Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sugar, Sugar, Everywhere

While I was doing a previous post, I happened across this:

(click on the picture to enlarge)

And I thought to myself, 2 lbs. of sugar a month? Just how much sugar did those people eat back then, that limiting themselves to 2 lbs. a month was a hardship? That's 2 lbs. per person, not per household! 

This other poster, below, also from the same agency, The U.S. Food Administration, and from the same time period, World War l, shows how they were using it, or, rather, how they were to STOP using it:

(click on the picture to enlarge)

What's interesting to see is that they were, in large part, adding sugar to things they made themselves. It's also worth remembering that the suggestion to "use other sweeteners" doesn't refer to anything artificial--no aspartame, no high fructose corn syrup--as no sugar substitutes had been invented yet. Back then, honey, molasses, sorghum, or maple syrup were your only alternate choices. 

Today, the average American might consume 2 lbs. of sugar every four days. How could it be that much, you ask? Most of it comes from the fact that we cook and bake so little for ourselves. And when the majority of food you eat is pre-packaged, as this article explains (emphasis mine), it's hard to eat things that don't have a lot of sugar:
Today added sugar is everywhere, used in approximately 75 percent of packaged foods purchased in the United States. The average American consumes anywhere from a quarter to a half pound of sugar a day. If you consider that the added sugar in a single can of soda might be more than most people would have consumed in an entire year, just a few hundred years ago, you get a sense of how dramatically our (food) environment has changed.
All I can say is, it was a lot easier to do our patriotic duty when sugar wasn't in almost everything we ate!

(you know, the clicking)

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