Last Friday the USDA rejected Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban New York City’s food stamp users from buying soda. New York city’s health commissioner was “very upset” by the decision and questioned how serious the USDA is about the nation’s most serious nutritional problem.
The USDA doesn’t realize there’s a HUGE Coca-Cola problem problem on the streets of New York and according to one man, it may spread through the rest of the country if something isn’t done. A man from The Bronx, who we’ll call “Tyrone” to protect his real identity, has given us an inside look at what the real problem is.
“It’s the kids I feel bad for, they’re starting to use younger and younger.” Tyrone said looking up at the Bronx River Housing project.
Tyrone has been a coke retailer, known as a dealer, on the streets of New York for 15 years.
“It wasn’t always like this man…kids today,” Tyrone pauses in a moment of reflection, “They’re different. I see kids coming up to me as young as 6 who need their fix. I think to myself, this kid is 6 years old and is already turning to Coke.”
Tyrone says he has a diverse clientele sells to all different types of people.
“I’ve sold coke to kids, parents, grandparents, athletes, doctors you name it. Everyone loves Coke. It makes you feel great! From that first sip of Coke, you’re just happier. It makes you outgoing and talkative. It gives you an energy boost and makes you feel on top of the world. The more you Coke you have, the more you want.”
Asked if he felt his work was wrong, Tyrone responded “I’m just the middle man. I get the Coke from a guy who knows a supplier who knows a Coke runner who distributes product all over the world. I’m just a low level pusher trying to feed my family.”
A nurse who works the night shift at St. Barnabas Hospital said she needs Coke several times throughout the night to keep her going.
“It can be hard to get that late at night. Sometimes I need to check 2 or 3 vending machines before I can get my Coke fix. Without it, I’d be tired and sluggish. I’d say I’m an addict.”
Coke addiction is a growing problem. Too much coke can lead to obesity, which causes and estimated 100,000-400,000 deaths per year.
To put this number in perspective, only 235 people die from Cocaine use every year.