By Charlie G ❘ 2008

That’s the question many people have been asking for quite some time, including myself. For those who do not know what stevia is, here’s a link to an article I wrote about this natural sweetener.

steviaBesides being totally natural (unlike the sweeteners we buy in grocery stores which are loaded with chemicals), stevia has a feature that makes it very desirable for diabetics: it sweetens in a higher proportion than sugar but contains no calories, and, as a matter of fact, some studies show that it lowers blood sugar levels.

With these qualities you would think that stevia is a very appropriate way to sweeten desserts, yogurts, teas and coffees (whoever likes them).

Maybe because of these qualities, it has become a threat to the sugar and artificial sweeteners industry, and without further notice, has vanished from the market.

At least in the area where I live, it has been impossible for months to find stevia in stores where before, if you had it ordered in advance, they used to get it for you (herbalists, biological shops). It’s not that these stores ran out of it or stopped selling it, but they can’t find a distributor or producer to provide them with stevia. Not even the store managers have any information on why it is not available or when it will be.

One day I asked again for stevia and the salesperson told me something that I think it is not too far from reality (in fact I totally believed her). She told me that someone said to her that a big sugar manufacturing company bought up the entire stock of stevia from producers/distributors and got this valuable solution for diabetics off the market.

Surely something similar happened when a car manufacturer like Toyota built an electric car to offer an alternative to gasoline and oil-based products, while being less aggressive with the environment. A few months later, and despite users’ satisfaction with the car, they decided to stop manufacturing it or leasing it (a very ordinary hire-purchase system in the U.S.).

Here we have it again: just like the gigantic oil companies, who were anything but happy about electric cars starting to run down the streets. I guess only company executives know what happened (and if maybe there was suitcases filled up with bank notes in exchange for clearing off the item) as is happening now with the stevia.

It is disappointing to see how small efforts to improve our world or our lives will remain unmade because of a few colored paper notes’ getting more importance that they actually have.

But instead of stopping and feeling discouraged, these events should ignite the spark needed to rise all involved and interested people, and make clear what we want. After all, companies and governments work for our own good, don’t they?

And finally, a few questions for those who want to participate in the conversation and leave a comment:
Do you have access in your area to stevia? Is it easy to find?
Since when has stevia been no longer available in your area? Have you been told why they no longer sell it?
Do you have your own opinion about why stevia is no longer available?
How could we make these things not happen anymore?


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