Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » The Answer to All Our Economic Woes? Sugar!!

The Answer to All Our Economic Woes? Sugar!!

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 09, 2011

From 1940 —




  1. This sort of related to my wife’s plans for total economic collapse. Instead of hoarding gold, we are hoarding chocolate chips. Chocolate and sugar will be more valuable than anything. Sugar beets in the cellar? – not so much.

    Comment by Grant — September 9, 2011 @ 11:15 am

  2. Quick, send this ad to congress! They are clueless to this, along with many other things. Ironic wording in the ad about providing more employment, more transportation, and drawing on more industries for other raw materials than any other crop. I think the crop that occupies that status today is corn for high fructose corn syrup, currently used in place of natural sugar by many commercial food processors, and also for ethanol for gas.

    Comment by kevinf — September 9, 2011 @ 11:34 am

  3. Was all this lack of domestic sugar before we got all our sugar from Hawaiian sugar cane?

    Comment by Frank Pellett — September 9, 2011 @ 11:38 am

  4. I’m just wondering when our Mormon grandparents are going to run out of ways to attribute every virtue known to men or gods to SUGAR!! No sign of running out yet.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 9, 2011 @ 11:52 am

  5. Frank, Utah and Idaho had been engaged in sugar beet production for decades at this point. I think most of the country’s sugar probably did come from Hawaii, and perhaps Cuba, and I don’t know whether shipping difficulties, or men being engaged in military labors instead of sugar production, or other problems resulted in a shortage. Sugar was rationed, though, so these ads that have become kind of a running gag on Keepa are not merely ploys by a local industry to sell more product.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 9, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

  6. In that last drawing, I thought Mom was offering Dad a frothy-headed glass of dark beer.

    I guess people really do see what they want.

    Comment by Mina — September 9, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

  7. My personal family history indicates that sugar did, indeed, solve the economic woes of at least two branches of the family: One farmed it near Sugar City, Ida., the other branch survived the Depression primarily because of wages provided by the factory.

    #5– Sugar wasn’t rationed until May 1942. (Pearl Harbor wasn’t yet bombed when this ad ran.)

    Is Home-Produced a brand, or a generic term that covers both U&I and C&H?

    Comment by The Other Clark — September 9, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

  8. Duh, you’re right Clark. It would soon be rationed, but wasn’t at the time of this ad.

    “Home produced” in this case does mean U&I but excludes the cane sugar of C&H. I’ve just prepared a few other early ’40s sugar ads for posting (you know I’ll stretch out this gag as long as I can), and one of them lists about five brands that were being pitched as home produced. They were all beet sugar brands manufactured in Utah and Idaho.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 9, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  9. These sugar threads keep getting the Sugar Beet song from Sesame Street stuck in my head 😛

    Comment by Frank Pellett — September 9, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

  10. On a side note, would it even be worth it to plant sugar beets in the home garden nowadays? I cant even imagine how much work it would take to get sugar out of them.

    Comment by Frank Pellett — September 9, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

  11. Have any of you ever smelled a sugar beet factory? P.U! I’m sure Ardis will know when the last one closed down in the Salt Lake Valley. There is still one operational in Nampa, Idaho where my parents live. Not a nice place to visit in the fall when they process the beets.

    Comment by Grant — September 9, 2011 @ 7:52 pm

  12. Grant – I must agree. We recently moved to the Rupert/Burley Id. area. You can smell the sugar factory 10 plus miles away. It is very bad. If your from the SLC area think “Lake Stink”, only worse.

    Comment by andrew h — September 10, 2011 @ 6:52 am

  13. I love that the ad appeals to communitarian impulses—buy it because it’s the best, of course, but also because it supports your neighbor. It predates the locavore movement (which, frankly, I subscribe to to the extent I can) by almost 70 years, but Home Production kind of hits the same notes.

    Plus, any appeal to somebody’s taxpaying ability warms my heart.

    Comment by Sam Brunson — September 10, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

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