Sunday, 30 October 2011

Going My Own Sweet Way

Watch out for a new sweetener hitting the UK shelves very soon. The UK has just lifted its ban on products made from Stevia [until quite recently it was legal to buy it here, but not to sell it]


It is being marketed as the new wonder-product, the ‘sweetener of choice’. Originally growing wild in Paraguay, Stevia Rebaudiana is a herb in the Chrysanthemum family. 125 years ago, a Swiss scientist named Bertoni recorded that the natives used it to sweeten their foods. They called it ka-a he-ee [sweet leaf]

80 years ago, two French chemists isolated the sweetening component of the leaf – and in the 1970s it went on sale in Japan – followed by the USA, France and a few other countries. There has been some controversial research, suggesting that although there are many benefits to a natural calorie free sweetener, as opposed to chemically produced ones [aspartame, saccharin etc.]there may also be some less desirable side effects [listed here]

But shortly it will be on sale – Tesco are marketing it as “Stevia Sweet” but the other two main brands are Truvia and Purevia


The lady on Radio 4 explained that these two names had been chosen to link to the Stevia name – and because ‘via’ is Latin for ‘way – you can choose between the Pure Way and the True Way!

Personally I try and avoid adding unnecessary extra sweetness where possible, and they have already said that these will not be cheap [the lady ignored the interviewer's comments about  this being an opportunity to make a lot of money!]

I am taking the scaremongering about side-effects with a pinch of salt [although doing that may counteract the sweetness anyway!] and concluding that this product is unlikely to find its way into my shopping trolley. Pure Way, True Way…only One Way for me!

Jesus answered, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”


  1. The taste of this product is awful,even in coffee you get the after taste of aniseed(?).
    I was told by a whole foods salesperson that if stevia is refined i.e white it has lost all its sweetening properties.
    I think it is probably better to go without or use less sugar.Liz2B

  2. we have it over here, I just have no need to use it.

    Gill in Canada

  3. We usually stick with cane sugar or refined white sugar here or just cut out as much as possible. I've heard the same thing as anonymous, that it's not the best tasting sugar replacement.

  4. Thanks for the heads up, I hadn't heard about stevia before. Think I will be sticking to good ole white sugar and honey for my sweetening needs.
    x x x

  5. Thanks for this post. I have never used Stevia and hadn't looked up the side affects. It is promoted and a real hot item in the health food industry in my part of the country, to the point of, if you are using anything else, your killing yourself! I have to have sugar in my tea, and use sugar, honey and molasses for cooking. You don't hear anything about the side effects of Stevia here. I sure won't use it now.


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