Annual US consumption of refined sugar reached 20 million tons in 2010. That amounts to 142 lbs of sugar for every man, woman, and child. The average American receives nearly 16% of their daily calories from refined sugar. These are remarkable statistics since as recently as 1500AD refined sugar was considered a very rare and exotic “fine spice”. For most of human history refined sugar didn’t exist. Today’s abundance of refined sugar comes out of corn, cane and beets.
In nature “sweetness” is a signal to our senses that a food is ripe and at its peak of freshness
and nutritional value. Modern food scientists have utilized this sensual interpretation to trick
our body’s into thinking processed foods are also fresh and nutritionally rich. Processed
foods are in fact quite the opposite. Processed foods have been stripped of the nutrients
found in fresh foods in order to prevent spoiling. This is done to maximize commercial
shelf life. The quantities of sugar added to betray our senses greatly exceed what occurs
in fresh foods.