Sugar is not only harmful to health, but also to society. Behind its sweetness that has accompanied the joys and celebrations of people throughout history lies extraordinary suffering, as stated in the story of this product narrated by Professor of History Emeritus at the University of “York” James Walvin in his book “The Amazing History of Sugar … World History.”
Solin Roy summarizes this story to the French newspaper Lefigaro, starting from the multiple damages he described as catastrophic for the workforce of the slaves and forced laborers who planted it, and horrific for the environment in the areas in which it was grown, and its effects on health no longer need evidence, however. “Sugar remains in trend,” says the historian.
Because of gluttony or hospitalization, and perhaps as a religious symbol or to show wealth and power, “sugary foods and drinks have become known to some civilizations for thousands of years.” Sugar was first consumed in the form of honey, and soon it was made from sugar cane in India two centuries before the birth of Christ, he says. Writer.
It seems that the culture of sugar cane – as the historian sees it – that was born in India spread to Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean basin, and by the year 1400, sugar cane was planted in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, North Africa, Spain, and perhaps Ethiopia and Zanzibar.
Then sugar cane crossed the Atlantic Ocean – as the historian says – and the tragic story of sugar began with “the big explosion in its production in the Americas after 1600” to satisfy the insatiable hunger of companies, but the price of that was great pain, represented in bringing slaves from Africa, and then replacing them later with workers from Asia Their living conditions were not better, followed by the destruction of the peoples, landscapes, and biodiversity of the Americas due to giant sugar cane plantations.
As for the health of sugar eaters, James Walvin narrates that this product was the preserve of the powerful, and his taste in the French and English courts was behind what was known about Louis XIV or Elizabeth Air from damaged teeth, before decay spread among the general public later.
With the increase in production – according to the historian – sugar and manufactured products such as molasses and sweetened juice have become an inexpensive and effective way to increase the calories of the poorest people.
Therefore – Walfen believes – that the obesity epidemic that the world is suffering today came from the industrial revolution, and the profits from the sugar trade, which created large conglomerates that contributed to colonial wars and dictated their political decisions.
The writer concluded that sugar, in addition to being a flavor enhancer, is an excellent preservative, a cornerstone of the food industry philosophy, which enabled it to convert low-cost food into commercial gold, and create a world in which unhealthy food is more profitable than good food.