03. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Informational Book, Melody H, NonFiction

Sugar Changed the World by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos, 166 pages, read by Melody, on 02/01/2012

I was dubious but turns out, sugar did change the world.  This children’s non-fiction is about how sugar went from a grass indigenous to a  small island in New Guinea  to a world wide staple.  I always find it interesting to learn about how things we take for granted; chocolate, cinnamon, toilets, running hot water, where once unimaginable luxuries. Returning Crusaders brought sugar to Europe from the Muslims who had gotten it from India.  Columbus brought the first sugar cane cuttings to the Americas.  Sugar fueled the slave trade in the Americas.  80% of all slaves brought from Africa were destined for the sugar fields in the Caribbean.  Where as slaves in North America where able to live long enough to have children and create a stable population, slaves working in the sugar field died at such a high rate and so young that new slaves had to be continually brought from Africa.  Sugar helped literally fuel the Industrial Revolution by making tea popular and cheap for factory workers putting in long shifts and needing a boost but no time for meals.  Mahatma Gandhi   first represented indentured sugar workers in South Africa and began his life long  struggle of human rights through passive resistance.  Great read. It will make you think the next time you spoon a teaspoon of sugar in your coffee.

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