Benefits of palm sugar production
The sugar is made in a process developed by Masarang.The production has many advantages, some of which are described below:
Benefit for the people
The mixed tropical forest where sugar palm and other food crops grow, provides the local population with (sustainable) jobs. The forest also provides clean drinking water, so the local population doesn´t have to buy expensive water in supermarkets, or has to walk for miles to find clean drinking water.The geothermal residual energy is not only used to produce palm sugar, but it is also used to dry other crops, which saves the local farmers a lot of work.Because the local farmers’ income has increased, they can afford to send their children to school. Part of the income is also donated to projects in the local community, such as protecting endangered animals or helping children with lesser opportunities.
Benefit for the planet
The production of palm sugar does not involve the cutting down of the tropical rainforest, but rather the planting of new forests, because the palm grows best in tropical mixed forest and not in a monoculture. Also, fertilizers and pesticides are not used, so the groundwater is not contaminated. The sugar palm also uses less water than other crops, and because the tree roots dig deep into the soil, this also prevents erosion.In areas where the tropical rainforest has been cleared, secondary tropical forest is planted, and this results in the restoration of valuable features, and lowering the pressure on existing tropical forest. Also, the sugar palm grows on -otherwise-unused nutrient poor soils and even on steep slopes where other common trees (eg oil palm) can not grow.Mixed tropical forest provides shelter to animals and plants, and prevents the loss of biodiversity.The use of geothermal energy in the sugar does not harm the environment and prevents the the felling of 200,000 trees that otherwise would be used as firewood. In addition the cultivation of the sugar palms results in storing net CO2.
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Profit of the production
The production of palm sugar gives 6,285 local farmers in Sulawesi a paid job.Palm Sugar is produced in a professional, clean and controlled environment without additives or other chemical substances, making palm sugar a top quality product.The locals share in the profits of the sugar and they get a fair price (fair trade). Sugar production has resulted in a two to three-fold increase in the income of the farmers.The production of palm sugar is environmentally friendly, and there are no (delayed) costs passed on to subsequent generations.Palm sugar is very environmentally friendly, the sugar is not as sweet as cane sugar and has such a light caramel-like flavor. Research also suggests that palm sugar has a number of advantages over other sugars, namely:
- Palm sugar contains a number of antioxidants, amino acids and vitamins that have a positive influence on health.
- People who use palm sugar suffer less from heart disease, and stroke.
- Palm sugar is much slower released into the blood, blood sugar levels are rising less sharply and the energy release happens much more gradually. Diabetes is less common in people who use palm sugar.
- White sugar easily leads to obesity and diabetes, palm sugar doesn’t.
- Palm sugar is often used as part of a prescription against cough and asthma.