I was haunted in the supermarket recently. In almost every aisle, a voice whispered in my ear, “Pure. White. And deadly.”
The pushers told conference organisers that Dr. Yudkin (a respected Professor of Nutrition at Birmingham University, UK) was ‘not qualified’, ‘not even a professor’ but ‘only a teacher’ who held bizarre and unproven beliefs about their product.
Thankfully, this important book is back in print, and Yudkin is given his due in a new book, ‘Fat Chance’ by Robert Lustig. This presents modern research showing Yudkin to have been on target even where he himself admitted he had only suspicions rather than proof.
Lustig tells of one patient, a child who, because of a tumour, had her hypothalamus removed. This is a tiny but important part of the brain which regulates the release of many hormones, including those which regulate sleep-rhythms, body temperature, sexual behaviour and some emotional responses.
As with Big Tobacco, it’s hard to find something good to say about Big Sugar. It was started by people who felt entitled to kidnap other human beings, and force them to spend their lives working to enrich their captors.
Most European sugar is produced from beet, and that isn't especially tempting in its natural state. Yudkin’s account of what the sugar industry does to its raw material is another jaw-dropping read. I'd forgotten just how processed this ‘natural’ food is. First it’s mashed and pulped to remove all fibre, keeping only the juice. Already concentrated and calorific, the juice is processed still further, and bleached, until the pure white crystals contain no trace of any nutrient whatsoever.