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Sweetness and Power

The Place of Sugar in Modern History

Garrett Arban

on 22 February 2013

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Transcript of Sweetness and Power

Sweetness and Power THE END Sidney W. Mintz - Sugar cane (Saccharum officianrum L.) was first domesticated in New Guinea about 10,000 years ago.
- Sucrose, what we call "sugar," is an organic chemical of the carbohydrate family, commercially extracted from various plants.
- Sugar was first used in food mixes and fermented beverages. Chapter 2: Production Chapter 3: Consumption The Place of Sugar in Modern History Sugar Cane and Sugar Beets! - When sugar was first used, only the wealthiest people consumed it.
- Sugar was very expensive and hard to produce at the time.
- Sugar started to be viewed by the English as essential in a political way, as well as in an economic way.
- After 1650, the price of sugar decreased to the consumption, and therefore production, increased as it became more available to the lower class.
- Sugar relied heavily on the slave trade, and the seizure of different colonies where sugar cane could be grown and manufactured. Wealth Chapter 1: Food, Sociality, and Sugar - Food and eating are a part of everyday life.
- Anthropologist's Robertson Smith and Lorna Marshall both have shown how food can bring people together.
- Historically, most civilizations were starch-based societies prior to the use of sugar.
- "What people eat expresses who and what they are, to themselves and to others."
- Sugar was introduced to England during a time when the citizens were struggling to stabilize their diets. ~ Why is sugar so important?
~ In your opinion, how has the use of sugar and the meaning of sugar changed over time?
~ What does it mean to be a starch-based society? ~ Do you know how sucrose is made in plants? Answer Sucrose is the chemical architecture of living things manufactured photosynthetically from carbon dioxide and water. -Sugar cane has been the primary source of sucrose for over a millennium while the sugar beet was not economically important until the nineteenth century.
- Sugar Cane:
Cane stalks are shredded and squeezed to extract its natural juice, which is boiled until it thickens and sugar crystals begin to settle. The crystals are sent to a rapidly spinning centrifuge to remove molasses and leave pure naturally white sugar crystals, which are then dried.
- Sugar Beets
Sugar beets are sliced and soaked in hot water to begin the process that separates sugar from the rest of the plant. The hot sugary liquid is due to its high molasses content. The molasses-rich syrup is allowed to cool slightly before it is whirled in a centrifuge where most of the molasses is spun away. At the end, hot water is sprayed over the light brown crystals to remove the remaining molasses, leaving pure naturally white crystals. Westerners Love Sugar - Sugar production grew steadily, as westerners began to consume more sugar, more heavily.
- The turning point for British sugar was the settlement of Barbados in 1627, but the amount of sugar was not commercially noticeable until 1655.
- The English connection between sugar production and sugar consumption was welded during the seventeenth century. This is when Britain acquired Barbados, Jamaica, and other sugar islands, vastly expanded her trade in African slaves, made inroads into the Portuguese domination of the Continental sugar trade, and first began to build a broad internal consumer market. Chapter 4: Power Meaning - People have different ideas on the meanings of various things, and this may be caused by class, race, and culture.
- Meanings are categorized into two processes. The first one is intensification in which people replicate others of a higher status. For example, the poor wanting to consume sugar because they witness the wealthy consuming it. The second process is extensification, where sugar becomes important to the poor as a source of calories, rather than status. These poor citizens needed energy to work, which they realized could be obtained through sugar. "Sugar for a great part of our population is a stimulant, a source of immediate energy, if not inspiration, whether it is turned into alcohol or consumed raw." - Sidney Mintz - The English made sugar into a commodity, and a necessity in the average person's diet.
- As sugar changed from a luxury item to an affordable item, people across all classes began to indulge in it.
- Sugar came in the form of syrup and solid crystals. Pure sugar was the most popular, and consequently cost the most. Cane sugar was traditionally used as medicine, a condiment, decorative material, sweetener, and preservative. It was not until later that sugar was recognized as a food.
- In the thirteenth century, sugar was sold by the loaf and pound. It was still highly expensive but it was widely available.
- As sugar became more popular, it slowly became cheaper and more plentiful.
- Because sugar could be produced in multiple colors, it was also used to create sculptures. The Many Uses of Sugar - The power that was originally given to the upper class citizens who consumed sugar transitioned to those who produced and sold it.
- Sugar was considered a drug that cured many illnesses , such as sore throats and depression. People preferred these sugar-coated medicines because of their sweetness compared to the typical bitter medicine.
- Tea became the most successful selling byproduct of sugar, followed by coffee and chocolate. These products are responsible for making sugar part of the daily diet.
- Sugar was used by the poor as a supplement for complex carbohydrates that they could not afford.
- Sugar rapidly became commonly used in many new foods, such as pastries and other desserts. So, Are You Learning Anything? ~ What were the three main uses of sugar?
~ What were the main products responsible for the rise in sugar consumption?
~ Who originally owned a monopoly on sugar? Answer ~ Medicine, food, and preservation.
~ Tea, coffee, and chocolate.
~ The East India Company. Chapter 5: Eating and Being ~ How many pounds of sugar do americans consume per year?
~ How does the type of sugar relate to status and position?
~ How has sugar and the industrial revolution changed meal times and activities? Presentation by:
Daniel Gonzales
Emily Whitson
Garrett Arban
Margaret Kilpatrick
Mikayla Pace
Tess Huber
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