Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Sugar

Recently, I was buying ingredients to make a batch of sugar scrub when I brown sugar better than white sugar? Is the processing more eco-friendly? When eating sugar, is the brown healthier? These questions stayed on my mind for days until I finally sat at the computer and asked Google. I scrolled through a list of links and finally settled on one that took me to a blog called My Healthy Green Family, written by Free Range Mama. It turns out she had the same question about a year ago. Lucky for me, she had already done all of the work to find the answer! With her permission, I am sharing part of her article with you... 

For years I have heard that less refined sugar is better for you but I didn’t really know why. Sugar is sugar, and less refined sugar does not contain enough extra nutrients compared to refined sugar to make that matter. I had to spend some time finding out WHY there is some truth to it being less healthy.
Refined sugar has had a number of things done to it during the refining process. White sugar is bleached with sulphuric acid, is spun through a centrifuge to remove the outer coating, and has phosphoric acid and calcium hydroxide added to it which is absorbed and traps impurities. It is then put through a carbon filter to remove impurities, then crystallised by vacuum and dried.
Raw sugar is pressed, and the juice is mixed with lime to remove impurities. It is then evaporated and put through a centrifuge to separate the crystals. It is then dried.
See the difference? Much less has been done to it or added to it.
From a green perspective, the production of raw sugar uses much less energy, creates much less waste, and uses fewer chemicals.

So yesterday I went to the sugar section in the supermarket and started reading package labels. In the entire section, I found one row of real Demerara sugar, which is real raw sugar. It's made by Florida Crystals and grown in America and I enjoyed reading the back of the package that explains the process they use for making this sugar, including the tidbit that they use the waste product for fuel and have created enough energy from it to power the plant as well as neighboring homes. It is what I purchased and what I will use to make my sugar scrub. There was one drawback: this sugar is not organic, nor was there an organic option. 

Did you know the difference between raw sugar and brown and white sugar? Do you know of another Demerara sugar that is widely available, perhaps one that is organic? 

Free Range Mama is a stay-at-home-mom of three children. Her blog, My Healthy Green Family, follows her family as they move more and more into a sustainable lifestyle. Read the full post quoted above by clicking here.

This post has been shared on Natural Living Monday at Homemade for Life. To see the other blog posts on this week's Natural Living Monday, click the button in the right sidebar or click here.


  1. That wasn't a great post and very interesting. I didn't ever think about the sugar being processed different. I am also Blogging A to Z.

  2. I have used raw sugar, and in most cases it doesn't matter for flavor or texture, but sometimes in baking it does. I use both, but refined more. We are fortunate to have several natural/health food stores in the area, so we have access to a variety, but I admit I haven't read many labels on the packages of sugar in quite a while.

    Good for you to make your own sugar scrub. My favorite was a peppermint one from Arbonne a few years ago. I really hate that they quit making it.

    dropping by on the A to Z Road Trip.