New Delhi, Nov 5 | The Indian sugar industry has started a campaign to counter negative propaganda against sugar and launched a portal, “Meetha” which will give “educative information” about the consumption, utilization and most importantly the value of natural sugar.
Sugar industry body, ISMA has prepared a portal, which would be a single point window for right information and knowledge to be shared amongst consumers and to educate the general public about various facets of sugar.
“‘Meetha’ aims to be India’s foremost and leading website providing a plethora of educative information about the consumption, utilization and most importantly the value of natural sugar,” ISMA said.
Sudhanshu Pandey, Secretary, Department of Food & PD, Government of India, launched ISMA’s Knowledge Portal in a VC meeting on October 28, 2020, called “meetha.org”.
He congratulated ISMA for the important initiative taken to bust myths on sugar and spread the right awareness around sugar. He said that the problem with misinformation is that it travels faster.
He said he comes from rural India, where there is cane juice, which is good for health. “There are many such local food which needs promotion in alignment with the vision of the Prime Minister “vocal about local”,” he said.
He said in one of his trips to Kenya, at a hotel there was a huge queue where sugarcane juice was dispensed. This should also be replicated in India. And look at its commercialization, in which associations can play an important role.
“There is a need to advocate the message of positive acceptance of sugar in minds of consumers in regional languages. The portal should be developed in local regional languages so that narratives could be changed, and is more relevant in States like Maharashtra, UP etc. Also internationally there is a need to propagate this as well. It needs to be developed in some international language. He said that Meetha.org is a great initiative, which will help spread and educate the right knowledge and information to people,” he added.
Joint Secretary (Sugar), Government of India too spoke about the importance to give correct information to people about sugar and bust all the myths on this.
He said that the world per capita sugar consumption is about 22.5 kg, but India being the top sugar consumer, consumes about 19 kg of sugar only and this has remained static for the last two decades or so. There is negative perception around sugar which needs to be eliminated, since sugar has been part of our lives since times immemorial. He said that Meetha.org is excellent, and will spread correct and scientific based information to people. It will have doctors, nutritionists and other experts in their fields to provide their inputs on sugar subject, which will be helpful for us. He said in his opinion, sugar is not harmful to people, excess of anything is harmful.
Sugar to India is as ancient as Yoga and Ayurveda itself. It firmly occupies the position of being one of the “panchamrits” or nectars of life.
“With only 15 calories per teaspoon, sugar is similar to any other 15 calories, which may come from any other food item,” ISMA said.
ISMA said these days there is a lot of negative propaganda against sugar. Much baseless and unsubstantiated information is floating around about sugar. There is absolutely no scientific evidence or any research paper which concludes or establishes that consumption of sugar in itself leads to any particular disease, even like diabetes or dental caries. It is reiterated that the calories can come from any food and not only from sugar alone.
“ISMA feels that before the negative, unsubstantiated propaganda wrongly influences the consumers and misleads them, there is a need to counter such unfounded negativity and convey the right information to the consumers about sugar, and its impact on our body and health,” it said.