HISTORY OF SUGAR
These people are only estimates. But because of sugar, Europeans are looking for colonies to grow sugar. New world exploration begins, colonialism followed by oppression takes place.
Sugar is present in every food: soy sauce, baby food, fruit juice, ice cream, and medicines. People with diabetes do not have much choice. Sugar is considered a substance that makes people addicted. Around the 1700s the average Dutch consumption was only 2 kilograms a year. In 1750 there were 120 sugar refineries operating in Britain with only 30,000 tons per year. At this stage, the sugar is still something fancy and gives a huge advantage so that the sugar dubbed “white gold”. This situation also applies in other Western European countries. Governments are aware of the enormous profits derived from sugar and therefore impose high taxes. As a result, sugar remains a luxury. This situation persisted until the end of the 19th century when most governments reduced or eliminated taxes and made sugar prices affordable for ordinary citizens.
The current sugar consumption per year is around 120 million tons and continues to grow at a rate of about 2 million tons per year. The EU, Brazil, and India are the three largest and combined producers of all three account for about 40% of production annually. However, most sugar is consumed in producing countries and only about 25% are traded internationally. Sugarcane is cultivated in more than 100 countries and sugar produced from sugar cane is about 6 times larger than sugar beet.
The increase in production has lasted for 10,000 years. People suspect sugar cane was grown in Papua and in Java 8,000 years before Christ. From there Saccarum Officinarum extends to West India, only in the first century of the Romans acquainted with Indian sugar or Persian sugar through Greece.
The secret of sugarcane was finally uncovered after a massive expansion by the Arabs in the seventh century AD. When they ruled Persia in 642 they found a growing sugar cane and then learned how to make sugar. During the continuing expansion, they set up sugar processing on various another land they controlled, including in North Africa and Spain. They make sugar cane fields in Sicily, Cyprus, Malta, Morocco and Spain. Sugar is an expensive item paralleled with pearls and silk from China.
Sugar is widely known by Western Europeans as a result of the Crusades in the 11th century. The soldiers who came home told of the existence of this delicious “new spice”. The first sugar was known to be recorded in England in 1099. The following century was a period of massive expansion of western European trade with the eastern world, including the import of sugar. For example, in a note in 1319 the price of sugar in London amounted to “two shillings per pound”. This value is equivalent to several months of average labor wage so it can be said that sugar is very luxurious at that time.
Rich people love making statues of sugar for decorating their tables. When Henry III of France visited Venice, a party was held in his honor by displaying plates, silver items, and linen cloths all made of sugar.
Because it is an expensive item, sugar is often regarded as a medicine. Many health guidelines from the 13th to 15th centuries recommend sugars to the disabled to strengthen their strength. Spain and Portugal make sugarcane plantations in Sao Tome, Canary Islands, and Madeira. That is for the first time in the history of sugar cane planted in large quantities so that the members of the Spanish kingdom can eat sugar regularly, can even send rough sugar to Antwerp for refined which is now the basis of the sugar industry.
In the 15th century, European sugar refining was generally done in Venice. Venice could no longer do a monopoly when Vasco da Gama sailed to India in 1498 and established a trade there. Nevertheless, the discovery of the Americans has changed the consumption of sugar in the world.
On one of his first trips, Columbus brought a sugar cane plant to be planted in the Caribbean region. A very favorable climate for the growth of sugarcane crops led to the establishment of an industry quickly. The need for great sugar for Europe caused much of the forests of the Caribbean island to be almost entirely lost to sugarcane plantations, such as in Barbados, Antigua, and half of Tobago. Sugarcane crops are cultivated in bulk. Millions of people are sent from Africa and Indian to work in sugar cane milling. Therefore, sugar production is closely related to the slave trade in the western world.
Economically sugar is so important that all European powers are building or trying to build colonies on small Caribbean islands and battles take place to take control of the islands. Furthermore, sugarcane cultivated in large plantations in other regions of the world (India, Indonesia, Philippines and the Pacific region) to meet the needs of European and local markets.
“Because of VOC”
The Dutch, English, and French succeeded in making sugar into common goods. They expel the Spaniards and Portuguese from the colonies in Indonesia and Java sugar entered the Amsterdam market. Multinational companies such as the VOC (the first Limited Company in the world) and the East India Company of the UK consider the sugar to be profitable. They are investing in sugarcane plantations, the result is flowing to Europe. Sugar makes the VOC a world power.
From the exclusive luxury of sugar to a status symbol. As the Kings boast of gold tools, the rich show off the sugar. Sugar becomes a beautiful work of art for gifts or exhibited at the party table. Cooking with sugar, sugary foods are a fad for those who can afford it.
Bread and sugar tea for the poor
Britain spawned a drink that spurred the use of sugar, tea. Before tea, coffee and chocolate changed the habits of Westerners, they drank beer, wine, cognac and jenever, sometimes sour milk and if it was forced to water.
Tea mode starts from the palace. Most people drink tea with sugar, so the use of sugar increases. English live from tea literally. The main menu of the workers and the poor is bread with sugar tea. The non-nutritious food fits poorly during the industrial revolution. All the members of the working family must work, but the results are not suitable to serve proper food. They are happy to have hot sweet bread and tea.
Beet sugar was first recognized as a source of sugar in 1747. Undoubtedly, this plant is of little interest and merely a curiosity of some European countries as national and economic interests are directed to sugarcane plantations. This situation survived until the Napoleonic wars of the early nineteenth century when Britain broke sugar imports into the European continent. In 1880 sugar beets replaced sugar cane as the main source of sugar in continental Europe. The entry of beet sugar into the UK was delayed until the First World War when Britain’s sugar import was threatened. Previously Britain imported sugar cane from its colonies in the tropics.
European goods are exchanged for human beings
The relationship between sugar and slavery is very close. Harvest and sugar cane work require disciplined labor because sugarcane (also sugar beet) is harvested when the sugar content is highest. Transport and work should be done as soon as possible, the suspension causes the sugar levels to fall. Cutting sugar cane must be adjusted to the capacity of the factory.
Monotonous production, heavy and rushed it can only be done by slaves who work hard. When the Caribbean and South American areas are suitable for sugarcane planting, imports of labor are required. The Indians are too lazy. European products are exchanged in Africa with people exported to the new world, where they have to produce sugar sold by large profits to European powers.
Between the years 1701 and 1810 exported 252,000 slaves of sugar to Barbados, a small island. In the same period, Jamaica imported 662,000 forced labor. For about a century, each week sent 160 slaves sent to two relatively small islands. When slavery was forbidden (Cuban sugar slaves have released about two centuries ago), sugarcane plantations were having difficulties. They bring in contract labor from India, China, and Indonesia. As a result, the freed slave did not find work in his old profession.
The history of sugar is no less vile than most other tropical products. Strangely, sugar thirst is universal. And sugar is the only product whose production and consumption go up over the last 10,000 years.