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An interesting article about agave syrup--not the healthy product you may think it is

I found this article to be very interesting, it talkes about how agave cannot be considered raw, and the not so natural process that goes through. The writer, Dr. Mercola is far from being a vegan, but he is all for clean, organic and raw food, and also for local food production/consumption:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/07/02/Agave-A-Triumph-of-Marketing-over-Truth.aspx

Agave: A Triumph of Marketing over Truth

By Dr. Mercola

The popularity of agave syrup, also called agave nectar, is on a meteoric rise -- thanks in large part to clever marketing which positions the product as a healthy alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. Agave is also heavily promoted as a low glycemic food, enticing diabetics. I

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Comments

  • Hurray for raw honey!

  • I've just finished reading this article, but I still have mixed feelings. Whenever I read articles on Dr. Mercola's website I always read the reviews/responses of the members of his site. In this case of Agave people had both agreed and disagreed about the article.

    I think personally, that in the world today where both ordinary people and experts and scientists seem to be telling us what is and isn't health, with a lot of them giving good reasons, the only thing that we can do as consumers is do as much research as possible on the food and products we consume. Then we base all the information on how we feel health wise consuming and not consuming said food or product, and then make a decision on whether or not to continue consuming said food or product.

    Just remember, a lot of mainstream health practitioners still believe that us raw fooders are nuts and will eventually became malnourished emaciated messed up individuals.

    For myself, as a critical thinker, I intend to pursue this health issue on Agave and make an informed decision based upon my best deductive reasoning.

  • We have always wondered about Agave. Thank you so much for the article. I think we will make the switch to stevia. Or like the other person above me said "Hurray for honey"!~ It's the bee's knee's ahahah :)

  • edited July 11

    Reading this is interesting to me - I am never sure what to believe anymore especially regarding Agave and Braggs liquid aminos. I always hear pros and cons for both sides...

     

  • Once again people. This is ONE ARTICLE! PLease, Please don't make your decision based on reading just this. This is how we all got into trouble in the first place. By trusting one person, or multiple people that said SAD FOOD was OK. All it makes me want to do is read more about Agave, and maybe find a source that does do it the right way, etc... I feel better than when i'm consuming regular sugar, so that's something for me. When I tried stevia, the aftertaste was SOO horrible, i don't ever want to taste it again. And the stevia I had was at a Organic LOcal Coffee Shop. You would think they would have the good stuff. but i don't know for sure. The stuff I use, which i'm sure lots of people do is Madhava Organic Agave Nectar. So right there, he was saying they aren't organic, but mine is. unless the whole "organic" label is entirely greenwashed. but i don't think so. not yet.

    Read people read. be skeptical. just because it's on a "raw food forum" does not make it instantaneous truth.

  • That is true, one article does not provide all the evidence. However, my personal problem with agave is not whether is raw, or organic, but is the fact that has been processed. We all know that there is a processing involved when agave does not go bad for weeks and weeks in our pantry.

    I am also concerned about the high fructose content, and the health effects associated to it. I will certainly keep investigating and reading to inform myself (although the decision in my case has already been made), and good luck with your own research.

    If you happen to find relevant information, maybe you could post it here? I think that it would be great to see what others find.

  • To read the response by the president of Madhava Agave Nectar, Craig Gerbore, to the many attacks against agave syrup and the process by which it is obtained, here is a link that gives the real story. There is a lot of mis-information out there. http://alteredplates.blogspot.com/2008/12/madhavas-craig-gerbore-responds-to.html

    I, for one, continue to view it as a healthy sweetener...in moderation.

  • This has actually been debated a lot quite a bit lately. I actually looked into it enough to know that there are some Agave Nectar out there that are truly raw. The fructose thing I am still not sure about, but It's definitely not as bad for you as HFCS. I just use it in more moderation now. I started putting less on my breakfast cereals and go for raw honey more often now too. There are a lot of things that can be bad for you in excess. I believe agave is still a great sweetener and will always be good in the right moderation. Give it some time and they will start finding problems with Stevia too. I personally don't really like Stevia, I will use agave or honey over that any day.

  • pixxpixx Raw Newbie

    I am with you rawlizard, I prefer whole foods. Not processed "foods" or extracts. As for stevia, again, I prefer the whole (green!) herb, powdered. Tastes much better than the *white* powdered processed *extract* (or clear liquid, depending on what type of processing.) The extracts are bitter.

  • Pinapple is always a great true natural choice for a sweet tooth.

  • I have no issues with Agave Nectar. A few reasons why I use it.. 1- I don't have to use as much. So to your point comparing if you eat a pound of each... THATS the key. With Agave I use WAY less to achieve the same sweetness. 2- Yes it's very high in Fructose... but that's what you find in NATURAL fruits like apples, etc. Fructose is absorbed into the body slower than sucrose(therefore the much lower glycemic index)... so there's no Spike then Crash of your blood sugar which is a Calorie burning screeching halt! And finally.. 3- Sugar is processed using Animal products such as BONE CHARCOAL! ICK!

  • I think the info about the sugar interesting- sugar was one of the foods I tested intolerant to and it says it can suppress the immune system and bring on allergies. I never bought it but sadly it is added to nearly all processed foods- even organic sauces and baked beans.So it was in my diet.

    I hardly use sweeteners now, and when I do it is organic, fair trade wild forest honey.

  • Ummmm..... Honey is NOT Vegan.

    Please read this:

    http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm

    Bees are animals. Vegans don't exploit animals on purpose.

    Stick with the Agave if your vegan.

  • Less of the lecture please- some of the vegan info is biased and exggarated. Bees looked after by small keepers here in Britain or wild forest bees are not exploited like the huge US bee places in the USA. I know a local bee keeper and bees continually make honey- they only eat a very small amount of it- they make far more then they would actually eat. I have rescued an injured bumblebee and taken care of her til she died. I don't agree with big scale exploitation of them and using chemicals in their hives etc but the bee keeper I know locally uses homeopathy for the bees if they are not well, loves them and cares for them. The bees have plenty of honey for themselves.Honey has health benefits other sweeteners don't- especially manuka.

  • greenwood,

    the person that wrote that website even admits that they are biased.

    Honey is food for baby bees just like milk is food for baby cows.

    There is no difference!!! You are stealing their food.

    Caging up animals against their will is exploiting them.

    Did you read the whole article.

    It even explains bee keeping.

    Basically , you are saying that because bees arent as intelligent as cows, that it is ok to take the honey.

    It is ok to believe that, but then you are rating the intelligence of a species and saying that if they are not as intellgent then it is ok.

    Bees get injured by the bee keepers.

    Nobody is saying bee keepers are bad people.

    Some beekeepers are better than others,, just like some factory farms are better than others. Still doesn't make it right!!!

    Honey is NOT vegan!!!

    http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm

  • rawcanadian I'm 42 and been vegan/veggie for 24 years. I don't need a lecture from you. I think, actually I feel, that bees are in fact quite intelligent for insects.I love them and as I posted before I rescued one when I found her lying weak and dying on a pavement. I took her home and cared for her for 3 days- made her a shelter in a box with leaves to sit on and gave her honey and water. She was dying and I made her last 3 days more comfortable. I devoted 3 days to her and loved her.When she passed I made her a little coffin out of a matchbox and buried her. Would you have taken this amount of trouble for a bee?

    I will reiterate that bees make far more honey than they will ever eat and honey has health benefits- manuka can be used instead of antibiotics on wounds. Antibiotics are made by compnaies which do horrific animal testing and are getting resistant to bacteria strains. I think it is better to use manuka honey. Bees will carry on making and making honey they will never eat-they cannot stop themselves even when they have more than enough. The honey would be left sitting in hives when it could be put to good use by people. Bees work for themselves and the planet- their pollinating, medicinal honey, propolis etc. Bees should be honoured for the service they do for the planet indeed and not treated cruelly. Ethical bee keeping is the way to go. They evolved as a crucial part of the ecosystem.

    And regarding eggs and milk, I'm not against humans taking a little eggs and milk when there is abudance of it and people need it to survive- that's how it started. I'm intolerant to milk and eggs myself so wouldn't partake.

    If I knew someone who had a few pet cows and chickens and took some eggs and milk once in awhile I wouldn't judge them harshly.

    I once read a biography about a girl who married a Tibetan man and she went to stay in Tibet with his Buddhist family for 6 months. Her Tibetan mother in law would only eat meat when an animal was found dead. They lived on land where much didn't grow and she was forced to eat meat for survival sometimes but she wouldn't have an animal killed for her. I don't like meat at all but respect what this woman did.

    No cruelty was involved in her meat eating.

    Sometimes one needs to get a wider perspective.

  • I'm a vegan, so I don't eat honey, of course. And I am really saddened that honey is taken from bees so humans have the pleasure of eating/tasting/using it. Someone always comes on and says "well, some bee keepers care" "are gentle" "only take a little," etc, but those are all subjective conclusions made to appease someone's yearning for the honey, which they don't need in the first place, and the cruelty-free, gentle, peaceful way to live in harmony with animals is to not eat/use it.

    If individuals choose to eat/use honey, that's their choice, and I wouldn't call someone's opinion on it a "lecture" just because you disagree with them or think you've been vegetarian longer; however, one thing is for sure: honey is not vegan. There are definitely nonvegans on this board, and that is fine - they are allowed to be here and are welcome by me. The discussions are supposed to be vegan, though.

    I'm not sure why people disrespect that especially more so with regard to honey; I've never seen someone post that instead of eggplant, they will choose to eat deer. It's no jump to say that it's all in someone's head/made up that somehow insects are less important/more "gently" exploited than, say, a cow or a larger animal.

    But again, it's someone's choice to eat honey; they don't need to defend their choice, but the discussions here are supposed to be vegan.

  • This is a forum. If you write something, be prepared that somebody will comment on it.

    If you call it lecturing so be it.

    As far as I know this is a Raw Vegan Site, and raw vegans don't eat honey, because honey is NOT vegan.

    Not sure what Greenwoods point is regarding this.

    So I will ask!!

    Greenwood, do you realize that bees are animals??

    Or maybe your not vegan, then you wouldn't care about animals??

    No idea why you think taking something that doesn't belong to you as being all right as long as you leave a little for the animal you are stealing from.

    Is it ok for me to take some as your hard earned money, as long as a leave you some??

    Probably not.

    How can murder not be cruelaty?? LOL

    Meat is Murder!!!

    Eating meat is murder!!!

    Last time I checked , the meat is usually killed in order to eat it.

    Coming to a vegan website and saying that it is ok to eat meat, not a good idea LOL

  • Actually this is the wrong thread for this:

    Good discussion here:

    http://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/showthread.php?93127-Honey-superthread-discuss-non-vegan-ness-of-honey-here

    Believe whatever you want, to eat honey or not eat honey, my point is just that it is vegan.

    (BTW if you eat honey , but no meat, that would make you a vegetarian not a vegan)

  • Rawcanadian, I don't think questioning Greenwood about his choice of eating honey is appropriate on this thread. It's not vegan and shouldn't even be discussed on this forum. That said, if greenwood made a thread actually asking what people thought about it, that would be one thing. He said his piece; you said yours......and you're asking questions to continue the conversation in a way that makes Greenwood put on the defensive. This is not the thread for it, and I don't see any reason why Greenwood would respond to a post like that.

  • Ya, I agree. I wouldn't respond to that post either.

    It isn't fair to recommend honey over agave on a vegan forum.

    The shame LOL

  • Superfood, how am I questioning Greenwood.

    I am questioning how honey is showing up on a vegan forum.

    If this was a vegetarian site, than fine, but to make vegetarian recommendations on a vegan forum is hypercritical

    Also please don't tell me what to do.

    I just wanted to point out that honey isn't vegan.

    Just wanted to get the facts straight for the BEES.

    Do what you want, do what you believe, eat honey if you want, I don't care.

    But don't confuse people by saying it is ok to steal honey from bees, because vegans don't do that. Bees are animals too!!! Just like me and you!!!

  • I didn't tell you what to do. I guess you have something to say and you're going to say it......

  • "So I will ask!!

    Greenwood, do you realize that bees are animals??

    Or maybe your not vegan, then you wouldn't care about animals??

    No idea why you think taking something that doesn't belong to you as being all right as long as you leave a little for the animal you are stealing from."

    Raw canadian your post is very rude- I already told you how I cared for a dying bee and that I know they have intelligence. Stealing is a human word- squirrels have been known to "steal" or take peoples' sandwiches- going in windows and helping themselves. Animals take/steal all the time- some even kill other animals for food. Nature is red in tooth and claw. I'm a Druid and Bee is one of my totems, my consience is clear having a tiny bit of ethically sources honey. I do not have to live the way you tell me to- I'm 42 and live a spiritual life, your judgement of me is rude.. I know of other vegans who choose to have a little ethically sound honey in their diets. I only go through a jar a year. I have seen posts from others here who eat honey but it is only me you choose to lambast. Show some respect as I will live my life the way feels right to me.

    "Also please don't tell me what to do.

    I just wanted to point out that honey isn't vegan.

    Just wanted to get the facts straight for the BEES.

    Do what you want, do what you believe, eat honey if you want, I don't care."

    I'm not telling you what to do, asking for you to respect other peoples' choices and yes even if that means they eat meat- coming all critical will not win fans to your causes. You do care as you have been posting rather vehemently.

    I told you I don't eat meat and have not done so for 24 years.I don't judge people like the Tibetan Buddhist who eats animals who have died of natural causes- some people are forced to make choices like that as they don't live in the West were shops are full of vegan food. Some people in the world have to kill animals for food as they would starve otherwise. That is the harsh fact of life. It is not ideal but it is how it is. I suppose you are very young and ideal and think everyone in the world has the opportunity to be vegan- they sadly don't. I wish it were so but it isn't.

    "How can murder not be cruelaty?? LOL

    Meat is Murder!!!

    Eating meat is murder!!!

    Last time I checked , the meat is usually killed in order to eat it."

    Did you not see that I posted that the Tibetan lady only ate animals that had died of natural causes not killed for their meat? I certainly do not like meat eating, but as I said sometimes one needs to see things from a different perspective- some people eat animals they find dead already. Death doesn't always come via human hands. They die of hunger, illness and old age. Animals kill each other for food- how do you feel about that? The tiger rips open the antelope. I don't like it, but it happens.

  • Whereas agave may not be raw, it is still much healthier than most sweeteners. It doesn't make your body crash out and strip it of nutirents like other processed sweeteners.

    I have noticed a rash of these anti-agave articles and what I have to say is this...

    It may not be "the best thing in the world" but thats okay because as a healthy person we know that we shouldn't eat a lot of concentrated sugars.

    As a person with kidney problems and hypo-glycemia who really has to watch my sugar intake or I feel it deeply, I can tell you that agave doesn't effect me negatively unless I use a huge amount of it. If I ingest cane sugar, beet sugar, or high fructose corn syrup, I am feeling horrible within minutes.

    Honey is a really great sweetener, but unfortunately it doesn't work for everything, and agave, although not as great as everyone hoped it was going to be, is still better than any mainstream processed sugars.

    Sugar is just never going to be good for you in large doses.

    Personally. I don't find it necessary to eat sweet tasting foods, as they are not good me (or anyone too much) I find the best solution to this problem is to train yourself to like foods even when they aren't sweet, even when you are used to them being sweet. I've noticed that this really starting enhancing your flavor receptors for other hidden wonderful flavors that you have been missing out out.

    In the end, my conclusion is to be careful when taking in new information. Research can sometimes differ from study to study, and the most important thing is to stay cleansed and in touch with your body, and you will know what is good for you and not. There are a lot of articles debunking a lot of things that I wouldn't be as healthy without. Everyone is different.

  • Why is agave NOT suppose to be healthier than the other choices???

    I'm still confused, because Agave has a low GL.

    So if GL is a concern to somebody , agave should be recommended.

    http://www.globalgoods.com/glycemictestingagavenectar.html

    http://www.allaboutagave.com/agave-nectar-and-the-glycemic-index.php

    And remember agave IS vegan, some of the other choices are NOT (like honey).

  • BTW Vegans that eat honey are called Vegetarians, NOT Vegans.

    Animals that are carnivores eat other animals in nature, this is natural.

    Factory farming is cruel and inhumane. There is no such thing as a GOOD factory farm.

    Factory farming is not the same as a tiger ripping apart a deer to survive.

    I have never seen a person jump an animal and rip it apart with their bare hands and teeth.

    Road kill doesn't make me drool and most people are disgusted at the site of blood and guts.

    People will eat people to survive as well. It is the same as eating a cow or chicken, because we are animals and they are animals. However, I don't recommend that either. ;-)

    Just because it can be done, doesn't make it right.

    So if you are vegan than leave the bees alone, or call yourself a honey-tarian or someting. lol

  • Why is honey not vegan? Its not like you're eating the bee. I understand that honey is made in what could be called "animal cruelty", but with the current threat of bees disappearring due to human existence, isn't it our responsibilty to maintain the bee population? I buy my honey from local beekeepers, its raw, they don't use chemicals, they don't feed the bees sugar, and they don't kill off the queen at the end of the season. Why isn't it okay to eat honey? The bees make more then enough to last themselves the winter and my local beekepers maintain cruelty-free practices. Like I said, its not like you're eating the bee.

  • Even if, theoretically, obtaining honey from some people/beekeepers didn't entail harm to the bee, it's still an animal product and exploiting the bees/taking from them/their children - you also can't state how much the bees would need or want and that you're taking "jsut the right amount." Amazing how many "justifications" people come up with for their choice to eat honey instead of just accepting it's not vegan. It's okay. So you're not vegan. Life goes on.

  • powerliferpowerlifer Raw Newbie
    edited July 11

    Bee pollen is another one that some consider not vegan. But an interesting point is that the bees are robbing the plants of the pollen they worked so hard to produce and need to create baby plants. The world would grind to a halt without plants, not to mention the bees

    would starve to death.

     

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