September 12, 2011

Skinny Girl Margarita Lawsuit?

So, I was listening to morning radio show here in Chicago this week and I was very disappointed to hear a story about Skinny Girl Margarita. Not that I’m an advocate for the product; I’ve never had it. Why would you ever buy a mix when it’s so easy to make a fresh margarita on your own? (See below for an easy “scratch” rita).

What disappointed me was the lack of knowledge, research, and concern from the radio show. Skinny Girl Margarita is being sued for false advertising on their label. They claim it is “all natural”, but the product contains Sodium Benzoate. Instead of finding out what Sodium Benzoate is (basically a preservative), the radio folks proceeded to make fun of its “scientific” sounding name and claim that they’ll “still drink it ‘cause it tastes good”. Great – nice example to set for the public.

According to

“Sodium Benzoate is a preservative used to prevent food and beverages from molding. Basically, it extends shelf life. It is especially used to preserve acidic foods and beverages such as pickles, salad dressings, fruit juices, and soft drinks. And margaritas.

An unfortunate side effect is that when mixed with ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) sodium benzoate transforms into benzene, a known carcinogen and DNA damager. The rate at which benzene is formed is affected by light and heat, as well as the time spent on a shelf from production to consumption. In order not to take chances, the FDA has limited usage of sodium benzoate to 0.1% of a product by weight.”

Well put! Thank you for that simple explanation. This information leads me as a consumer to understand that if I’m striving for “all natural”, (which is a very vague definition and one you should be wary of) products containing Sodium Benzoate are not among them. If we don’t support legal ramifications for false advertising, especially when it comes to food products, we will be more unable to trust labels and manufacturers than we already are.

Next time you hear a scientific sounding word you are unfamiliar with, try looking it up. The explanation may be simpler than you think. What we put in our bodies is of great importance. If you choose to drink alcohol, here is a simple way to make a great margarita, minus the Sodium Benzoate, food dyes, and High Fructose Corn Syrup you’ll find in grocery store brands: Use a shaker if you have it but you can stir it up, too.

• 2 oz (a shot glass) of tequila. I’d skip the caramel colored Golds and go for a 100% Agave Silver which mixes well in drinks. Save the Reposado and Anjeo for sipping neat.
• Squeeze 1 or 2 fresh lime wedges and toss the whole rind in, too
• Use about 1/3 cup Limeade or Lemonade. Santa Cruz Organic is my personal favorite.
• Add a splash of fresh oj or cranberry juice

Pour concoction in a big glass of ice and shake or stir it well.
Swipe the rim of another glass with a lime wedge and dip it in salt if you like it that way.
Pour your mix along with the ice into your salty glass and enjoy.


  1. So glad you wrote this!! A great place to check out health news and journalism is

    Fooducate rocks!