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Jun 9, 2009

Sweeteners: The Sweet'n'Low-down  ...From baking to beverages, from HONEY to STEVIA to AGAVE, you have your choice of sweeteners that are helping create a cleaner environment and a more just marketplace.
from New America Dream

Sugar
Sugar is a valuable commodity that is grown from cane and sugar beets and is cultivated and processed with the aid of the following:
**pesticides, herbicides
**in the case of sugar beets, genetically modified seeds
**flocculants (synthetic and chemically processed), clarification agents and filter aids to process the juice
**the sugar is decolourized with sodium, bleaches or bone char
(therefore refined sugar is not recommended for vegetarians)
**beet sugar processing often uses sulphuric acid.


Honey
Organic and Fair Trade honey is recommended where available, or you can support your local economy and ecology by picking up locally produced honey at markets or roadside stands in your neighbourhood.

--farmers around the world employ beekeepers and their bees to pollinate their crops
--farmers, beekeepers, and ecologists are concerned about the loss of bees due to Colony Collapse Disorder - some attribute CCD to the widespread use of pesticides, and also disease and stress are being investigated.


Other Sweeteners
There are many other ways to satisfy your sweet tooth; some are even okay for diabetics.  Check out Care2’s Directory of Natural Sweeteners and read up on everything from agave nectar, barley malt, date sugar, fruit juice concentrates, fructose, maltose, maple syrup to stevia... also provides information on suggested uses and equivalents for cooking.

Why it’s important
--Poor farmers in the Developing World are vulnerable to fluctuating market prices, environmental degradation by sugar plantation owners and operators, and hazardous working conditions.
--Large amounts of herbicides and pesticides are commonly sprayed on sugar cane crops and burning and processing of sugar crops causes serious pollution of the ground, waterways and the air.
--On the other hand, Fair Trade Certified sugar cane is sold at a preset market price and to sweeten the deal, buyers agree to pay additional premiums above and beyond that market price.

RERERENCES:
--Care2's Directory of Natural Sweeteners
--Sweeteners... original article 
--Kangaroo Island Honey and Island Beehive website
--Fair trade honey and beekeeping
--(beehive) CCD or "colony collapse disorder" 
--WWF: Environmental Impact- Sugarcane 

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Posted: Jun 9, 2009 10:49pm

 

 
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.

Author

Thubten Chokyi
, 3, 2 children
Sydney, Australia
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