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How dubious are Snapple's bottle cap facts?

Posting in Food

For over decade, beverage maker Snapple has been printing "Real Facts" on the undersides of their bottle caps. (Those quotation marks were put there by company.)

Now that all 928 factoids -- a central part of the Snapple experience -- are listed on the company's website, The Atlantic decided to do some fact-checking. Turns out, some are true, some are outright false, and plenty others are just incomplete and ambiguous.

Here are some examples across the spectrum of veracity:

“They are real facts, and we have teams here that fact-check everything,” Snapple's vice president of marketing, David Falk, said. “We go through a pretty vigorous process.”

Snapple's apparent carelessness may be alarming, but it isn't unique.

It might be argued that if ever there was a time to relish being a skeptic, this is it. Not necessarily because people used to be more careful with what they said, but because we're way better equipped to call them on it. The Internet is lambasted as an abyss of lies, when really it’s a place to organize around the question of what’s real...

The real lesson Snapple teaches us isn’t about how many eyelids a bee has or the first food eaten in space, it’s that the Internet's not inherently a place for lies any more than a bottle cap is a place for truth.

"Given today's technology and the pool of information, we encourage the discussion,” Falk added. Could all this be a diabolical marketing ploy to spark doubt so a consumer spends that much more time engaging with the product?

[The Atlantic]

Image: jeremyfoo via Flickr

— By on October 16, 2013, 1:55 AM PST

Janet Fang

Contributing Editor

Janet Fang has written for Nature, Discover and the Point Reyes Light. She is currently a lab technician at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. She holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure