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Author Topic: C H I C L E  (Read 506 times)
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« on: March 17, 2009, 08:32:29 pm »

15.  Modern gum

If the ancient Mexicans gave us chewing gum (just as they gave us chocolate and many other foods making up nearly 40% of our modern diet) today’s products are a far cry from the ‘real thing’. If a bar of commercial chocolate has precious little genuine cocoa butter in it, a packet of typical chewing gum has virtually NONE of the genuine resin from the chewing gum tree. The reason?

16. From The 1923 Wonder Book of Knowledge (Click on image to enlarge)
The big chewing gum companies like Adams and Wrigleys have long since discovered they can manufacture the all-important ‘gum’ part of chewing gum more cheaply and in greater quantities by using ‘gum base’ (officially in the US a ‘non-nutritive masticatory substance’!), which consists largely of artificial rubbers, waxes, plasticizers and emulsifiers. (Incidentally, 60% of modern chewing gum is sugar (surprise, surprise), yet the US chewing gum industry for some reason is allowed to put sugar second on the list of ingredients).

17. Filtering chicle resin (Click on image to enlarge)
At this point we need a bit more history. Chewing gum is a sticky business, and Mexicans twice lost out to foreign interests (US and British) in the 19th. century through chicle.

18. General Santa Anna
The first loss was ‘thanks’ to Antonio López de Santa Anna (of El Alamo fame), the corrupt Mexican general who lost half of Mexico’s territory to the USA between 1836 and 1847. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he gave away the idea of making commercial chewing gum to a US businessman, Thomas Adams, while in exile in New York in 1869. The rest, as they say, is history.

You can read the full ‘official’ story on the Adams website (now owned by Cadbury’s)
« Last Edit: March 17, 2009, 08:33:50 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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