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for Donuts By Amie Breeze Harper
The slogan, “America runs on Dunkin” scares the hell out of
me. Being “nourished” on donuts and lattes isn’t something
to be proud of. I often witness friends and colleagues becoming depressed,
restless and irritable when they don’t get their morning coffee and
pastry. Wait a minute...aren’t these the same traits of a drug “addict” in
need of a fix?
I used to eat at least 10 donuts a week, and then mysteriously wonder why I was
suffering from highs and lows, apathy, paranoia and depression. It wasn’t
until I read Carol Simontacchi’s The Crazy Makers: How the Food Industry
is Destroying Our Brains and Harming Our Children, that I realized it was my
addiction to sugar drenched [un]foods causing severe disharmony with my brain
chemistry. I was a sugar addict! I was literally “goin’ nuts” for
William Dufty, author of Sugar Blues, was convinced that yearly increases in
sucrose (refined cane sugar) and beet sugar consumption are the reason why bipolar
depression and schizophrenia have drastically risen among the population. We
have taken away fertile land in order to grow a plant in which the end product
for a majority of people in the U.S. is a “crazy making” nutritionally
deficient substance. Dufty argues that sugar might as well be “dope.” He
It was not until I visited the South for the first time that a girl turned me
onto something called ‘dope.’ They served it at soda fountains with
lots of crushed ice, vanilla flavoring, syrup, and soda.
A Slave to Sugar
Both Dufty and Sidney Mintz, author of Sweetness and Power: The Place of
in Modern History, theorize that the African slave trade started because of sucrose.
Starting in the 1700s, civil unrest and legalized slavery coincided with growing
and harvesting sugar. My ancestors were viciously torn from their homes and shipped
to the Caribbean and Americas to chop cane for sucrose and rum addicted Europeans.
Even today, cane laborers are living on “barely there” wages just
so we can get our fix.
But addiction is another form of slavery. As Derrick Jensen notes in Endgame
Vol 1: The Problem of Civilization, “To be addicted is to be a slave. To
be a slave is to be addicted.” Sadly, descendents of those originally enslaved
to harvest sugar cane—Africans and indigenous Americans—are now enslaved
in a different way: as consumers of sucrose and sucrose products. This sugar
palate—along with other nutritionally dead foods such as bleached white
flour—has helped foster an astronomical rise in health disparities. As
John Robbins alludes in “Racism, Food and Health,” obesity, heart
disease and diabetes in African American, Latino and indigenous communities far
outshine health statistics of white America.
My question is, what does it mean that significant portions of the world’s “most
powerful” nation are sugar-addicted slaves?
Runnin’ on Dunkin
The majority of Americans are sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, and caffeine
dependent. Sugar consumption has gone from ten pounds per year per person in
1821 to 160 pounds today. Sucrose is a toxin with no nutritional value, yet sugar
cultivation consumes thousands of acres of land. What nourishing foods could
these acres potentially grow, if sugar cane were no longer in high demand? Are
we too nuts and too addicted to see clearly, to see past the next fix? Dufty
I am confident that Western medicine will one day admit what has been known
in the Orient for years: sugar is without question the number one murderer in
history of humanity—much more lethal than opium or radioactive fallout...
So, I dare you. Go ahead, have another donut, another latte. That’s right.
Fuckin’ go nuts.