Is sugar bad for the environment?


Podcast Episode 103

Is sugar bad for the environment? We often hear about how sugar impacts our health, but what about the health of the planet? Join Mary and Keith for a short and sweet (like maple syrup) conversation about the impact of sugar on the environment.



      • Is the “sugar crash” real?
      • Where does sugar come from?
      • What is “refined” sugar?
      • Is organic sugar better for you?
      • How much water does it take to produce 1 pound of sugar?
      • Is sugar farming a social justice issue?
      • Where can I find “sugar free” dessert recipes?



1. Stewed Apples No Sugar Added by KeyVion Miller Registered Dietitian Nutritionist IG/FB @kmillerdietitian

2. No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake (Vegan, Gluten-Free) by Kara Lydon, RD, LDN IG @karalydonrd

3. Healthy Apple Crumble Recipe (with Pear) by Kristi Ruth RD, LDN Facebook Carrots & Cookies IGcarrots.and.cookies

4. Mini Strawberry Tarts with coconut cream by Jeanette Kimszal, RDN, NLC IG @radiantrootfb FB @theradiantrootrecipes

5. Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins by Bethany Clement MS, RDN, LD, CNSC. FB Sizzling Nutrition IG @sizzlingnutrition

About the Show

Mary Purdy, MS, RDN, dishes out easy-to-digest information and tips about nutrition, lifestyle, and sustainable foods, backed by over 12 years of clinical experience, a specialty in and passion for sustainability, and a healthy sense of humor.

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ABOUT MARY: Mary Purdy is an Integrative Eco- Dietitian with a Masters in Clinical Nutrition from Bastyr University where she is Adjunct Faculty and a Clinical Supervisor at their teaching clinic. She writes, consults and  speaks at conferences throughout the year,  and was the Keynote speaker at the 2019 Bastyr University Commencement. Past experience includes:

  • 4 years as Coach and Clinical Education Lead at Arivale, Seattle
  • 8 years in private practice
  • 5 years Clinical Supervisor at Bastyr Center for Natural Health

Mary takes an integrative/holistic approach to diet, health & wellness, promotes plant-based and sustainable eating habits and believes that food is medicine!

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is intended for entertainment purposes only. Please consult your doctor before following any information you hear here. The opinions expressed here are those exclusively of Mary Purdy, the Show’s producers, and guests.

1 Comment

  1. Stacia Nordin, RD

    That was superb – short and sweet.

    I’m horrified that the USA subsidizes sugar. Can you say more about that and give links to what they subsidise?

    Is there advocacy to:

    – shift these subsidies to healthier food systems? I’d like to add my voice to that advocacy.

    – pressure the sugar industry to meet environmental standards across its value cycle (its not a straight chain, it needs to be a circular system).

    I had a call with Illovo Sugar Malawi and AB Sugar in the Africa region to discuss their questionable marketing of sugar. They are actually doing some good things, but some of their marketing was causing confusion about healthy nutrition. It would need a collaboration and/or legal backing to get them to care.


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First things first: I love chocolate. I love kale. And I consume them both regularly, but generally not at the same time (although, ask me about my chocolate, berry & kale smoothie!) I also love helping people find easy ways make their body, mind, and life better while also making eco-friendly choices that support the health of our planet.


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Where to Begin With Environmentally-Friendly Cookware

Where to Begin With Environmentally-Friendly Cookware

When you are in the kitchen getting ready to cook a meal, the last thing you may be thinking about is how the cookware you’re using will impact your health and the health of the planet. You may consider which food products are the most sustainable, but if you’re looking to make even more of a “‘green’ difference, consider seeking out more sustainable or environmentally friendly cookware.

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