Past Opinion Articles

Article for the week of 11/20/05

Sugar To Be Made Illegal
By, Grey Business

Now don’t panic, this might not be as bad as it seems. Or it might actually be worse, we’ll just have to see. The main thing is to not panic.
At the moment there are nothing but rumors stating that a number of nations, mostly Western, may ban sugar, making it an illegal food substance.
This story started circulating a few days ago. Reasons for this move are many and varied, including more than a few that are slightly nuts.
I am going to try and defuse as many as possible, because I am no Grey Xphile, I do not spread wild rumors, incite panic or have an unholy taste for macaroons dipped in peanut butter.
The most popular reason, especially among historians, is that the majority view the sugar trade, with its need for cheap, plentiful labor, was the impetus behind the slave trade (the historic one, not the modern one that is fueled by a need for cheap buttons). Therefore it is argued that as long as sugar is consumed the legacy of slavery lives on.
This gives the average person too much credit. Most people around the world know of the slave trade and despise it. Most would not have the faintest clue of what started it, or why Africans were so popular.
Governments might know this information, however you cannot win elections over this, nor can you kiss it and make it better with some simple solution. Politicians hate complexity.
The next most common theory is the level of obesity among Western nations. Sugar is a common additive to, well, pretty much everything. Candy, bread, instant foods, noodles, sauces, even edible cutlery all contain sugar to some degree. Therefore removing sugar from the food chain would have a definite impact.
The problem with this is that demand for foods with a high content of natural sugar would increase in demand. While many would like to see more fruits consumed it does not consider allergies and people who simply refuse to eat fruits and vegetables. Since this latter group contains a large number of children undernourishment is a very real possibility.
This may sound like ranting but this supposed solution, to whatever the problem is supposed to be, overlooks the main problem: banning stuff just makes it more interesting to acquire.
Prohibition failed, the War on Shoelaces failed, Cocaine in practically a food additive in itself and so is illegal Ritalin supplies.
If anything black-market sugar products will soon be commonplace. The Easter Bunny, forced to surrender his legitimate concerns, will become the chocolate backed equivalent of a drug baron.
So if anything this rumor is just that, a rumor. The reality is too ridiculous to contemplate, and no, in no way am I stockpiling marshmallows preserved in honey.






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