Sugar and Big Food

I found this definition of Sugar here:

Sugar is a carbohydrate that occurs naturally in many foods. The body mostly uses carbohydrates as an energy source. Food producers also add sugar to many products, which can lead a person’s blood sugar levels to become too high.

Our bodies have always needed sugar as a fuel. We eat carbohydrate foods and the chemical process in our amazing bodies turns the carbohydrates into glucose. The essential glucose will then be carried by our blood, maintaining the blood cells, the central nervous system and the brain.

The article goes on to explain:

The body has a natural feedback mechanism by which high glucose levels lead to increased insulin production, and low levels lead to decreased levels of this hormone. The body requires healthy insulin levels to function properly. If there is too little insulin or it no longer functions properly, a person can develop diabetes.

People with Diabetes are especially vulnerable to the Covid virus. You can see where your country is ranked in relation to others where cases of diabetes are concerned. This website explains:

Development Relevance: Diabetes, an important cause of ill health and a risk factor for other diseases in developed countries, is spreading rapidly in developing countries. Highest among the elderly, prevalence rates are rising among younger and productive populations in developing countries. Economic development has led to the spread of Western lifestyles and diet to developing countries, resulting in a substantial increase in diabetes. Without effective prevention and control programs, diabetes will likely continue to increase.

By viewing the rankings we can see how the Food Industry has impacted countries who had a low incidence of diabetes to having a high incidence. For example, top of the list is Kiribati. They went from 6.60 percent of the 20 to 79 year olds in 2010, to 22.50 percent in 2019. An example of the results of diabetes leading to amputation is highlighted at this prosthetics clinic.

Kiribati Major Imports

Based on the statistics of United Nations, Kiribati imported US$109 million worth of goods around the world in 2018. Among all the top products imported to Kiribati, Cane Sugar contributes to 1.83% of total trade value, equal to US$2,002 thousand. The second imported is Prepared & Preserved Meat, which accounts for 1.31%. The following table lists the top products imported to Kiribati. Also shown are the trade value and the percentage share for each import category as well as the growth rate during the past 5 years.

The Republic of Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas) is an unusual place.  It consists of 33 islands, 32 of which are atolls (an atoll is a ring shaped coral reef) about 4,000 km southwest of Hawaii.  Twenty-one of the islands are inhabited and the total land mass is 811 square kilometers.  Home to over one hundred thousand people, Kiribati is a country in crisis.

Several problems plague the islands, first there is the problem of climate change – between unusually bad storms and rising ocean levels, there are many on Kiribati who believe their country will quite literally disappear in the next 30-60 years.  While many argue the details of the timeline, it is clear that climate change is adversely affecting this group of islands. There is no higher ground to run to, no safety net for the population.

Tarawa is the capital of Kiribati, which is one of the most remote countries on Earth, located on the equator about halfway between Australia and Hawaii. Its atolls are scattered across a patch of the Pacific the size of India, and yet they have a total of just 811 square kilometres of land, about half the size of Greater London.

When a plane lands on Tarawa, a crowd gathers at the airport, drawn by the excitement of the jet making the three-hour flight from Fiji. Aside from occasional freighters bringing canned food, this twice-weekly Fiji Airways flight provides the primary connection to the outside world.

Historically, these Pacific Islanders were once kidnapped and used as slaves on the Queensland plantations of Australia is shown in a film, details of which is shown here.

Sugar Slaves
Few people know that the Australian sugar industry was founded on the sweat of men and women enticed or kidnapped from the islands of the South Pacific. Sugar Slaves is the story of that human traffic, euphemistically known as “blackbirding”. Between 1863 and 1904 about 60,000 islanders were transported to the colony of Queensland, where they toiled to create the sugar plantations. Then, after the introduction of a White Australia policy (Immigration Restriction Act 1901), most were deported.

In 2014 a report revealed 81.5% of the population were overweight.

Realising the problem of obesity which is caused by junk food consumption, in 2017 the Islanders decided to abandon junk food. They do not need this health issue added to their many other challenges of life in these Pacific Islands.

I hope they can abandon junk food – but it is not easy to do with Big Food inventing strategies to pull victims back into the habit and increasing morbidity as a result.

The biggest food company in the world is Cargill. The company makes most of their money from powdered and liquid beverage sales.

‘Conscious Disregard’ repeats itself as Corporates fight for increasing annual profits year on year.

About borderslynn

Retired, living in the Scottish Borders after living most of my life in cities in England. I can now indulge my interest in all aspects of living close to nature in a wild landscape. I live on what was once the Iapetus Ocean which took millions of years to travel from the Southern Hemisphere to here in the Northern Hemisphere. That set me thinking and questioning and seeking answers. In 1998 I co-wrote Millennium Countdown (US)/ A Business Guide to the Year 2000 (UK) see https://www.abebooks.co.uk/products/isbn/9780749427917
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