Archival Consumed: Sticky Success

[ Splenda ]

Sugar is one of those commodities that seem so commonplace that it is hard to imagine their absence. This was not always so: it was once a rare luxury, but a few hundred years of globalization and industrialization, plus some colonization and slavery, helped change that. Not that there weren’t always critics, of course. ”Sugar hath now succeeded honie,” the author of one quasi-medical book wrote in 1633, ”and is become of farre higher esteem, and is far more pleasing to the palat” — before questioning the view, not uncommon at the time, that sugar had medicinal properties and charging that it ”heateth the blood” and ”rotteth the teeth,” among other things. Several centuries on, of course, sugar is something that many people try to cut back on, or eliminate from their diets altogether. But sweetness is something few can do without, which means that there has been a vigorous market for sugar substitutes, from Sweet ‘N Low to Equal to, more recently, Splenda.
Read more