sugar http://michiganradio.org en The sugar beet comeback http://michiganradio.org/post/sugar-beet-comeback <p>http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/michigan/local-michigan-976518.mp3</p><p>Sugar beets are large white beets that grow well in Michigan&rsquo;s cooler climate. In fact, farmers have grown sugar beets in the Bay area for more than 100 years. The beets are planted at the end of April and harvested at the beginning of September. From then until March, the beets are processed into sugar.</p><p>Refineries run 24 hours a day and seven days a week with no breaks for holidays. If machines were to stop in the middle of the process, sticky molasses would harden inside the equipment. In the end, the sugar beets become white granular sugar, powdered sugar, or brown sugar. If you&rsquo;ve bought a bag of sugar at a Michigan grocery store, chances are it&rsquo;s sugar beet sugar from the <a href="http://www.michigansugar.com/">Michigan Sugar Company</a>.</p><p>Things are going pretty well for the Michigan sugar industry now. But twenty years ago, the industry nearly dissolved. Steve Poindexter is a sugar beet specialist with Michigan State University:</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;The sugar industry, back in the &lsquo;90s, was struggling, trying to get production up. The yields were down and not going up, and profitability was very low.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>That was the result of a push toward raising beets with higher sugar content. The experiment was a failure. The low yields caused many farmers to stop growing beets. Things got so bad, Michigan sugar beet farmers were granted almost 20 million dollars in <a href="http://farm.ewg.org/progdetail.php?fips=26000&amp;progcode=sugarbeet&amp;yr=mtotal">disaster funds</a>.</p><p> Thu, 07 Jul 2011 16:18:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 3190 at http://michiganradio.org The sugar beet comeback Sugar companies sue over "high fructose corn syrup" rebranding http://michiganradio.org/post/sugar-companies-sue-over-high-fructose-corn-syrup-rebranding <p>There&#39;s long been a tug of war between corn growers and sugar refiners over who can get their sweetener into more products. <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/28/sugar-lawsuit-idUSN2829929520110428">Reuters</a> reports that high fructose corn syrup has been gaining on sugar lately because of higher sugar prices.</p><p>Now, sugar growers are suing over a ad campaign that is trying to change the image of high fructose corn syrup.</p><p><a href="http://www.michigansugar.com/">Michigan Sugar Company</a> has joined a lawsuit against corn processors who are trying to rebrand high-fructose corn syrup as &quot;corn sugar.&quot; Fri, 29 Apr 2011 15:02:19 +0000 Mark Brush 2279 at http://michiganradio.org Sugar companies sue over "high fructose corn syrup" rebranding Saccharin removed from EPA's bad list http://michiganradio.org/post/saccharin-removed-epas-bad-list <p>I always thought twice before adding those little pink packets to my iced tea because a little voice in my head was telling me they were bad. No proof, just something I had heard somewhere.</p><p>As it turns out, saccharin WAS on <a href="http://www.epa.gov/waste/hazard/wastetypes/wasteid/saccharin/index.htm">EPA's hazardous constituent list</a>. It's been on the list since 1980. The substance was put on the list because the EPA's Carcinogen Assessment Group listed it as a "potential human carcinogen."</p><p>Today the EPA announced the sweetening substance is being taken off that list.</p> Tue, 14 Dec 2010 19:37:23 +0000 Mark Brush 587 at http://michiganradio.org Saccharin removed from EPA's bad list