Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dropping Sugar?

While in Florida over the weekend, I had a brief conversation with my sister in law about sugar and purging it from your body for health reasons.  She said one thing that stuck with me, sugar has a horrible impact on the environment.  Why didn't I know this??

According to the World Wildlife Fund, over 145 million tons of sugar is produced in over 120 countries each year.  It does take it's toll on the environment, especially the delicate ecosystems near the equator. The clearing of land for plantations has lead to a lack of biodiversity, and the use of pesticides has contributed to the destruction of coral reefs.

It didn't surprise me after reading some of this that my sister in law learned of this, due to the huge environmental impact of sugar in the Florida Everglades.  Pesticide runoff has caused a diverse subtropical forest to become a lifeless marshland.  I encourage you to read the WWF's report here.

So, what changes can we make as consumers to encourage more responsible sugar farming?  The first is to simply use less sugar.  It is in everything, so limiting processed foods, and cooking everything ourselves is a great start.  My biggest weakness is coffee, and my new goal will be to have it BLACK.  I currently add my organic half and half, and organic sugar to my coffee.  I'm thinking taking both of those out alone may add to weight loss, and other health benefits.  I will slowly add less and less sugar to my coffee until there is none.

You can also switch to organic sugar.  Organic sugar will have been grown without the use of pesticides, limiting water pollution.  It also is less processed, meaning there will be trace amounts of vitamins and minerals in your sugar.  There are even other sources of less processed sugar, such as Sucanat and Rapadura.  On a side note, I have yet to find an artificial sweetener that I am comfortable with.  The options in my house are organic sugar, or honey.

What do you know about the environmental impact of sugar?  What changes have you made for your health, and for the health of the environment?


  1. I'm a new follower! Will you follow me?

  2. Wow, what an interesting post. I must admit, I have a very sweet tooth so would find it hard to cut out things like chocolate but I think I might have to re think and will look into organic sugar available here.

  3. Stopping by from FMBT! Very interesting post. Thanks for the insight! I am also giving away a Senseo coffee maker in celebration of my birthday, all you have to do is follow and leave a comment on the post about the giveaway to be entered!



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