Molasses Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 07/03/22 •  12 min read
molasses benefits and side effects

What are molasses benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are molasses pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on molasses benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about molasses benefits and side effects. This will include molasses benefits for your health and potential risks, molasses water footprint and molasses carbon footprint, molasses sustainability, if molasses are vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if molasses are good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about molasses benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Molasses Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Energy: molasses is good for / helps ease muscle cramps after workout, prevent asthma, prevent and treat anemia

Longevity: molasses is bad for / increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease (when consumed excessively) | molasses is good for / helps detoxification, heart health, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, lower blood pressure, maintain healthy bones, possibly stabilize blood sugar levels in healthy adults on a high carb diet, prevent heart disease and stroke, prevent osteoporosis

Appearance: molasses is good for / helps de-frizz hair (when applied topically and mixed with water)

Molasses is…

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Environment

Water footprint: low, it takes 527 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of molasses / 63 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of molasses

Carbon footprint: low, 0.04 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of fresh sugarcane, a car driving equivalent of 0.25 miles or 0.5 kilometers

Destruction: low, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Molasses is…

Animals

Kills: none, molasses production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, molasses production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from molasses production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Molasses is…

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Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Molasses…

Where does molasses come from?

Brazil is the world’s leading molasses producer followed by India, Thailand, China, Pakistan, the US and Mexico.
The world’s top molasses exporting country is Germany, followed by Guatemala, El Salvador, USA, Nicaragua, Russia, Thailand, Egypt, Honduras and the UK.

Is molasses good for you? Healthy? Nutritious?

Molasses is high in certain vitamins and minerals, especially potassium and contains calcium, iron, magnesium, choline, and some B vitamins.

Other names for molasses?

Another name for molasses is black treacle.

Molasses allergy symptoms?

You’re likely allergic to sulfites not molasses itself. Sulfites are sometimes added to molasses and if you have a reaction you may experience the following:
-Hives and itchiness
-Vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach
-Difficulty swallowing
-Difficulty breathing
-Flushing
-Dizziness
-Deceased blood pressure

molasses has an alkaline pH when unsulphered. molasses benefits include fitting into an alkaline diet.

molasses benefits include fitting into an alkaline diet.

Is molasses alkaline or acidic?

Molasses is alkaline when unsulphered.

What is the pH level of molasses?

Molasses has an 8.0 pH level when unsulphered, once digested.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

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molasses is gluten free. molasses benefits include fitting into a gluten free diet.

molasses benefits include fitting into a gluten free diet.

Is molasses gluten free?

Yes, molasses is gluten free. Molasses is a naturally gluten free food. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include: recurring abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, constipation, tingling, numbness in hands and feet, chronic fatigue, joint pain, unexplained infertility and low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis).

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

molasses is not a common food allergen.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is molasses a common food allergen?

No, molasses is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to molasses but it is relatively rare by comparison.

Molasses allergy symptoms?

You’re likely allergic to sulfites not molasses itself. Sulfites are sometimes added to molasses and if you have a reaction you may experience the following:

A group of the eight major allergenic foods is often referred to as the Big-8 and includes milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. 

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

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molasses is a low-fodmap food.

fodmap friendly food

Is molasses FODMAP friendly?

Yes. Molasses is a low-FODMAP food and fits into a low-FODMAP diet. 

A low FODMAP diet may help those with bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

It’s all about knowing your body. Observe what works and what doesn’t. You body might even react negatively to a low-FODMAP food simply due to intolerance. Everyone is different! Be mindful and patient. Take time to get to know what’s best for your physical health and overall wellbeing.

See this High-FODMAP and Low-FODMAP List of Food

molasses has a low water footprint. molasses benefits include not requiring too much water.

molasses benefits include not requiring too much water.

Does molasses have a high or low water footprint?

Molasses has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of molasses?

It takes 527 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of molasses / 63 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of molasses.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource? Once it’s gone, it’s gone!

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

molasses has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does molasses have a high or low carbon footprint?

Molasses has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating product emissions, some factors that may be included are… farm equipment, animal feed production, hothouses (greenhouses), food processing, packaging, transport, refrigeration, freezing, package waste, and more.

There are a number of steps we can take to reduce energy output. According to Oxford Martin School researchers, if the world went vegan, eliminating animal-derived products, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

molasses is sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is molasses eco friendly? Is molasses sustainable?

Molasses production is relatively sustainable since there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

molasses is vegan.

molasses benefits include not killing, harming or using animals.

Is molasses vegan?

Yes, molasses is vegan. Molasses is made by refining sugarcane or sugar beets and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating product emissions, some factors that may be included are… farm equipment, animal feed production, hothouses (greenhouses), food processing, packaging, transport, refrigeration, freezing, package waste, and more.

There are a number of steps we can take to reduce energy output. According to Oxford Martin School researchers, if the world went vegan, eliminating animal-derived products, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

molasses may or may not have labor issues.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is molasses a product with labor concerns?

At this time there have been no major concerns with molasses production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!

It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

This post was all about molasses benefits and side effects.

Sources:

Molasses – FoodData Central

U.S. Grade Standards for Sugarcane Molasses

WebMD: Asthma and Sulfite Allergies

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.