At last month's talk at the Maui Farmer's Union on 2/28/12, Ryan Earehart of Mana Foods talks about the value of raw sugar cane.
Ryan differentiates between raw sugar cane (healthy, nutritious) versus highly processed white sugar.
A few highlights from the video above (especially if you can't access youtube):
- Sugar cane has sucrose (rather than glucrose), which is better for diabetes patients, and it tends to keep blood sugar level. Raw sugar cane is low on the glycemic level.
- There are many varieties of sugar cane - different flavors, different levels of sweetness, different growing preferences, different colors.
- Sugar cane is an excellent windbreak and keeps the banana leaves from shredding in the Maui wind.
- Sugar cane is easy to grow, hardy, and pest-resistant.
- Sugar cane is highly nutritious and can pull about 50+ minerals from the soil (if they are present). Sugar cane is high in calcium and phosphorus, bone-building minerals.
- The sugar cane juice is good mixed with coconut water, and is very hydrating and refreshing on hot days.
- The bagasse (leftover cane fiber from pressing) is good for mulch and compost.