10 Not So Sweet Facts About The Sugar Industry

We all know sugar is delicious, but not the most healthy food. We’re starting to understand its role in weight gain and other health complications. But why is it taking so long? And why haven’t we found better, safer alternatives yet? Here are some reasons that the sugar industry works so hard for you to remain in the dark, and what you can do to stop them from doing so.

10 Slavery

Sugar is a sweet and delicious product. However, it has a dark and bitter history of slavery that led to its widespread popularity. Sugar cane was first discovered in Brazil and the West Indies. It was once a luxury spice that wealthy Europeans used. As they colonized the ‘New World’, particularly the British, a huge profitability that helped finance the growing American colonies was recognized in this spice and it became known as ‘White Gold’.

Because sugar is a labor intensive crop, it was necessary to create a cheap work force to ensure that sugar remains purely profitable. Slaves, including children, were the best source of labor that couldn’t say no to the back breaking and sometimes deadly work entailed in harvesting and processing of sugar cane. Many of these processing plants and plantations that operated 24/7 were located in Louisiana, near New Orleans. They were surrounded by dumps as well as prisons. Even when they were exhausted and unable to work, they were treated with extreme cruelty. It wasn’t uncommon for exhausted slave laborers to lose limbs in the balers and other processing equipment.

Sugar was as profitable back then as it still is today. The disease of greed won, and the sugar trade was not only permitted, but also promoted the destruction of indigenous cultures as well as the enslavement. You might be able to see the yellow and white bag of future cupcakes in that pantry a little differently.

9 Congress

Sugar’s popularity also grew its power and influence over the United States Congress. Imported sugar from Cuba was subject to a tariff in 1816. It was 16-19% on wholesale imported sugar. It allowed for more consumption and power for sugar produced in Louisiana by slaves and other slave-friendly countries.

A Louisiana-based banking scheme was also born from this. It allowed clients to purchase slaves and attract foreign investment to the sector. A grower would pledge his estate and slaves to a bank as an asset, and then borrow back a portion of the assessed value. Sugar plantations could increase their acreage and increase their slave numbers by this activity. The banks could then bundle all assets and make them collateral and sell slave- and mortgage-backed securities to investors. You can’t get any worse?

When investors complained that the slaves were ‘perishable’, Louisiana actually issued state bonds backing the plantations to ensure investors that there was no risk. This encouraged investors who jumped at the opportunity and allowed the sugar industry to boom. And slavery in the area saw an uptick of 86 percent in the 1820’s. This trend is expected to continue in the future. Sugar is looking more bitter than ever.

8 Slavery still

Today, slave labor is still alive and well in sugar industry! Pay attention to the candy! Many thousands of Haitians are in debt and work in the Dominican Republic’s labor camps, called bateyes. They work 12- 14 hour days harvesting sugarcane for less than $1, and they are paid in company money instead of actual currency. They are often devoid of identification papers and starving when they arrive. Traffickers then take them to the farms and sell or give them to them. You may be buying the products from their forced labor at your local grocery store, unbeknownst to them. Are you still choking on that candy?

There is a slow but steady upward trend in awareness to address these practices. In Britain, the Modern Slavery Act was established in 2017 in an effort to eliminate slavery-related products. Frankly, it’s the least they can do considering their history in the industry’s inception! Now it’s time to make sure the rest sugar-addict world is aware of this and get on board. These people will be much better off if they vote against these barbaric practices.

7 lies

The human condition includes lying to get what we want, or downplaying our wrongdoings. The sugar industry is run by humans. They too are guilty in deceit. This conniving business funded research to expose the deceit in the 1960s. [false] dangers of fat in an effort to diminish concerns about sugar’s role in heart disease. They even did it in a blatantly evil way.

The Sugar Research Foundation (SRF), which was a Harvard-based group, published their findings in New England Journal of Medicine (1967) and did not disclose that it was funded by the sugar industries. It was a review that looked at different studies and experiments that indicated that sugar could be a cause of coronary heart disease. It found that all of the previous research linking sugar to coronary heart disease was flawed. Instead, it suggested that fat and cholesterol were the main contributors. This review was published by a well-respected journal, which has allowed the sugar industry influence and lead the scientific debate over the dangers and benefits of sugar and fat for the past fifty years. Sugar. Hate. Fueled. Rage. Building. And we’re still waiting on new research not funded by the industry.

6 Poison

Most of us (probably all of us realistically) love to indulge ourselves …cake, soda, alcohol, ice cream and a wide variety of other guilty pleasures. The sugar industry depends on us succumbing to our weaknesses or feeling the need for reward, regardless of whether we deserve it. They also make an effort to confuse our understanding about the consequences of our reckless sugar consumption.

According to Marion Nestle of Nestle Foods, “Food company sponsorship, whether or not intentionally manipulative, undermines the public trust in nutrition science, contributes to public confusion about what to eat, and compromises Dietary Guidelines in ways that are not in the best interest of public health.”

Sugar is a poison. It causes fat storage in the liver, insulin resistance, insulin production to increase, and promotes tumor development. Go ahead, have another spoonful of that delicious vanilla ice cream …with a side of chemo. The industry is working very hard to make sure you don’t learn these things.

5 Profits More Important Than All Other Things

The devil is real and he is running the Sugar Association, which represents the sugar industry. This dreadful and terrifying association has demanded that the United States Congress cease funding the World Health Organization (WHO). They declared that sugar should not contribute more than 10% to a healthy diet. They want the WHO report to be withdrawn so that the government can continue funding them.

So they’ve made it pretty clear that their only interest is their profits and continued growth with no regard for the health or safety of their consumers. You’re just a pawn in their deadly games and a way to keep lining their pockets. Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies!

4 Fake Health Foods

Desserts, soda, grandma’s goodies, and other sweet treats where you expect to find sugar aren’t the only sources of sugar in your diet. Many foods that are marketed as ‘low fat’ or ‘light’ actually contain higher sugar levels than their regular counterparts. “Low fat’ yogurt, for instance, often has added sugar to enhance the flavor lost when fat is removed.

We may not realize that certain foods we eat a lot of have high sugar content. These include ketchup, jarred sauces for spaghetti, and barbecue sauce. Also, sugary beverages such as fruit juice, iced coffee, vitamin water (great trick name), premade smoothies and flavored espressos are high in sugar. Cereals, cereal bars, granola, protein bars and cereal bars have higher sugar levels. Cannellini soups are just as high in sugar than they are in sodium. Sugar is even added to many canned fruits, as if they didn’t already contain their own sugars. It is a waste of sugar to add sweet treats to foods that can be part of a healthy diet. You can leave the apple pie alone!!

3 Climate Impact

The climate’s impact on sugar consumption, whether it is known or not, increases. It is not a positive effect. Sugarcane growers use nitrous oxide fertilizer, which is a powerful greenhouse gas with 300 times the potential to increase global warming as carbon dioxide. There are many more sustainable options being used.

Let us all hope that modern sugar growers are more concerned about the well-being than their historical counterparts. For that matter, let’s hope they make the entire industry more honest and forthcoming in their practices. Crossing my sugar-bloated fingers! The double mocha frappuccino and iced scone at Starbucks were both delicious.

They will be affected by climate change. Sugarcane can ripen at a slower rate if it experiences higher temperatures in winter. Perhaps pay back for all of the industry’s wrongdoings will be delivered by their own unchecked greedy practices! Irony is its own sweet reward.

2 Addiction

Sugar addiction is real and encouraged by the industry. Sugar, like many illegal drugs, promotes dopamine production in humans. Dopamine is the pleasure centre of the brain. It creates cravings and keeps us coming back for more. High sugar foods are made to be palatable and make you want more. Who can stop at just one Oreo?

Studies with animals showed that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. The animals were not only more addicted to sugar than cocaine, but also experienced withdrawal. Overindulgence is a common side effect of addiction. Humans likely don’t experience withdrawal often because our sugar is delivered regularly through a large variety of sources. The industry will be happy to take more of you money and find new ways for you to distribute it. They will continue to lobby for millions of dollars.

Have you ever tried giving candy to a baby? Or it makes more sense to ask if you’ve ever tried telling a 4 year old they can’t have a popsicle when they’re used to someone saying yes? H-E-double hockey sticks are coming! Have you ever tried to reduce your sugar intake but found yourself unable to stop thinking about how many chocolate chips you could eat?

1 Miracle Fruit

It’s fair to bet that you haven’t heard of an amazing, completely natural, safe alternative to sugar that can make anything you eat taste divinely sweet. Can you guess what? By now you’ve probably guessed it is because the sugar industry and lobbyists have put forth a lot of effort to make sure you don’t know about it. Well, say hello to Miracle Fruit! The author has personally experienced this heaven sent little berry and can’t speak enough of it’s wonders!

Miraculin, a glycoprotein found in Miracle Fruit, makes everything you eat afterward taste sweet. We’ll leave the full science lesson for chemistry class. It’s amazing! You can eat a whole lemon just like an apple. It will taste exactly like Countrytime Lemonade.

GD Searle and Donald Rumsfeld in 1977 banned all use of this little miracle until very, very recently. They also made aspartame, another toxic alternative to sugar. Are you still angry? Try it yourself! You’ll be happy again. The miracle is true! It is possible to end the corrupt sugar industry, whose history is steeped in self-serving deception, if more people know about it. Be an informed shopper and enjoy your cup of coffee without sugar added.

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