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At religious ceremonies priests sipped sugar water from coconut shells, a beverage since replaced in sacred ceremonies with cans of Coke.Sugar spread slowly from island to island, finally reaching the Asian mainland around 1000 500 it was being processed into a powder in India and used as a medicine for headaches, stomach flutters, impotence.
A kind of elixir, a cure for every ailment, an answer for every mood, sugar featured prominently in ancient New Guinean myths.
In one the first man makes love to a stalk of cane, yielding the human race.
The student body is 91 percent African American, 7 percent white, “and three Latinos”—the remaining 2 percent. Take, for example, Nicholas Scurlock, who had recently begun his first year at Oakhurst Middle School.
“These kids eat what they’re given, and too often it’s the sweetest, cheapest foods: cakes, creams, candy. Nick, just tall enough to ride the coaster at the bigger amusement parks, had been 135 pounds going into fifth grade.
Walton, Clarksdale born and bred, was leading me through the school, discussing ways the faculty is trying to help students—baked instead of fried, fruit instead of candy—most of whom have two meals a day in the lunchroom.
She was wearing scrubs—standard Monday dress for teachers, to reinforce the school’s commitment to health and wellness.
Clarksdale, a big town in one of the fattest counties, in the fattest state, in the fattest industrialized nation in the world, is the bottom of the American drink, where the sugar settles in the bodies of kids like Nick Scurlock—the legacy of sweets in the shape of a boy.
Mosques of Marzipan In the beginning, on the island of New Guinea, where sugarcane was domesticated some 10,000 years ago, people picked cane and ate it raw, chewing a stem until the taste hit their tongue like a starburst.
When Arab armies conquered the region, they carried away the knowledge and love of sugar.