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Sugar....friend Or Foe ?

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
    I apologize for the lateness of my contribution. You see a close friend of mine has suffered from toothache for a couple of days and last night was, for her, the last straw. So it was that she phoned me early this morning stating that she had managed to get an emergency appointment. Well , being me. I  offered to accompany her, just in case she required drastic treatment. As it was a filling was required..nothing too major.
    By late afternoon I was beginning to despair of ever sitting down to compose what I had in mind. But her sudden dental work made me think of the implications of consuming too much sugar in its various forms.
    Why , just this past week I've cut down on my own sugar consumption . Mainly reducing the amount of teaspoonfuls in my tea. Actually I've reached the stage that I don't miss the reduction...albeit only by about half a teaspoon !!
   The government have got involved in this 'fight' against sugar, suggesting " sugar taxes" ,  on soft drinks, sweets etc. Children's teeth are showing early signs of decay, causing concerns amongst dentists. Obesity is another real concern and sugar gets part of the blame.
   I, myself eat ' free from' foods due to an intolerance but they seem to be loaded with sugar ...to somehow make up for the missing ingredients.
   It seems that the addition of sugar has become acceptable. Taste buds expect this sweetness.    
   Sugar is added to the most unexpected foodstuffs, so it is worthwhile looking at the labels.
   But I digress really , as I intended to speak about sugar in a different way.
   So here goes, in brief...
    In the 15th Century the Portuguese traded in gold and Ivory in West Africa. Columbus was particularly interested in the predominant wind that blew from east to west and was determined to show that he could sail to the Far East , by sailing westwards!. Hence he used those winds and landed in Barbados and the islands of what he termed The West Indies ( he thought he would land in India ?). Once there the Portuguese watched the natives harvesting sugar cane and brought some back to Europe where a sudden taste for sweetness developed .
  Now, of course others wished to colonize these islands and cultivate sugar cane on plantations, but they lacked a work force . Thus slavery began , taking Africans to the islands on what became known as The Trade Winds. Ships then would drop off slaves, pick up sugar, molassses , rum, tobacco , exotic fruits , and used the Westerly Winds to take a route to Europe.
   So sweetmeat production began  in earnest.
   Then when the US and Britain decided to abolish slavery , the sugar trade from abroad faced a slump. Now sugar beet had always been utilised by country folks as a sweetener, so production of this beet was upped. Further wars and dangerous seas really brought the production of British sugar beet onto a massive scale, devoting thousands of acres to its production. Look at your sugar bags and see which brands have a Union Jack on the wrapper !
  Sugar is obviously essential for preservation, alcohol production, medicines etc ...so do we regard sugar as "friend or foe" ?
Sugar....friend or foe ?
I haven't written a piece this week , but think about where the word " sugar" is used. I've lots of songs in mind...
Sugar...ah, honey, honey. You are my candy girl and you got me wanting you....
Thanks for reading, Kath...
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