Food writer Bee Wilson explores the history of that paradoxical food sugar. Our love for sweetness runs very deep and in this first episode Bee delves into the question of why.
It's the only taste we know from birth - sweetness. From China to Africa give a baby a taste of sugar and watch them smile. It lights up our dopamine centres like no other food, by comparison every other taste is one we learn to enjoy. Our craving for sweetness is an evolutionary response to a world where food had to searched for, hunted down and if need be fought over. And nothing was more prized by our ancestors than the sweet taste of sugar, whether it came from fruit, honey or plants.
And it's that evolutionary programming that lies at the root of our relationship with a food stuff that has built empires, enslaved millions, given so much pleasure and caused so much harm.
"Sugar is not love, but it feels like it." Bee Wilson wrote in her most recent book First Bite. She's been fascinated by it most of her life. As someone who as a teenager ping ponged between binges and crazy diets she's hugely aware of the power of sugar on the individual. In this series she looks at the history of this paradoxical food.
You are at the first episode