Humans used to live on a diet containing very little sugar and almost no refined carbohydrates. Sugarcane was mostly used as a fodder crop to fatten pigs.
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Sugarcane is the world's third most valuable crop, yet it has little benefit to humanity. Obesity, cancer, dementia, heart disease and diabetes has spread to nations where sugar-based carbohydrates are available in abundance.
We need to take a step back and understand how sugar has grown to become a threat to our health.
The story of sugar and tobacco are very similar. Both products were first produced through slave labour and were seen as beneficial to health, but the sudden mass consumption from the mid-17th century created health risks.
Today, tobacco is widely acknowledged as addictive, but sugar can also drive responses similar to what we see from addiction. In the 21st century, the grip of sugar is stronger than that of tobacco or even alcohol. Sugar is also central to the world's economy and cultural heritage.
The Portuguese found that Brazil had good conditions for sugar plantations. Brazil established a slave-based plantation economy and introduced its sugarcane to the Caribbean around 1647. This led to the growth which came to sustain the sugar craze of Western Europe.
A huge demand for labour arose to cultivate sugar plantations. It was met by a transatlantic slave trade, where about 12,570,000 slaves were shipped from Africa to the Americas from 1501 to 1867.
Zombies, a staple of pop culture horror, first started appearing in novels and pulp magazines in the 20s, finally debuting on celluloid in 1932 with the movie White Zombie, though many attribute their mainstream popularity to the 1968 adaptation of the Richard Matheson novel 'I Am Legend', called The Night Of The Living Dead.
The story goes that that Kaldi discovered coffee. He noticed his goats became energetic after eating the berries from a certain tree.
Kaldi shared his findings with the abbot of a monastery, who found a drink from the berries kept him alert. The abbot, in turn, shared his findings with other monks. Word moved east and coffee reached the Arabian peninsula.
As workers, we are obsessed with getting stuff done. It is then clear why there seems to be a bottomless well full of advice, hacks, tools, tricks, and secrets to help us pack more into the waking hours.
According to IBISWorld research, productivity software alone accounts for an $82 billion market.
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