“Sugar in the Raw” That’s Not

by Sarah Healthy LivingComments: 169

sugar in the raw

Sugar in the Raw.    Mmmmmm

If a food is labeled as “raw”, what exactly does that mean anyway?

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 Sugar in the Raw box!

Doesn’t that mean that the Sugar in the Raw 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 Sugar in the Raw 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.

Sugar in the RawCheck out the picture to the right which shows a bowl of Sugar in the Raw next to a bowl of sucanat which is a truly unprocessed, all nutrients and molasses intact sweetener.

The sucanat is much darker visually demonstrating 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 visit my Resources page for vendors I buy from who offer quality sucanat as well as other wholesome sweeteners.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


More Information

Coconut Sugar: A Healthy and Sustainable Sweetener

Beware Grade B Maple Syrup Trickery

Don’t Fall for Xylitol

Avoid Sugar Alcohols to Protect Gut Health

The Healthy Home Economist holds a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Mother to 3 healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, ABC, NBC, and many others.

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