Posted by: David Watts | June 1, 2010

these leaves taste like sugar!

Please join us in welcoming our newest addition to the herb bed at the Rooftop (farm): Stevia! Heard of it? Come over to Georgia’s Place and chew on some of its leaves. It tastes just like sugar. In fact, its extracts have 300 times the sweetness of sugar! And its good for you. Unlike sugar, it has negligible effects on your blood glucose and actually can enhance your glucose tolerance. It’s gaining popularity in diabetics and for treatment of obesity. Some interesting facts about Stevia is that it was banned from the United States and on the FDA’s import-watch list until the 1990s, apparently because of alleged toxicity (even though there is no evidence to support this and it has been used in other countries, particularly Japan, for 20+ years). Some believe that it was banned to keep other sugar substitutes in business. Think about it- if it has the potential to become a popular substitute, what need would there be for the other products?
In 1994, the ban was lifted through the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, however, it is still not legal to use as an ingredient in food products, and it must be labeled as a supplement.

Politics aside, we can’t wait to bake with it and use it to sweeten tea! Maybe we will mix it with some of our mint and make sweetened sun tea!

a bee is already welcoming stevia to the roof!

We are also excited to start offering bags of herbs to our residents at Georgia’s Place. Right now we can spare chives, mint, oregano, thyme and lavender. Soon we will be able to harvest basil, parsley, marjoram and rosemary.

Wow, this post makes me want to listen to Simon & Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair”.

Yemi, the expert weeder.


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