Food - Drink
What Did People Use To Sweeten Food Before Honey?
The earliest evidence of humans eating honey dates back to 8000 B.C.E., and honey was likely first refined for mass production by the ancient Egyptians, starting around 2500 B.C.E. Even at that point in time, not all ancient societies lived in areas with honeybee populations, so they found other sources of sugar to sweeten their food.
Honeybees are not native to the Americas, so Native Americans discovered and developed alternative sweeteners that are still used today, including corn syrup and maple syrup. Even further in the past, our ancestors got their sugar fix from their fruit-heavy diets; riper fruits were valued for providing more sugar and more energy.
It's also highly possible that consuming sugar was far more important for our ancestors than it is for us today. University of Colorado professor Richard Johnson theorizes that during a global cooling period 15 million years ago, a mutation occurred that allowed human bodies to store sugar as fat, allowing us to survive even in times of famine.