Sugar’s evil aliases

It is widely believed that cane sugar was first used in Polynesia from where it spread to India. In 510 BC, Emporer Darius of Persia invaded India where he found “The reed which gives honey without bees.”

The secret of cane sugar was kept a closely guarded Persian secret as they worked on developing the commodity for export and profit. When the Arab peoples invaded Persia in 642 AD, they found their secret crop and learned how sugar was made. As their expansion continued, they established sugar production in other lands they conquered including North Africa and Spain.

Sugar was later discovered by Western Europeans as a result of the Crusades, so the first sugar wasn’t recorded in England until 1069. The subsequent centuries saw a major expansion of western European trade with the East, including the importation of sugar. At this time, it was regarded as a luxury, mainly enjoyed by those wealthy enough to afford it.

In the 15th century, European sugar was refined in Venice, to make it more affordable to those in the area because it was difficult to transport as a food-grade product. In the same century, Columbus sailed to the Americas, and it is recorded that in 1493 he took sugar cane plants to grow in the Caribbean. The climate there was perfect for the growth of the cane, which helped the sugar industry to flourish.

Sugar beet was first identified as another source in 1747. Again, for commodity value purposes, it was kept a secret until the Napoleon wars at the start of the 19th century when Britain blockaded sugar imports to continental Europe. By 1880 sugar beet had replaced sugar cane as the main source of sugar on continental Europe. Both sources flourished though, with slavery being the main workforce.

Back then, sugar had one name: Sugar. It had two sources: Sugar cane and beets.

As new sources were discovered, and industrialization of food evolved, sugar started picking up more names.

Then it became a known source of health problems and weight gain, so those names started morphing away from the word sugar, or at least gaining words in front of it to somehow make it sounds less bad.

Now we have 84+ names for sugar and the list continues to grow. Here’s what we have now, to try to throw consumers off from this fattening, nutrient-void ingredient, that is so refined now, it’s basically just a chemical in many cases.

  1. Agave nectar
  2. Barbados sugar
  3. Barley malt
  4. Barley syrup
  5. Beet sugar
  6. Blackstrap molasses
  7. Brown rice syrup
  8. Brown sugar
  9. Buttered syrup
  10. Buttered
  11. Buttercream
  12. Cane crystals
  13. Cane juice
  14. Cane juice crystals
  15. Cane sugar
  16. Cane syrup
  17. Caramel
  18. Carob syrup
  19. Castor sugar
  20. Confectioner’s sugar
  21. Corn sweetener
  22. Corn syrup
  23. Corn syrup solids
  24. Crystalline fructose
  25. Dates
  26. Date sugar
  27. Dehydrated cane juice
  28. Demerara sugar
  29. Dextrin and dextran
  30. Dextrose
  31. Diastase
  32. Diastatic malt
  33. Ethyl maltol
  34. Evaporated cane juice
  35. Florida cystals
  36. Free-flowing brown sugars
  37. Fructose
  38. Fruit juice
  39. Fruit juice concentrate
  40. Galactose
  41. Glucose
  42. Glucose solids
  43. Glucose syrup solids
  44. Golden sugar
  45. Golden syrup
  46. Granulated sugar
  47. Grape sugar
  48. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  49. Honey
  50. Hydrolyzed starch
  51. Icing sugar
  52. Invert sugar
  53. Lactose
  54. Malt
  55. Maltodextrin
  56. Maltol
  57. Maltose
  58. Malt syrup
  59. Maltotroise
  60. Mannose
  61. D-Mannose
  62. Mannitol
  63. Maple syrup
  64. Molasses
  65. Muscovado
  66. Panela sugar
  67. Palm syrup
  68. Panocha
  69. Powdered sugar
  70. Raw sugar
  71. Refiner’s syrup
  72. Rice syrup
  73. Saccharose
  74. Sorbitol
  75. Sorghum syrup
  76. Sweet sorghum
  77. Starch
  78. Sucrose
  79. Sucanat
  80. Syrup
  81. Table sugar
  82. Treacle
  83. Turbinado sugar
  84. Yellow sugar

Don’t be duped! Read your labels! And if you don’t know a word on a label, don’t buy that food.

In fact, treat food labels as warning labels, much like the warning labels on cigarette packs. And the more words it has, the stronger the warning!

P.S. Confectioner’s sugar also makes a great cocaine snort prop for a Halloween costume, as seen below (this is Bev and me).  😉