To a consumer, it means that the food is completely unadulterated and has not in any way changed from it’s original natural form. Nothing has been added, removed, or heated to a temperature that would change any of the inherent nutritional characteristics.
Unfortunately, to food manufacturers, the definition of “raw” can be quite different.
I’ve blogged before about how most cheese labeled “raw” at the store is not raw at all in reality!
Another fake raw food at the store that is fooling a whole lot of people from the emails I’ve been getting is the Sugar in the Raw product also known as turbinado sugar or natural cane sugar.
But wait! There’s a “Good Housekeeping” seal of approval in the upper right corner of the box!
Doesn’t that mean that the product has been checked out and is legitimate in it’s labeling claims?
Apparently not. Here’s what the manufacturer of Sugar in the Raw has to say about it’s product:
Enjoy sweet moments naturally with Sugar In The Raw®, our all-natural Turbinado sugar grown in the tropics. The hearty, golden crystals are never bleached, so they keep the rich flavor and color of their natural molasses. So go on, stir it in or sprinkle it on. Bake and cook with it too. Whatever you do, just do it naturally with Sugar In The Raw®.
It seems that just because the sugar is unbleached makes it raw.
Perhaps that is what the USDA allows when it comes to labeling sugar products, but to me, a sugar that is truly raw means much more than just unbleached. It means that nothing has been removed or added as well.
The wording above is so sneaky because it leads the consumer to believe that the natural molasses is intact. And, for Sugar in the Raw, a small amount of the molasses is indeed intact because it is a darker color than white sugar.
But, the truth is that most of the molasses has been stripped away and Sugar in The Raw can claim it is raw all day long, but I for one, know it’s not.
The sucanat is much darker showing that Sugar in the Raw is a fake and is not an unadulterated product that is in it’s original, natural form contrary to the sneaky claims by the manufacturer.
Buy Sucanat As Your Healthiest White or Brown Sugar Substitute
Sucanat is the best substitute for white or brown sugar in your recipes for cookies and cakes – NOT Sugar in the Raw or other turbinado sugars. Florida Crystals is another processed sugar attempting to masquerade as natural so beware.
Sucanat is simply dehydrated cane sugar juice and has been used for thousands of year by the people of India. While sucanat is your best choice when trying to find a truly natural and unprocessed substitute for processed cane sugar, be careful not to overdo on the sucanat as eating too much can upset blood chemistry very much like white sugar or a fake raw sweetener like Sugar in the Raw.
It always pays big dividends to do a little checking before buying into any labeling claims. Sugar in the Raw is just another clever marketing scheme designed to make money off of consumers who genuinely are trying to improve their diets but don’t have quite enough information to make a completely informed decision.
Where to Find Quality Sucanat
Please see my Resources page for vendors I buy from who offer quality sucanat as well as other wholesome sweeteners.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist