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The Sugar of Things

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Touch the Soil News #777 (Feature photo – artistic drawing of the sugar beet – which is now a GMO crop in the U.S.)

The world’s largest agricultural bank – Rabobank – is located in the Netherlands, but has offices in nations around the world including the U.S. As one of the world’s top 30 banks, Rabobank is unique in that its focus is on food and agriculture.

Rare to make bold predictions or statements, Rabobank recently issued an economic report on sugar. Here are some highlights from the report:

  1. Consumer shift away from sugar has become a global trend. This is a big deal for the sugar industry and cannot be dismissed as a passing fad. For many consumers, calorie reduction in diets has become synonymous with sugar reduction.
  2. Leading food and beverage companies which sell products that include sugar are committing to sugar reduction.
  3. At the heart of the shift away from sugar is the steadily rising global obesity rates and finger pointing at sugar. According to the World Health Organization in 2014 (the most recent report available) about 40 percent of adults worldwide (2 billion people) were overweight.
  4. More people are listening to government advisories on the connection between sugar reduction and health – particularly from the World Health Organization.
  5. Government legislation is having an impact on the consumption of sugar (an example is the sugary drink taxes emerging in the U.S.).

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