Coconut sugar is often viewed as a healthier and more sustainable form of sugar production, but how healthy is it for us and for the producers? @boingghealth is doing an interesting series of posts on the subject of eco sweeteners.
There has been some backlash against coconut sugar stating that it is ‘bad’ for the coconut industry and threatening livelihoods. These claims seem to all trace back to just one article, funded by a coconut oil manufacturer, perhaps a little annoyed that another area of the coconut industry was getting increased attention. Does this claim have any credence however?
Coconut farmers can choose to either tap the flower for nectar, or let the flower mature into a coconut and harvest the coconut 12 months later. Farmers make far more money from coconut sugar than from the selling the coconut. They have to process and produce the sugar themselves immediately, otherwise the nectar ferments. They do not process coconuts themselves, therefore only get a low base price for the nut. Which would you therefore choose?
Secondly, less than 1% of all coconut trees in the Philippines are used for sugar production…
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