Then various circumstances occured and reduced its cost : The industrial revolution in europe which led to the invention of machinery that could refine the syrup into the white powder we all know, the discovery of carribean islands where the weather and soil were ideal for growing sugar cane, and the slave trade made the exploitation of sugar cane cheap.
The effects of sugar on our minds and bodies
Sugar has various nasty effects on our bodies it is a well known fact that sugar is a primary cause of obesity in both children and adults. Scientists have established a connection between sugar and high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, insulin resistance. But even more pernicious are its effects on the mind : Sugar has subtle but REAL Effects on the quality of our consciousness. We get a high from sugar. It gets our minds less alert and focussed. You can simply experience it by shaking your head left and right for 10 seconds. Do you feel a little dizzy afterwards ? Do you think that’s normal ? Truth is our bodies simply were NOT designed to process such high quantities of sugar.
Studies showed that sugar affects the brain chemistry and thus might cause addictive behavior, i.e. It makes you do things without knowing why you do them. Simply put you live less consciously.
The behavioral effects are similar to the neurochemical changes in the brain that also occur with addictive drugs. One finding of that study is seldom discussed — both sugar and the taste of sweet activate beta endorphin receptor sites in the brain, the same receptor sites that are activated by heroin and morphine.
Why is sugar so addictive
The short answer is that sugar is addictive because it tastes sweet. Then why is sugar so sweet you may ask ? This is much like asking why are sexy people so sexy ? Or why are babies so cute ? Not so dumb questions to ask and they have the same answer.
We are probably having it backwards: Sugar tastes sweet because we are evolutionary encouraged to feed calorific foods to our bodies (just like we are evolutionary to mate and to take care of our infants).
In this fascinating TED talk philosopher philosopher and scientist Dan Dennett addresses these questions. I invite you to watch it and share your thought about it. BUT Please don’t go all weird about evolution vs creation or I’ll get my friends from the sugar drug cartels to kick your a**. It’s not our subject here.