@Dragline and halfmoon: I very much enjoy your contributions to the forum also.
@To Whom It May Concern: Ego and BRUTE :
After continued frenzied reading of some of the most popular books of the 19th century, such as "Ishmael; or In the Depths" by Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth (a page-turner of moral victory over poverty and false accusations of shameful circumstances of birth inclusive of detailed description of dietary habits of residents of rural Maryland and Washington D.C. circa 1830-1870) and assorted superficial research on the history of foodstuffs, the science of human metabolism and viewing several horrifying episodes of "Supersize vs. Super-skinny", I have swung my pendulum back towards "SUGAR IS EVIL!" with caveat.
First, I must admit that as soon as I assigned likelihood of inaccuracy and bias in the above-posted report/chart prepared by Modern Whole Foods advocate, I recalled that the human body is a complex system, so the huge difference in sugar consumption in the report/chart would not even be necessary to result in grave effects, especially when considered over a population.
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/ ... cohen-text
And yet there was no stopping the boom. Sugar was the oil of its day. The more you tasted, the more you wanted. In 1700 the average Englishman consumed 4 pounds a year. In 1800 the common man ate 18 pounds of sugar. In 1870 that same sweet-toothed bloke was eating 47 pounds annually. Was he satisfied? Of course not! By 1900 he was up to 100 pounds a year. In that span of 30 years, world production of cane and beet sugar exploded from 2.8 million tons a year to 13 million plus. Today the average American consumes 77 pounds of added sugar annually, or more than 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day.
The fact revealed in this paragraph, that the average Englishman in 1900 ate 100 lbs. of sugar/year, whereas a modern American "only" eats 77 lbs./year is what was previously driving my disbelief. Now it all starts to make better sense. My caveat has to do with this part of the article:
Then one day that ape, with its mutant gene and healthy craving for rare, precious fruit sugar, returned to its home in Africa and begot the apes we see today, including the one that has spread its sugar-loving progeny across the globe. “The mutation was such a powerful survival factor that only animals that had it survived,” Johnson said, “so today all apes have that mutation, including humans. It got our ancestors through the lean years. But when sugar hit the West in a big way, we had a big problem. Our world is flooded with fructose, but our bodies have evolved to get by on very, very little of it.”
It neglects to mention the fact that the primary mechanism through which efficient storage of sugar calories as fat aided in the survival of the human species was storage of fat on the hips of human females leading to increased survival of infants. Until very, very recently infant mortality was absolutely number one with a bullet arena for survival-towards-transmission of genetic tendencies in humans (NOT adult males fighting like sabre-tooth tigers or stallions for foodstuffs or females or monopolistic dominance of some realm of capitalism
) Humans who naturally (due to hormone levels) tend towards being built more like monkeys (narrow hips, powerful upper bodies) tend towards developing metabolic syndrome at relatively lower BMI and/or body-fat-percentage than humans who tend towards being built like Iskra Lawrence. For instance, a tall curvy female of Russian/Polish/Anglo/Irish (cold lands) heritage who is still pre-menopausal, such as myself, can carry up to 40 extra lbs.!!! while maintaining extremely healthy sugar-ingestion tolerance, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure results (although perhaps simultaneously hovering on edge of desire to be seen on public beach in bathing attire.)
Anyways, what I find most interesting about all of this in terms of systems theory, is the different levels on which the concept of "efficiency" comes into play. Sugar Cane is the most efficient processor of CO2 into kilo-calories and the human brain is probably the most efficient processor of glucose into storage-of-information. Two of our biggest problems right now have to do with dealing with the toxic waste products resulting from marginally too much burning of Sucrose and Petroleum, and this is not unrelated to the greatly increased survival rate of human infants over the last 200 years. From a very simplistic perma-culture perspective, the solution would be for humans to choose to favor trees and shrubs (relatively inefficient processors of CO2) over grasses, even though much of the food produced by trees and shrubs (fruit) is relatively high in fructose, and meat from animals that can forage in relatively wooded environment over animals that tend towards heavy grass diet. IOW, I would posit that moderate solution along the lines of substituting roughly half of corn-syrup/sugar-cane intake (by mass) for fresh fruit and half of beef/pork intake for fish/venison/nuts might prove sufficient. Dunno.