Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dewlabs Member Blazing Trails in Dew Debate

Any good Mormons drink caffeinated sodas? I 'Dew,' says Dew devotee

Matthew Jorgensen gets more questions about caffeine than any other element of his Mormon faith. That's partly because outsiders see him turn down coffee while nursing a Mountain Dew.

The puzzled observers — and, apparently, many within the Utah-based faith as well — seem to think that the LDS Church forbids all caffeinated drinks.

In fact, the LDS Church's health code, known simply as the "Word of Wisdom," forbids the use of alcohol, tobacco and "hot drinks," which church authorities have defined as tea and coffee. Caffeine is not mentioned.

“I haven't really recognized a conflict between caffeinated sodas and my religion,” Jorgensen, a graduate researcher in the University of Utah's chemistry department, writes in an email.

The researcher is not alone.

Utah has such a strong Mountain Dew following, he says, that the Beehive State typically is one of three or four stops on the nationwide Dew Tour.

Recently, Jorgensen, a Salt Lake City native and practicing Mormon, was selected to be one of the head “consumer creators” of the Dew's newest flavor, White Out, featured in a couple of national commercials. Look for him at the end of the “Here's to the Loud” commercial.

And, yes, White Out is packed with the energy-pumping ingredient at the center of the great Word of Wisdom debate.

Peggy Fletcher Stack

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