The Not Always Sweet History of Sugar

Presented by Andrew F. Smith, Author/Editor

Podcast

Sugar has been on our minds for millennia. First cultivated in New Guinea around ten thousand years ago, and extremely expensive until the Industrial Revolution, this addictive sweetener has come to dominate our appetites—whether in candy, desserts, soft drinks, processed food, or even pasta sauces. Sugar’s past is chockfull of determined adventurers: relentless sugar barons and plantation owners who worked alongside plant breeders, food processors, distributors, and politicians to build a business based on our cravings. In both the sugarcane and sugar beet industries, men have made fortunes and met their demise, all because of sugar’s simple but profound hold on our palettes. Andrew F. Smith will discuss the history of this simultaneously beloved and reviled ingredient, holding its incredible value as a global commodity up against its darker legacies of slavery and health issues, including obesity and diabetes.

Biography: Andrew F. Smith, a frequent speaker for the Culinary Historians of Chicago, is the author or editor of twenty-six books, including his latest Sugar: A Global History (Reaktion, April 2015). He serves as the editor for the “Edible Series” and the “Food Controversies Series” at Reaktion Books in the United Kingdom. Mr. Smith was also the editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. He has written more than five hundred articles in academic journals, popular magazines and newspapers, and has served as a consultant to several television series, including the recent six-episode series, “Eat: The Story of Food,” that aired on the National Geographic Channel in the fall of 2014. For more about him, visit his website: www.andrewfsmith.com

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Saturday, June 20, 2015
10 a.m. to Noon
At
Kendall College, School of Culinary Arts
900 N. North Branch Street, Chicago
(Located just north of W. Chicago Ave. at N. Halsted St.)
Free Parking in lot on north side of school

Cost of the lecture program is $5, $3 for students and no charge for CHC members and Kendall students and faculty.

To reserve, please e-mail your reservation to: Culinary.Historians@gmail.com