The following is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Clarion, its staff or the institution. If you would like to submit a response or an opinion piece of your own, please contact Editor in Chief Abby Petersen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Samuel Krueger
The last few issues of the Clarion have been absolutely fraught with disagreements. There has been much contention among students that is quickly building towards conflict. This year in particular, Bethel students have been wrestling with their values and identity as Christians, students, citizens and members of this institution. In this piece I will finally put to rest what I believe is the most pressing issue here at Bethel. This issue is possibly one of the most significant philosophical and moral debates of our time. Is Brisk really all that good compared to Snapple?
As I sat on the porch drinking my Snapple this summer, my brother pulled into the driveway. He exited the car holding a bottle filled with a dark fluid. I assumed that it was his spit receptacle as I know he chews tobacco on a fairly regular basis. I was shocked, however, when he took a big swig from it as he walked towards me. As he came closer I realized that it was not old tobacco juice, but a bottle of Brisk “iced tea.” I chuckled as I thought to myself, “What’s the difference?”
Normally I would be the last person to dredge up old wounds from the Snapple-Brisk crisis of 2009, otherwise known as the Great Schism. However, I have noticed a sudden, unprecedented return of the Brisk brand in the last couple of years. An argument could be made that Brisk’s comeback is directly correlated to the rise of ISIS in the Middle East, but for expediency’s sake I will just describe why Snapple is better than Brisk.
Both Snapple and Brisk are considered “tea drinks.” Snapple is brewed with real, black tea leaves sourced from local farmers in China’s Shandong region. I was unable to determine the origin of Brisk’s tea base, but due to the taste I would imagine that it is is brewed with a tea like slime grown on the walls of damp greenhouses at an undisclosed location in Guatemala.
Snapple has a limited amount of caffeine because it is made from black tea leaves. Brisk contains caffeine as well as loads of unneeded sugar. A single bottle of Brisk Iced tea can contain well over 40 grams of sugar, whereas when picking up a nice bottle of Snapple tea, you can be sure that you are generally only getting about 33 grams of sugar.
What about taste? Well, Professor Rajkumar Venkatesan of the University of Virginia endorses Snapple during one of his online lectures as “The best stuff on earth, your quirky friend.” Brisk carries no such endorsements from the academic community.
Speaking of academia, Snapple invests millions of dollars into the education of their consumers each year. Anyone who has enjoyed a bottle of Snapple tea knows that when opening the bottle you are only a snapaway from an unusual fact. Just yesterday I learned that animals that lay eggs do not have belly buttons. Through this bottle cap program we see that Snapple truly is invested in the future of America’s youth. Brisk has no equivalent initiative.
Snapple also does not test their products on animals. Their policies are clearly laid out on their website. Does Brisk test their products on animals? They don’t have an official website so I couldn’t get an answer to that, but I am willing to bet that they do.
When I attempted to reach the Brisk beverage company I was met with several barriers. The only online presence that they have is a Tumblr account. Besides not being user-friendly, it has the potential of triggering epileptic seizures. The constant flashing and tasteless color schemes on their website’s background closely resembled their bottle designs. Until after I woke up from my Tumblr induced seizure, I was not aware that a company could have violated federal health code over the internet.
On a final note, the Brisk label is quite tacky. The plastic bottles also wreak havoc on the environment as well as give the product a cheap feel. Snapple, on the other hand, generally uses glass bottles that contour to your hand and pamper you with every grasp. When Snapple released their line of plastic, bulk buy teas, they designed their bottle with a ribbed exterior for extra grip. This effectively negates the plasticky feel.
In conclusion, I would urge all students here at Bethel to seriously consider the gravity of choosing a tea drink for this summer. In an era where conflict is constant and division is increasing, remember that bridging the divide in this political and social climate is best done over a bottle of Snapple.
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