We Dig Books


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    Profile photo of NorthernTeacher

    Sugar: The world corrupted, from slavery to obesity by James Walvin

    In the 1980s, I read John Yudkin’s book Pure, White and Deadly. This professor of nutrition was vilified by the food industry for publishing this book in 1972; however, he was way before his time as he saw the link between sugar and diabetes. I gave up sugar after reading the book and wouldn’t touch it for years but gradually it crept back in cakes and biscuits, obviously, and not so obviously in ready meals. When we moved to Lincolnshire 7 years ago, I cut it out again. It’s still in some things I buy such as soy sauce but other than in that sort of thing, it’s rare for me to consume sugar.

    When I read a review of Sugar: The world corrupted, from slavery to obesity, I just knew I had to read it. I only really had very general knowledge of Britain’s colonial past, including the slave trade, and never having had a taste for history at school (a very failed GCE many moons ago), it was a subject area I pretty much avoided.

    My first impression immediately after finishing the book was disgust at the history taught when I was young. Who really needs to know about Tudors and Stuarts and 1066 and all that? Why wasn’t I taught about slavery? I think the answer is simple: that episode is bad and nothing to be proud of and could be brushed away from the curriculum.

    I’d recently been wondering about the antagonism between the USA and Cuba and hadn’t got round to looking it up. Walvin’s book made it quite clear as this stems from the slave trade. The history of Mexico and the US also has a massive connection with the slave trade. The business ethics of the huge food corporations will be no surprise to most readers.

    For me, this book is a truly edifying read not only of our history, but also of a very contemporary health issue. Highly recommended.

    Profile photo of gertie

    Thank you for this Jane. :rose:
    Have you ever read, ‘Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee’ … Dee brown, 1970?
    It started ne off, many years ago, on a realisation of what the so-called ‘great American Dream’ was all about and gave me a life-long non-ambition to ever visit the USA [since slightly abated from the nature side of the beautiful range of landscapes and animals there, and the awful realisation that we are all as culpable in so-called Great Britain]. :-(

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Profile photo of gertie gertie.
    Profile photo of NorthernTeacher

    Hi Anne :-) just ordered your recommendation, thanks. I haven’t read it. I know what you mean about going to the US. I’ve always felt the same because of their gun laws.

    Profile photo of VegVamp

    Two to add to my list, thank you girls.

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