Jamie Hertz: The difference between types of sugar

I don’t think you’ll find what I have to say about sugar so sweet.

By Jamie Hertz

It’s time to sweeten things up with this article. However, I don’t think you’ll find what I have to say about sugar so sweet.

Without a doubt sweetness is the most favourite taste to us and to prove this just look at a very simple piece of evidence. Restaurant menus around the world only have one menu dedicated strictly to one taste, which is sweetness. Appetizer, dinner, and other menus have a constant mix of all tastes where the dessert menu is almost fully sweet.

Like salt (sodium chloride), sugar has been marketed to a point where we pay so much money for something that really isn’t any different than the less expensive ones and in some cases is actually less expensive to produce. Raw sugar should be half the price compared to white sugar, but we pay twice as much, why?

First we have to look at what sugar is, where it comes from and how we produce it into what we see on our store shelves. Then we can look at what it is worth to us and our wallets, not to mention our health.

As a chef, I am constantly in the middle of controversy involving food and food related topics. It’s hard to find hard scientific evidence when there is so much false information floating around out there, especially with the Internet and social media. Finding the truth becomes harder and harder and it is up to us as individuals to sift through the information and decide what is good for us.

The majority of sugar comes from sugar cane and sugar beets and the process is very similar when it comes to producing it. The plant is crushed, or shredded and then pressed to get all of the juices out. Lime is added to clarify the juice and it is boiled down to a syrup. As the syrup reduces until the water can no longer hold the crystals and they separate.

At this point it is spun in a machine similar to a salad spinner that separates the molasses from the brown sugar. The brown sugar (true raw sugar) contains yeasts, molds, bacteria, soil, insect and other debris to which is declared unhealthy and inedible and illegal to be sold in stores.

So it has to be washed or refined which is a word that for some reason people think becomes unhealthy for us, which is false by scientific evidence. Raw sugar that we see in stores isn’t actually true raw sugar. It is just the rawest that we are allowed to use for consumption.

Here is another little nugget of information for all of you out there: Raw sugar is actually refined as well.  When most companies refine our sugar they use things like water and steam to wash it.

The difference between white sugar and brown sugar is the molasses, one has it and one doesn’t.

Something else you should be looking for when buying brown sugar is if it is true brown sugar or imitation. What some companies do to save money is they don’t stop the refining process because it is too expensive and then once it is done, they spray the white sugar with molasses which will have a slightly different reaction when using it.

Like salt, you shouldn’t choose what type of sugar you eat based on its nutrients because you would have to consume so much that it would be very unhealthy for you. You can get all of the nutrients you are trying to get in raw sugar in other foods that make more sense.

Just Posted

Nelson bumps up cost of east Blewett fire service

The 20 per cent increase will amount to approximately $56.00 per year for a $400,000 home.

Dryer incident at Teck Elkview Operations

Locals report hearing loud bang

Judgment reserved in Nakusp school sex trial

Trial concluded today with lawyer’s summations

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

Genelle ‘vehicle incident’ under RCMP investigation

Regional firefighters respond to car fire Sunday night

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Nelson Leafs lose to Nitehawks on last-minute goal

The game was played to finish a postponed contest in December

CBT to provide 100 new child care spaces

Nelson Waldorf School is also getting money for a roof

Leafs down Border Bruins in penalty-filled game

Logan Wullum stole the show for Nelson in the 4-1 win

SKI TIPS: The key to skiing in heavy powder

Whitewater Ski Team coach Dylan Henderson shows how to navigate powder with ease

Leafs’ five-game winning streak snapped by Nitehawks

Nelson fell 4-1 on the first of three straight games this weekend

The book club master

Nelson’s Hazel Mousley takes book clubs to the next level

Glacier freezes competition in Spokane

The gymnastics club returned home with 35 medals

Remembering the man who carved Nelson’s iconic welcome signs

Art Waldie did the majority of the work on the signs in the 1970s

Most Read