Sugar gets a bad rap nowadays for contributing to obesity, diabetes, and a whole host of health ailments. Trendy diets today go to great lengths to cut out sugar. But while too much sugar can certainly be detrimental to your health, there are other uses for sugar that can make it a very useful survival commodity. Here are just a few of them.
1. Treating Wounds
Just like honey, sugar can be used to treat open wounds. Open wounds like skin ulcers, or cuts and scratches that continue to ooze and won’t heal, can be treated by putting sugar on them. The initial application of sugar will soak up any liquid in the wound, but continue to put sugar on the wound until you have a dry layer of sugar on top. Cover with a dressing, change the dressing daily, and add more sugar if the existing sugar in the wound becomes saturated.
2. Preserving Food
Many people are familiar with using salt to preserve food, but sugar can preserve food just as well. It creates a low-moisture, low-oxygen environment in which bacteria can’t survive. In fact, many recipes for curing meats call for a mixture of salt and sugar.
3. Treating Low Blood Sugar
Whether you’ve driven your blood sugar low by working too hard and not eating enough, or whether you’re a diabetic in need of a boost in blood sugar, sugar can be beneficial in raising blood sugar from dangerously low levels. A little goes a long way, but in situations in which your blood sugar has gone too low you’re going to want to have sugar on hand.
4. Killing Insects and Rodents
Sugar by itself won’t kill pests, but mixed with things that will kill them it can be very effective at attracting them to the poison. Try mixing sugar and baking soda. The combination will attract roaches, mice, and other pests, leading them to ingest the baking soda that will kill them.
5. Creating Alcohol
There may come a time when you’ll need a cheap source of alcohol, whether for drinking, medicinal, or cleaning purposes. Sugar is a cheap and easy way to make that alcohol. In fact, it was very common during Prohibition for people to make their own homemade alcohol by distilling with a sugar mash.