Wednesday, August 01, 2007

In the world of sweets

Years ago I talked to a company representative (can we say multi level marketing) about joining them and becoming a local representative. Well, come on, who hasn't been invited to a friends home only to be accosted by the "pitch". Yes, it was that kind of a meeting.

We learned all about keeping ourselves healthy and nutritionally sound. It was an interesting pitch, but there was only one product that seemed worthy of all the hype. Stevia. I have been using Stevia as a sweetener for years. I used it as a liquid sweetener for drinks that usually used sugar for sweetening. It is dark brown in color and does influence the look of the item you are sweetening. It is grown in Paraguay, and is about 100 times more sweet than cane or beet sugars. The claims are that it is calorie free, but really it is not calorie free, you just use so little of it that the calories are insignificant. It also is a naturally occurring plant source, has not been genetically altered and does not have "secret" methods in it production. You can ingest it without fear of repercussions in future years. Yes, it is the miracle sweetener.

Who knew that in the 2000sit would become such a "buzz" product. Yes, Paraguayan farmers are not sure they can keep up with demand. Coca-Cola has now begun using Stevia, as well as other large corporations, looking to replace other sugar free alternative with known side effects. The pressure to produce for the small farmers will be strained due to the demand. There are farms in the pacific northwest that are cultivating it on a small scale, not enough to relieve the pressure on Paraguay. I will continue to watch this Stevia buzz and keep you updated.