</a Life Coaching Certification >Stevia is a popular sugar alternative for the health conscious, after all it not only contains zero calories but is reportedly effective in reducing insulin levels compared both to sucrose and aspartame (another popular sugar alternative). What many do not realize about Stevia though, is that it has a huge potential for helping impact the environment positively.
The environmental ramifications of having farmers shift to Stevia production is possible because of the fact that Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar. What this means is that you need less Stevia plants (Stevia rebaudiana) compared to sugar to be able extract as much sweetener products to meet the market’s need. This in turn means less land dedicated to sweetener plants; land that can be either used for other agricultural products or to the more optimistic replanted with trees.
Another point for Stevia in the environment department is that a good number of large Stevia manufacturers are known for their sustainable farming practices. They take pride in making sure that the farms where they they source the plants adhere to sustainable practices, primarily in the use of water. This is important since the amount of water needed for any farm is not a laughing matter. Stevia farms around the world that adhere to sustainable farming practices significantly lessen their water use by recycling the used water after it goes through water treatment processes. And while this is not unique to Stevia growers, it’s still something that puts a smile to my face.
Of course, aside from large Stevia growers that produce the commercial Stevia sweeteners we buy, we also have to mention the backyard Stevia farmers that opt to grow their own plants. While I have to admit that I haven’t tried to grow one, not having the patience to take care of it and doing all the work to get the extract and come up with a homemade sweetener, these home growers sure deserve some applause. Of course, if you’re like me, buying it in packets or as liquid concentrates is more than good enough.
Image via Estevia