Key Flavor Part One: SugarPosted: August 3, 2013
“It seems like every time I study an illness and trace a path to the first cause, I find my way back to sugar.”
– Richard Johnson, Nephrologist at the University of Colorado Denver
I am a confectioner at raw vegan chocolate company. I also do not eat any processed sugar. This is not an oxymoron
I did not know much about the white and refined variety, so I briefly explored its history.
Sugar. A Brief History
- 8,000 BCE: Sugar cane domesticated in New Guinea
- 500 AD: Processed into medicinal powder in India
- 15th century: Low Labor’s and Arab POW’s used to cultivate sugar crops to meet the growing European demand, Columbus brings Sugar to the America. More forced labor ensues
- 17th century: sugar goes from upper class luxory spice to everyone’s everyday cheap sweet, Barbados becomes the the British sugar trove. 100 years later it is farmed to desolation and The Brits switch to Jamaica… more slavery
- 18th century: British per capita sugar consumption jumps from 18 lbs to 100 lbs per year (Americans are currently at 77 lb per year)
- 1900 -1920: Sugar consumption linked to the newly identifiable medical anomaly know as diabetes.
- 1960s: Fat becomes the scape goat for… well fat. Americans cut the saturated fat, (which ups the white sugar content) and never look back. Until now?
- 1977: High Fructose Corn Syrup
I’ll stop there.
The tongue/brain sweet crave was a virtue of our simian past, leading our great ancient to seek the fruity nutrition lurking in the trees and shrubs, and (on a rare and wonderful day) the bee hive. Today our environment is flooded with what was once a rare and natural treat, the urge to indulge is old indeed.
In the Krispy land of Kreme Genes can be mean.
So what now, Hell if I know. I appears that refined sugar is finally attracting the negative attention that it deserves.
I also know I have a sweet tooth.
Rather than deny it, I labor to embrace this evolutionary vestige of a long gone era of caloric scarcity. I aside a little time and resource to stroke it and tame it with a little bit of something not only sweet but nourishing.
More often than not, I make it myself. I use dates, coconut sugar, maple, other fruits, honey on the occasion I snag some quality bee juice… sometimes I just fry a plantain.
Some times I over indulge, but sin is sweeter if it is rare.
“Life itself is the proper binge.”
– Julia Childs