The first modern sugarbeets originated as selections made in the middle of the 18th century from fodderbeets grown in then German Silesia, but food and medicinal uses are much older.The blockade of shipments of cane sugar to Europe by the British during the Napoleonic wars stimulated a more intensive search for sweeter beets, a plant breeding program and the construction of many crude factories in France and elsewhere to produce sugar from the sugarbeet.Over 4.5 million tons of sugar are produced each year in the U.S. from sugarbeets and beet sugar represents 54 percent of domestic sugar production in the U.S.The crop is of little value without a processor to extract the sugar, and once a sugar factory is constructed, a company must have a reliable supply of beets.
Sugar beet juice contains high levels of sucrose and is second only to sugarcane as the major source of the world’s sugar.The sugar beet has long been grown as a summer crop in relatively cool parts of the temperate zones of the world.The growing period from sowing to harvesting is 170–200 days.Both sugar beets and sugarcane contain high concentrations of sucrose and are processed into sugar.Nitrogen fertilizer increases the weight of beet roots but delays ripening.A mature sugar beet root can grow to 1–2 kg (2.2–4.4 pounds) and can contain 8–22 percent sucrose by weight.There are two methods of harvesting. .
A Brief History of Real Sugar: The Story of Sugar Beets
The modern sugar beet’s roots are buried deep in history, politics and geography.Marggraf’s apprentice, Franz Karl Achard, began selectively breeding sugar beets in 1784.During the Napoleonic Wars 35 years later, the English blockade of continental Europe cut off cane sugar supplies from the West Indies.It wasn’t until 1870 that the first successful sugar beet factory was built in the United States in Alvarado, California. .
Where does sugar come from?
Cookies, candy and ice cream are all yummy, sweet treats!Sugarcane is grown in tropical climates in states like Louisiana, Texas, Florida and Hawaii.At the factory, cane juice is extracted, purified, filtered and crystalized into golden, raw sugar.Unlike sugarcane, sugar beets grow best in cooler climates in states like California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.Table sugar, on the other hand, is 50% fructose and 50% glucose, so the composition of these sweeteners is not that different.To turn corn syrup into high fructose corn syrup, enzymes are added to convert some of the glucose molecules into fructose- sometimes called “fruit sugar” because it can be found in fruits! .
The beetroot is the taproot portion of a beet plant, usually known in Canada and the United States as beets while the vegetable is referred to as beetroot in British English, and also known as the table beet, garden beet, red beet, dinner beet or golden beet.It is one of several cultivated varieties of Beta vulgaris grown for their edible taproots and leaves (called beet greens); they have been classified as B. vulgaris subsp.During the middle of the 19th century, wine often was coloured with beetroot juice.Food [ edit ].Usually the deep purple roots of beets are eaten boiled, roasted, or raw, and either alone or combined with any salad vegetable.In Eastern Europe, beet soup, such as borscht, is common.In Indian cuisine, chopped, cooked, spiced beet is a common side dish.The domestication of beets can be traced to the emergence of an allele which enables biennial harvesting of leaves and taproot.Pickled beets are a traditional food in many countries.Beetroot as food.Sliced, pickled beetroot.Red chrain is made with beetroot.Beet juice.Roasted beetroot.Cultivars [ edit ].Root and cross section of cultivar 'Chioggia'.Below is a list of several commonly available cultivars of beets.All cultivars can be harvested earlier for use as greens.References [ edit ].
History of Beets
The colorful, sweet root vegetable known as the beet tends to spark an impassioned response from folks who either love it or loathe it.In the anti-beet camp are President Obama and his wife Michelle, who asked that they not be planted in the White Houses organic vegetable garden.Beets contain a substance called geosmin, which is responsible for that fresh soil scent in your garden following a spring rain.Humans are quite sensitive to geosmin, even in very low doses, which explains why our beet response ranges from one extreme to the other.Beets are most commonly a dark red color, however they also come in other hues ranging from white to yellow to a candy cane red-and-white variety known as Chioggia.The rosy betalain-rich juice of red beets was used as a cheek and lip stain by women during the 19th century, a practice that inspired the old adage red as a beet..Humans originally ate beet greens but not the thin and fibrous roots, which were occasionally used in medicine.Despite only growing well during spring and fall, beets were so well regarded in Ancient Rome and Greece that methods were developed for producing them during the hot summer months.Its earliest form more closely resembled a parsnip rather than the bulbous shape were now familiar with, which began appearing near the end of the 1500s.Northeastern Europe was the first area to embrace the beet root as a dietary staple; it was valued as one of the only vegetables that grew well throughout winter.In 1747 Andreas Sigismund Marggraf, a chemist from Berlin, discovered a way to produce sucrose from beets.His student, Franz Achard, perfected this method for extracting sugar, leading him to predict the inevitable rise of beet beer, tobacco and molasses, among other products.They also contain high amounts of boron, a trace mineral which increases the level of sex hormones in the human body.Lawrence Erlbaum Asociates, Inc. Betalains, Phase II Enzyme-Inducing Components From Red Beetroot(Beta vulgarisL.).Toris food writing and photography have appeared on the websites of CNN, Bon Appetit, Zabars, Williams-Sonoma, Yahoo Shine, LA Weekly and The Huffington Post.
Genetically modified sugar beet
Commercialized GM sugar beets make use of a glyphosate-resistance modification developed by Monsanto and KWS Saat.In 2007, GM sugar beets were commercialized and GM seed sold in the United States. In 2008/2009, 60% of the sugar beets grown in the US were GM.In July 2012, after completing an environmental impact assessment and a plant pest risk assessment, the USDA deregulated Monsanto's Roundup Ready sugar beets.After the ruling, glyphosate-resistant sugar beets could not be planted until USDA-APHIS filed an environmental impact statement (EIS), the purpose of which is to determine if environmental issues have negative effects on humans and the environment, and it may take two to three years to complete the study.After Judge White's ruling, USDA-APHIS prepared an environmental assessment seeking partial deregulation of glyphosate-resistant sugar beets.As a response to this concern, USDA-APHIS developed three options in the environmental assessment to address the concerns of environmentalists, as well as those raised by the industry.The first option was to not plant glyphosate-resistant sugar beets until the EIS was completed.The second option was to allow growers to plant glyphosate-resistant sugar beets if they obtained a USDA-APHIS permit and followed specific mandates.Under the third and final option, glyphosate-resistant sugar beets would be partially deregulated, but monitored by Monsanto and KWS SSAT AG. In November 2010, in response to a suit by the original parties, Judge White ordered the destruction of plantings of genetically modified sugar beets developed by Monsanto after ruling previously that the USDA had illegally approved the biotech crop.On February 4, 2011, the USDA-APHIS announced glyphosate-resistant sugar beets had been partially deregulated and growers would be allowed to plant seed from spring 2011 until an EIS is completed. In July 2012, after completing an environmental impact assessment and a plant pest risk assessment the USDA deregulated Monsanto's Roundup Ready sugar beets.Glyphosate-resistant weeds [ edit ]. .
History of Sugar
As their expansion continued they established sugar production in other lands that they conquered including North Africa and Spain.The subsequent centuries saw a major expansion of western European trade with the East, including the importation of sugar.However, it was kept a secret until the Napoleonic wars at the start of the 19th century when Britain blockaded sugar imports to continental Europe. .
Beet Sugar vs. Cane Sugar: Which Is Healthier?
Along with sugarcane, sugar beets are among the most common plants used in the production of white sugar (3).Sugar beets are also used to produce other types of refined sugar, such as molasses and brown sugar (4).[INSERT BLOCKQUOTE: Summary Beet sugar is made from the sugar beet plant.Differences in production | Production One of the biggest differences between beet and cane sugar is their processing and production methods.Though bone char is not found in the final product, people looking to reduce their intake of foods made using animal products, such as vegans or vegetarians, may want to consider this.Works differently in recipes | Taste Although cane sugar and beet sugar are nearly identical in terms of nutrition, they may work differently in recipes.[INSERT BLOCKQUOTE: Summary Beet sugar and cane sugar are said to have slight differences in terms of taste and may work differently in recipes.].[INSERT BLOCKQUOTE: Summary Both cane sugar and beet sugar are essentially sucrose, which can be harmful when consumed in high amounts.].[INSERT BLOCKQUOTE: Summary Most sugar beets in the United States are genetically modified while sugarcane is more often non-GMO.].Along with sugarcane, sugar beets are among the most common plants used in the production of white sugar (3).Sugar beets are also used to produce other types of refined sugar, such as molasses and brown sugar (4).Summary Beet sugar is made from the sugar beet plant.Differences in Production One of the biggest differences between beet and cane sugar is their processing and production method.Though bone char is not found in the final product, people looking to reduce their intake of foods made using animal products — such as vegans or vegetarians — may want to take this into consideration.Works Differently in Recipes Although cane sugar and beet sugar are nearly identical in terms of nutrition, they may work differently in recipes.Summary Beet sugar and cane sugar have slight differences in terms of taste and may work differently in recipes.Summary Both cane sugar and beet sugar are essentially sucrose, which can be harmful when consumed in high amounts. .
How Monsanto's Sugar Beets Grew Larger Than the Law
As detailed in the April/May 2012 “Frankenfood” issue of the Green American, a number of health concerns have been raised about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and most of them center around how little we know about the long-term effects of consuming these creations.Regulating the GM Sugar Beet.Today, Monsanto’s GM sugar beets make up 95 percent of the US crop, having been planted year after year despite a US District Court injunction against planting and even a ruling by US District Court Judge Jeffrey White that the 2011 crop be destroyed due to illegal deregulation.When the seed companies choose to stock GM seeds and not traditional ones, they are creating a situation where they can “potentially say that their hands are tied and all that they have are these genetically engineered seeds,” says Tomaselli.The USDA issued temporary permits for the sale and planting of GM sugar beets while it completed an Environmental Impact Statement.The “Monsanto Protection Act”.It contained a rider known by anti-GMO activists as “The Monsanto Protection Act,” which was inserted into the bill by Congress.According to Tomaselli, this rider codified what the USDA did in the sugar beets case, forcing “the USDA to issue permits if a judge vacates a deregulation decision ... [creating] a situation where we would not be able to challenge these permits under the National Environmental Policy Act or the Endangered Species Act or any other environmental law that these permits might be violating.”.Now with the Monsanto Protection Act codified into law, “the implication is that the companies that are growing [new GM] crops will be able to continue growing them even before any environmental review has been completed,” adds Tomaselli.With 13 new GM crops ready to go before the USDA for approval this year, and no labeling laws in place for people to make informed decisions about what they eat, the potential environmental and health impacts of untested GMOs could be of grave concern.And join Green America’s campaign, GMO Inside, to take action for meaningful GMO regulation and labeling. .