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Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Scienceby Marc Aronson
Synopses & Reviews
Itandrsquo;s no surprise that sugar has been on our minds for millennia. First cultivated in New Guinea around 8,000 B.C.E., this addictive sweetener has since come to dominate our appetitesandmdash;whether in candy, desserts, soft drinks, or even pasta saucesandmdash;for better and for worse. In this book, Andrew F. Smith offers a fascinating history of this simultaneously beloved and reviled ingredient, holding its incredible value as a global commodity up against its darker legacies of slavery and widespread obesity.
As Smith demonstrates, sugarandrsquo;s past is chockfull of determined adventurers: relentless sugar barons and plantation owners who worked alongside plant breeders, food processors, distributors, and politicians to build a business based on our cravings. Exploring both the sugarcane and sugar beet industries, he tells story after story of those who have made fortunes and those who have met demise all because of sugarandrsquo;s simple but profound hold on our palettes. Delightful and surprisingly action-packed, this book offers a layered and definitive tale of sugar and the many people who have been caught in its spellandmdash;from barons to slaves, from chefs to the countless among us born with that insatiable devil, the sweet tooth. and#160; and#160;and#160;
Aand#160;fascinating accountand#160;for teen readersand#160;thatand#160;captures the history, science, and economic and cultural implications of the harvesting of cacao and creation of chocolate. Readers of Chew On This and The Omnivore's Dilemma will savor this rich exposand#233;.
When this award-winning husband-and-wife team discovered that they each had sugar in their family history, they were inspired to trace the globe-spanning story of the sweet substance and to seek out the voices of those who led bitter sugar lives.
Itand#8217;s no surprise that humankindand#8217;s love affair with sugar stretches back over millennia. The addictive sweetener originated in New Guinea around 8,000 BC and quickly spread throughout India, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. By the tenth century it had become the European obsession and soon afterwards a major export of American colonies. Today sugar is grown around the world and is a main component of sweets, cakes, and soft drinks, as well as of pasta sauce and peanut butterand#8212;despite their savory nature. Sugarcane and sugar beets are two of the most important global commodities, but they are also controversial for their high doses of carbohydrates and lack of nutritional quality. Over-consumption of sugar is associated with many chronic diseases and is a major cause of obesity.
Sugar: A Global History explores sugarand#8217;s reputation as one of the most beloved yet most reviled substances that humans consume. Smith combines historical context with the gripping stories of those who have benefited and suffered because of sugar, and he analyzes mankindand#8217;s convoluted love-hate relationship with the sweetener that has such a powerful hold over us.
Chocolate hits all the right sweet--and bitter--notes: cutting-edge genetic science whisked in with a strong social conscience, history, and culture yield one thought-provoking look into one of the world's most popular foods. Readers who savored Chew on This and Food, Inc. and lovers of chocolate will relish this fascinating read.
When this award-winning husband-and-wife team discovered that they each had sugar in their family history, they were inspired to trace the globe-spanning story of the sweet substance and to seek out the voices of those who led bitter sugar lives. The trail ran like a bright band from religious ceremonies in India to Europeand#8217;s Middle Ages, then on to Columbus, who brought the first cane cuttings to the Americas. Sugar was the substance that drove the bloody slave trade and caused the loss of countless lives but it also planted the seeds of revolution that led to freedom in the American colonies, Haiti, and France. With songs, oral histories, maps, and over 80 archival illustrations, here is the story of how one product allows us to see the grand currents of world history in new ways. Time line, source notes, bibliography, index.
About the Author
Marc Aronson is a senior editor at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. He lives in New York City.
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