Heroin, crack, marijuana, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, salt, and sugar - all of these are addictions. Sure, some are more dangerous than others, but the way society views each of them is sadly based more on the laws of economics and personal politics than on the true health dangers they impose. I should only need mention the somewhat recent revelations made about — and actions taken against — Big Tobacco to justify my opinion.
That said, I’m in no way advocating the use of illegal drugs as I’ve seen substances on both sides of the law destroy friends and members of my family. However, if the first chapter of Sugar Shock that chronicles the author's own devastating addiction to sugar doesn’t make you realize that legalities alone don’t dictate the danger of a substance, then you're probably suffering from some sort of denial of your own.
The fact is that something as destructive as sugar, whose dangers are richly detailed throughout Sugar Shock’s pages, is a perfect example of Karl Marx’s theory of capitalistic wants winning out over concern for society as a whole once again in our long, turbulent history as a species.
Still, as we evolve as a society and learn more about our bodies and the truths behind the additives of mass-produced foods, we are making society better for future generations. While sugar is boldly sold on supermarket shelves, the terminally ill are often forced to break laws if they choose to use marijuana to help abate their symptoms. For the self-informed it is now being revealed that sugar is just as menacing as many of the illegal substances that ravage our nation's inner cities and ruin countless lives.
In her book Sugar Shock, journalist Connie Bennett unravels the misconceptions and dangers behind a substance that has been in widespread production and use since around at least 600 A.D. and makes up a glutton's share of America’s economic pie chart. There is no question that sugar will always have its place on the world’s culinary palette, but just like any other addiction, moderation and understanding is critical to avoiding abuse.