARABIC, ASCORBIC ACID (TO PROTECT FLAVOR), PECTIN, GLYCEROL ESTER OF ROSIN, ACESULFAME POTASSIUM,CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (TO PROTECT FLAVOR), SUCRALOSE, YELLOW 5, RED 40

The product? A love child of PepsiCo and Unilever called Lipton Brisk Peach Iced Green Tea.

The seemingly low sugar count (“just” 5 teaspoons, compared to 10 or more for comparably sized products) is due to the inclusion of both sucralose and acesulfame potassium (read about artificial sweeteners here).

There are no peaches here, just “natural flavors” and a host of preservatives. Take EDTA, for example, a preservative used to retain color, currently on the FDA’s list of food additives to be studied for toxicity.

The colors? Derivatives of the petroleum industry. Yellow #5 and Red #40 are banned in parts of Europe because they cause hyperactivity in some children, and may also be carcinogenic.

If all these downers aren’t enough, consider the fact that most of the antioxidants in green tea are long gone by the time you drink it.

Bottom line: Stay away from drinks like this. Opt for simple tea drinks that are either non-sweetened at all, or have a small amount of sugars. Best option – brew your own.

Get Fooducated

  • Jen

    One of my biggest pet peeves about products like this is when they proudly claim to be lower in sugar than similar products (and lets ignore for the moment that the 5 tsp is still quite a lot of sugar), but then it’s only because they have replaced the sugar with artificial sweeteners. Why couldn’t they have reduced the sugar from 10 to 5 tsp and just let it taste less sweet??? It really would be ok. Most drinks are so ridiculously sweet that I think a 30-50% reduction in sugar would go almost unnoticed.

    • Oriyn

      Unfortunately, that answer comes easy–sweet is addictive. By over sweetening, they create a craving that they hope will entice you to grab two cans next time..and a case after that…

  • H2O

    So sad that they want us to believe what they tell us and not care what the ingredients are I try not to drink poison no matter how wonderful it’s sounds on the front of the package

    • tennysmom

      I totally agree with you! I’m a 100% water drinker myself!

  • Max_Freedom

    Soap companies make the best fake tea drinks.
    It’s even worse than Vitamin Water(Kool-Aid).

  • Yung Hong

    Sugar, high fructose corn syrup AND artificial sweeteners?? WTF?!? This seems like the worst “tea” you can get.

    • Compendious

      Exactly, why four kinds of sweeteners? Perhaps to cover the taste of the artificial preservatives. I call this chemical soup. Disgusting so called green tea. Sad they try to sell this junk.

      • Jessyface

        Chemical Soup! :)
        I love that, I may have to use that from now on when describing garbage products like this. I had no idea this ‘tea’ was so…well gross!

  • Disgusted

    What the hell is wrong with PepsiCo….they have nothing better to do but produce crap…and guess what you will have those that will guzzle it down too….sad world when the government permits this ….this is worst than the holocaust….

    • Chris, MD

      Government should have nothing to do with it. Government (FDA) approves all those “bad” drugs that are making people sicker and lawyers richer. People need to educate themselves. If people stop consuming, they’ll stop producing. Even Wal-Mart is seeing the light and moving toward carrying organic foods. This is hopefully a good trend.

  • Stefan

    I love sweet tea, but what I don’t have time to do (not to mention the mess) is brew sweet tea at home. My wife used to brew her own tea, but ever since we discovered Moonshine Sweet Tea, we drink it exclusively. She likes it sweeter than I do, so in a glass of ice we use 1-2oz of Moonshine Sweet Tea per 16oz glass, fill with cold water, add a slice of lemon, and its like drinking my grandma’s sweet tea all over again.

  • Jace

    I admit I use to drink these types of drinks when I was younger but as I got older I slowly started weening myself off them. First dilution then healthier alternatives, then diluting the healthier ones. Something I recently started doing was cold-brewing tea and mixing in some fruit stock; I take the discarded parts of the fruits: pits, peels, tops, etc. and brew it in some water and sugar, about 4 cups water to about a half to 1 cup sugar, it creates a nice mild fruit flavor. I’ve sometimes even boiled the fruit itself, blended it, strained it, and mixedit with the stock to give it a fruitier flavor. Be sure you boil the two separately, separating the fruit from the peels and stuff could be difficult if you don’t. Anyway, I mix everything together in a large pitcher. It taste great and i could add more sugar if need be or honey or agave nector. Aside from this I basically just have water in my fridge, I don’t buy soda at all, and basically haven’t baught juice in about two months. I still treat myself if I have a craving, but as for the day to day, no. Hope a lot of people try this recipe.

  • matt kersey

    It’s pretty much tea flavored soda. How sad.

  • home4 dawn

    that stuff doesn’t even taste like tea! It’s nasty!

  • VeLita

    I knew it was terrible for u when, the only time it taste half decent is over ice. Then I scanned it wit my foodUcate app, we never drank this crap again!

  • Dawn RN

    I won’t call it poison, I don’t see that as productive just hyperbole. But, I won’t drink it, if there are better options; which of course there are!

  • Nunya

    I brew my own tea fresh every day. 3 cups water, 2 green tea bags, 1 black tea bag, a dash of ginger and a splash of lemon. Steep for at least 20 minutes. I drink out of it all day. No sweeteners of any kind needed!