Stevia in the future
Stevia is now approved in USA, Australia, New Zeeland, and France, and was finally approved in the EU.
As a consumer, it is easy to conclude: ”Well, it was about time,” and that all is well now: Stevia is wholesome, good, and approved. And now we can buy it all, from dried leaves to extract, as well as foods sweetened with Stevia. Well, it's not really like that, unfortunately…
Firstly – how is the Stevia produced, really?
The big soda companies (one starts with a C, the other with a P) have both many patents for methods of extraction of the part of Stevia that is ”purely sweet”, Rebaudaside A (called ”RebA”) – and they have managed to produce an extract with as much as 97% RebA. That is what has been approved in USA, Australia and New Zeeland. That sounds good, no? Well, there are other things to consider...
How are the soda-giants' Stevia made? With methods and patents that they want to keep to themselves. Methods that can and should be questioned. The patents for extraction include Acetone, Methanol, and Ammonia, among other things. How this affects the environment and the finished product, nobody knows, but we should get this accounted for and made aware of.
Secondly – what kind of Stevia is being sold, really?
- Is it made with methods that are harmful to the environment and/or consumer?
- Many retailers insist on not declaring how much Stevia their products contain – some are diluted and mixed with other liquids and substances, and what effect this has on us, is then unknown.
When the Stevia market now skyrockets, there will be many more producers and middle-men who grow, produce, extract and market Stevia in different ways. Some may use pesticides, some genetically modified plants, others dangerous substances in the extraction process, others mixing it with questionable substances…
There is a partial solution to this problem, that you, as a customer, should be aware of:
- Only buy Stevia – and products with Stevia – that is declared organic and made with and/or extracted with methods that are not harmful.
- Only buy Stevia with declared and known content, such that you know you want to use.
At FriendlyShop we only carry natural and organic Stevia, explicitly declared and unmixed. And with as few middle-men as possible. The fact that the growers of our Stevia are co-ops that strive for a good environment for both product and man, we consider a tangible bonus. Read more about our Stevia here.