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

Downtown Automotive awarded for hiring practices

The annual award is handed out by the Kootenay Career Development Society

Castlegar, Grand Forks areas to see cleaner winter roads under new contract

YRB set to take over 10-year maintenance contract on Monday

VIDEO: Nelson Tennis Club’s new home opens

The revitalized courts above LVR had their grand opening Saturday

Purcell withdraws from Nelson council election

First-time candidate Heather Keczan has also withdrawn

U.S. Court upholds Teck pollution ruling

Teck appealed a previous decision that it must pay $8.25 million in Colville Confederated Tribes’ court costs

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Ottawa working to iron out kinks in public alert system

The alerts are being credit with saving lives during last week’s tornadoes

Most Read