Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Something You Won't See at Organic Connection: Cane Sugar

Sugar cane is a plant that grows readily in tropical and sub-tropical climates. Being, relatively, insusceptible to pest damage, it is a crop that can be readily grown with appropriate organic farming techniques.

So, sugar cane is a natural food, right? That is correct. But, cane sugar undergoes a number of processes that remove it from its natural sugarcane state.

The first 'refining' of sugar occurs when the liquid of the cane is extracted out from the fiber. Perhaps, this could be considered the same as extracting juice from an orange, but the flesh of the orange is soft & easily digestible & edible; the flesh of sugarcane is like wood.

Secondly, is the big surprise: all sugar processing (including organic) adds Calcium Hydroxide to the cane liquid as the second stage of refining. Calcium Hydroxide? Hmm. A chemical but probably not too obnoxious. It is added to remove impurities (?) and help clarify the liquid - but in the process changes the natural pH of the liquid sugar from acidic to alkaline.

For many decades, pioneers and doctors of Natural Health have advocated against the consumption of cane sugar for many reasons including creating undesirable extremes in blood sugar levels causing hypoglycemia & hyperactivity.

In actuality, we have one or two grocery items that do contain cane sugar (they were ordered in error). We're proud to say that those items have sat on the shelves unsold for many months.