Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sugar Cane Country

Today we started driving through sugar cane country. We pointed the crops out to the kids. The Man kept thinking I had said "sugar grain", which then got Tank saying the same thing. Then The Man said it was "sugar grass", which is actually a great description, because it is a form of grass, just like bamboo.

"So why is sugar bad for you if it comes from a plant?" asked Tiger. Great question! The answer comes fairly easily when we stop to cut a cane and try it for ourselves. Getting the cane juice out is easy, but the amount needed for a spoonful of sugar? Well, that's a bit harder. If we were to eat the sugar cane in its natural state we would also be getting lots of fibre, which is needed to move the sugar (fructose) through the body, but the fibre would fill us up, so we wouldn't eat so much.

We are now driving past crop after crop of sugar cane. It dwarfs my height of 165cm, and whilst most house poke their rooftops just out above the cane occasionally we see a house hidden inside the cane, which must be pretty scary if they still burn off the stubble.

It was raining when we got out for our taste tests. The kids all thought it tasted nice, although Tank initially took the whole cane in his mouth, rather than waiting for me to drip a bit out. Joybug didn't know how to lift her head with all the rain, so she got to sit in the car for hers.

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