NATIONAL REAL SUGAR DAY | October 14
October 14 is National Real Sugar Day and we celebrate the people who harvest sugar crops and learn about it’s origins. We also learn how to balance a healthy diet, while enjoying enjoy food made with real sugar.
Today, we dedicate the entire day to celebrating the gold standard of sweetness on National Real Sugar Day. In a March 2021 survey, 1,500 U.S. consumers were asked to name any ingredients that makes food or beverages more enjoyable to eat or drink. Of course, sugar came in as the number one ingredient. Not only does real sugar provide our food with amazing flavor, aroma, color, and texture, it is also available to anyone who wants to make their life a little sweeter.
The real sugar we stock in our pantries and use in many of our favorite recipes is grown by sugar beet and sugar cane farmers across the United States. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that provides energy when you need it. In fact, glucose is the building block of most carbohydrates and is a key fuel source for the body. In addition, real sugar is essential for the brain, muscles, and other organs to property function.
What is real sugar? Real sugar comes from sugar beets and sugar cane plants through photosynthesis. After harvest, sugar plants are taken to facilities to extract and package the sugar for use in our kitchens. In addition, sugar plants also contain molasses, which is found naturally in the sugar plants. When molasses is washed away from the real sugar, the result is brown sugar. Interestingly, when you leave the molasses on the sugar plants, the result is also brown sugar.
“A healthy dietary pattern limits added sugars to less than 10 percent of calories per day.” ~Dietary Guidelines for Americans
How much sugar can you consume? A healthy lifestyle is about maintaining a balanced diet, which includes proper physical activity and avoiding anything in excess. A healthy balance means being able to enjoy real sugar in nutritious foods, and occasionally sweets and treats.
A SWEET CELEBRATION
Bake or cook something with real sugar and share with your family and friends. Visit a sugar beet or sugar cane harvest to learn how sugar cane is processed.
- Share your favorite sweet recipe.
- Host a baking day with your friends to make all of your favorite sweet treats.
- Teach your class about where real sugar comes from.
- Identify the closest state to you where sugar is grown.
- Share your real sugar creations on social media by posting photos and tagging #NationalRealSugarDay.
MEET THE FOUNDER
In 2022, National Day Calendar welcomed the Sugar Association, Inc. to the National Day Calendar Founder Family. National Real Sugar Day was born to be celebrated each year on October 14.
The Sugar Association consists of 14 member companies across 17 states that proudly grow, extract, and deliver the real sugar to the American public.
The Sweet History of Sugar
Sugar has been around for thousands of years and is one of the oldest commodities in the world. In fact, early documentation about domestication of sugar cane dates back to 8000 BC in Papua New Guinea. According to records, the indigenous people would chew on it raw. From there, it spread across the globe.
Sugar was crystallized in India for the first time around 350 CE. During this time, sugar was used to treat indigestion and stomach ailments by both Roman and Greek civilizations. Between 640-900 CE, the Chinese began developing cultivation techniques to grow and harvest sugar. However, the export of sugar would not reach Europe until around 1101 CE.
A Growing Industry
As the sugar industry grew, so did the invention of sugar cane presses to extract sugar more easily. In 1550, over 3,000 sugar mills were open in the Caribbean and South America. By 1751, sugar cane would enter Louisiana, making it the final sugar colony in the U.S. However, the discovery of beet sugar by German chemist Andreas Marggraf in 1747 would not reach the U.S. for another 100 years.
In 1890, the first commercial sugar beet factories would open in the U.S. Interestingly, the mechanization of sugar cane cultivation began when 16 whole stalk harvesters were successfully used to harvest cane in Louisiana in 1938. Around 1946, machines would cut over 63% of the sugar crop in Louisiana.
Today, real sugar grows from coast to coast and border to border of the United States. In fact, sugar cane is grown in three states: Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. In addition, 11 states grow beats: California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. While it was once so valuable that people kept it locked in a sugar safe, advancements in extracting sugar from plants have made this versatile ingredient available to everyone.
Follow Sugar Association, Inc. on all of their social media platforms.