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Sweet Stuff: An American History of Sweeteners from Sugar to Sucralose


by Deborah Jean Warner

The average American today consumes some 150 pounds of sugars, plus substantial amounts of artificial sweeteners, each year. How this came to be and how sweeteners have affected key aspects of the American experience is the story of Sweet Stuff. This book is the first detailed history on the subject.

The narrative covers the major natural sweeteners, including sugar and molasses from cane, beet sugar, corn syrup, sorghum syrup, honey, and maple, as well as the artificial sweeteners saccharin, cyclamate, aspartame, and sucralose.

Sweet Stuff discusses sweeteners in the context of diet, science and technology, business and labor, politics, and popular culture. It looks at the ways that federal and state governments promoted some sweeteners and limited the distribution of others. It examines the times when newer and less costly sweeteners threatened the market dominance of older and more expensive ones. Finally, it explores such complex issues as food purity, food safety, and truth in advertising.

Sweet Stuff will appeal to those interested in food culture, American culture, and American history.


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