Refined Sugar History

Until the second middle of the 18th century, sugar was a luxury and its profits made people to call it as "the White Gold."

The first sugar was recorded in England in 1100. Its price in London in 1300 was equal to US $100 per kilo at today's price. The America Continents discovery established the sugar industry, because the climate in the Caribbean was very suitable for growing sugar cane. In 1537, the first sugar refinery was set in Germany.

The impact of refined sugar on human health had started in 17th century become very noticeable among mass population starting 150 years ago.

During the 18th century, sugar became vastly popular. During that time, high demand of sugar production came about largely due to a great shift in diet habits of Europeans populous. They began eating tea, coffee, chocolates, jams, candies, processed food, and other sweets in much greater amounts.

Refined Sugar Consumption Trends in Past 300 Years:

  • In 1700, the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year.
  • In 1800, the average person consumed about 18 pounds of sugar per year.
  • In 1900, individual consumption had risen to 90 pounds of sugar per year.
  • In 2009, more than 50 percent Americans consume 1/2 pound of sugar per day, which is 180 pounds of sugar per year.

In 1890, obesity rate in US for white males, age group 50's only, were 3.4%. In 1975, the obesity rate in US of all population was 15%. In 2009, 32% of Americans are obese.

In 1893, there were fewer than 3 diabetes per 100,000 people in US. Today, there are 8,000 diabetes per 100,000 people in US.

Currently, worldwide annual consumption of refined sugar is about 120 million tons (about 15% is in US alone, which is 18 million tons) and it is increasing at a rate of about 2 million tons per year. About 75% of sugar is consumed within its production country. About 25% is traded internationally. In many industrialized countries, sugar has become one of the most heavily subsidized agricultural products (along with corn and soy to feed live stocks for meat production).

Below is the time table of history of refined sugar. Exacerbation of many infectious diseases, such as bubonic plague and tuberculosis, is closely related to refined sugar consumption. Refined sugar is not only main cause of diabetes, but also promotes cancer growth, tooth decay, and depression. People think cotton was the main cause for slave trade, but the raise of sugar consumption and demand was one of the major causes for increased slave trade, along with tobacco.

Click here to read about why refined sugar is bad for our health. This page also explains that if sugar is eaten right out of sugar cane instead of going through refinery process, it is not as bad as white and brown sugar most people are eating.

Refined Sugar Time Line

1444 From Lagos, Africa, men are forcibly taken to Seville, Spain and sold into slavery to work in the sugar cane fields.

1454 Pope induced to extend his blessing to the slave trade and his authority to "attack, subject, and reduce to slavery the Saracens, Pagans, and other enemies of Christ." Portugal becomes a prime slavery user to promote sugar trade, which people were getting addicted.

1493 Columbus transports sugar cane to the New World on the advice of Queen Isabela.

1500 Dutch establish a sugar refinery at Antwerp and ships sugar to Germany and England

1510 King Ferdinand consents to the first large contingent recruitment of African Slaves in the growing Spanish sugar industry.

1515 Spanish monks offer loans in gold to anyone who would start a sugar mill.

1560 Charles V of Spain builds vast palaces from taxes on sugar trade.

1573 First German sugar cane refinery built at Augsburg.

1660 Britain finds sugar pushing so profitable that it becomes a matter of national security. British pass Navigation Act of 1660 to prevent transport of sugar, tobacco, or any other American Colonies products to any ports outside England, Ireland, and land owned by Britain.

1662 Britain importing 16 million pounds of sugar per year

1665 London swept by bubonic plague. It was noticed that people who lived without sugar escaped harm. Over 68,000 die.

1674 First diabetes mellitus disease mentioned in British Pharmaceutice Rationalis, by Thomas Willis (member of the Royal College of Physicians).

1700 British Isles imports 20 million pounds of sugar per year.

1700 Deaths from tuberculosis increase dramatically in England and other sugar consuming countries. In 1700, refined sugar is the most important export of France.

1733 Molasses Act of 1733 passed in Britain. This puts a heavy tax on sugar and molasses coming from everywhere, except the British sugar islands in the Caribbean. Sugar was also essential for rum production – a significant percentage of people were already addicted to alcohol. Tobacco, begins to gain more significance in world use in addictive substances.

1792 Anti-Saccharite Society forms in Europe to protest effect of sugar on people's health. It induces a British sugar boycott through Europe. The British East India companies, which was already involved with opium drug trafficking, uses the slavery issue in their PR advertising campaign to improve their company images. Their ad said, "East India sugar not made by slaves."

1800 British sugar consumption reaches 160 million pounds per year.

1812 Napoleon awards Legion of Honor to Benjamin Dellesert for discovering how to process the beet into sugar (which replaces dependence on the sugar cane).

1812 France has mass planting of sugar beets and 500 refineries open. Over 8 million pounds of sugar are produced in one year.

1812 Death rate from tuberculosis (TB) in New York rose to 700 out of 100,000 people.

1816 Because brewers had been adulterating their product with sugar, Britain passes an act which outlawed brewers from sugar or molasses possession. Nowadays, most of wine contain refined white sugar, which is why it is so sweet.

1844 Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane founded. American stores give away a half pound of sugar for free with purchase of five dollars or more.

1846 Former slaves in Caribbean were left to manage old sugar plantations. This situation lasted until sugar plantations were taken over by the United States.

1874 William Ewart Gladstone (1809 –1898), the British Prime Minister, abolished sugar tax and brought down its price affordable to the mass population.

1880 Sweden consumption of refined sugar rose to 12 pounds per person per year.

1880 Recorded death rate from diabetes in Denmark: 1.8 per 100,000 people.

1892 America takes the lead in world wide sugar consumption, surpassing the British. Sugar consumption would double again by 1920.

1897 Freud writes that "masturbation is the prime habit and addiction which is replaced by addiction to alcohol, morphine and tobacco." Freud neglects to mention is his own further addiction to sugar and cocaine. This can postulate assumption that Freud was eternally high and sexually frustrated, which was projected to his own sexually dependent theory taken up later by psychiatry, due to his fixation on this matter.

1900 Cancer causes 4% of deaths in the United States.

1900 Over 6,000 people fall ill in Britain after drinking beer resulting 70 deaths. This bear used sugar in its production process. The sugar used in this beer was contaminated with arsenic during sugar refining process from carbonic acid gas production from coal. For more details on this chemical process, click here.

1910 Japan acquires a source of cheap and abundant sugar on Formosa. Incidence of tuberculosis (TB) in Japan rises dramatically.

1911 Sugar consumption in Denmark rose to 82 pounds per person per year.

1912 Dr. Robert Boesler, New Jersey dentist, notes that "modern manufacturing of sugar has brought about entirely new diseases. Sugar has caused a vast degeneration of the people."

1922 Coca-Cola plant built in Ashtabula, Ohio. The drink contains coal tar derivatives, flavorings, and massive amounts of sugars.

1923 Canadian physician Frederick Banting receives Nobel Prize for discovery of a way to extract the insulin hormone, which enabled blood sugar control for those with diabetes. This opens a whole new medical market because of the growing sugar addiction in the US public.

1924 Dr. Seale Harris of the University of Alabama discovers that sugar can cause hyperinsulinism and recommends people cut sugar consumption. The medical establishment comes down on Harris. His work is suppressed. Harris would be awarded a medal by the American Medical Association (AMA) 25 years later. This was not any conscious part of AMA, but the pharmaceuticals to control low blood sugar are developed and put into production. The basic contribution of refined sugar to the problem remains suppressed.

1929 Consumption of refined sugar in Sweden rose to 120 pounds per person per year.

1934 Denmark sugar consumption rose to 113 pounds per person per year.

1934 Death rate for diabetes in Denmark rose to 19 per 100,000.

1939 Dr.Weston Price, a research dentist, publishes "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects," which proved that refined foods and sugar causes physical degeneration and disease and opposed to natural unrefined whole foods.

1943 Dr. John Tinterta rediscovers the vital importance of the endocrine system, and connects sugar use to production of hyperadrenocortic episodes in humans intolerant to sugar, where adrenal hormones are suppressed, producing inability to think clearly, allergies, inability to handle alcohol, depression, apprehension, craving for sweets, and low blood pressure.

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The Killer White Gold
By waheed elqalatawy

General Chronological Studies

Dr. Mercola Sugar consumption trends in past 300 years:
The Encyclopædia Britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences ..., Volume 1
edited by Hugh Chisholm
p223 - p227

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