Sugar: the evolution of a forbidden fruit

January 23, 2015

Our modern moralizing about sugar’s destructive nutritional emptiness takes on meaning only in a culture where appetite has been disconnected from physical labour, most consumption is surplus to our needs, and sweetness is segregated into a separate world of danger, indulgence and anxiety.

Today, when we denounce sugar, we are defying our nature. Sex was once the classic example of the good thing gone wrong – a gift of the gods ruined by religion and psychiatry. Now the road to excess leads to the supermarket shelf and the fast-food drive-through: Sugar has become the forbidden fruit, the momentary pleasure infused with a lifetime of guilt.