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White sugar vs. Brown sugar

White sugar is mainly coming from sugar cane and sugar beets.  The confectioned sugar is pulverized white sugar with added corn starch.   Brown sugar is created by adding molasses to the refined white sugar giving it a brown color, and the taste depends on the quantity of molasses added.

In the refining process of the white sugar, they are using the bone char, which is made from bones coming from dead cattle from different countries such as Afghanistan, Brazil, India etc.  They burn the bones at a very high temperature of 750-930 degrees F in an oven depleted of oxygen.  The bone char is then used in the refining process as the de-colorizing filter, which allows the sugar cane to achieve its desirable white color.

The sugar, which is coming from cane, is passed through the bone char; but the good news is that the sugar from beets does not need to pass through the bone char.  Beet sugar is labeled as sugar, and the cane sugar is often labeled cane sugar, but not always.

Not every company is using the bone char in their refining process.  Here are some of them, which do not use the bone char:  Monitor Sugar from MI, Florida; Cristal Corporation from FL,; and SuperValu from MN., etc.  Call them up and ask them.

Nutritionally speaking, sugar is sugar is sugar, whether it is white table sugar, maple sugar, or any natural alternative.  A 1948 federal law requires all products sold as sugar in the United States to be at least 96 percent pure sucrose, so even “raw” sugar (sometimes called (“turbinado sugar”) is by law compositionally close to white table sugar — about 96 to 98 percent sucrose.

Beyond the negative aspect of bone char in the sugar, we also need to take in consideration that the cane plantations are using high levels of insecticides and pesticides in the growing process of the sugar cane.  One option is to use organically- grown unbleached sugar (Demerara, Turbinado etc), but a more prudent approach may be to reduce our use of all types of sugar, including sugary processed foods, and to train our taste buds to more fully appreciate the natural sweetness of fresh and dried fruits.  Still another option is to purchase grain-based sweeteners, maple syrup, honey, date sugar, etc.  Sweeteners, which are less refined; the better it is for our health.

 

About bobh6

I am Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Texas Panhandle

One comment on “White sugar vs. Brown sugar

  1. Rosi
    March 1, 2013

    It is so sad really. We never thought about food and the way it was prepared or processed as we were growing up. We never thought about was it good for us or not. We followed the Bible and what it said was clean and unclean but that was it. Now, years later, we find out that so much of what we eat, what we like is sooo not good for us and to hear how things are processed is even worse. I so look forward to the day when we go to heaven and don’t have to worry about any of it. We know that in heaven, God will give us only the absolute best: best tasting, best looking, and best for us. Praise God!

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