Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

April 12, 2013

It's a sticky situation

By Rebecca Todd
CNHI

— Do you ever get a craving for sweets? Let's say you are at an early morning meeting and some horrid sadist brings in a box of donuts. Do you partake? Maybe just a nibble?

Let's say you're in a long line at the check-out counter, you haven't had lunch yet and you're staring at the stacks of candy bars. Do you maybe grab a Snickers bar?

Or let's say it's just after Easter and you notice that your child still has a Reese's egg left in their Easter basket. You know that stores only have them once a year and this could be your last chance for another 300 and some odd days to taste the delicious, peanut butter goodness. Do you take it and blame it on your husband?

Just kidding. I know I personally would never do anything like that.

Apparently there are a lot of people out there that would, however, as it seems there are some with outrageous sugar addictions, and they don't care what it takes to get their hands on some treats. Let's just say, they have sticky fingers.

Case in point, last fall during peak honey season, thieves around the world were stealing beehives and honey. For example, in Vancouver someone stole half-a-million bees and an estimated 8,000 pounds of honey. In Gloucestershire a beekeeper had 40 tubs of honey stolen, essentially destroying his business. It was the same story in both Maryland and South Carolina. There seemed to be some kind of underground honey Mafia.

Let's move on to maple syrup. We all love a good mess of pancakes with syrup, right? But what about the people that like it so much that they feel compelled to steal millions of dollars worth of the sticky, sweet syrup? Believe it or not, maple value is soaring and maple syrup is going black market. In Canada, it's the drug of choice and there seriously is a large maple cartel.

Moving on to Germany, thieves recently made off with 5 tons of Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread worth over $20,000.

Let me just say, "Ew." Let's be honest for a moment. Honey and maple syrup I can almost understand; they both contain natural, sweet, sticky goodness. Nutella is frankly just noxious artificially flavored chocolate goo. Sure, they play it off as nuts, skim milk and a touch of cocoa. But it's actually packed with fat and sugar.

Advertisers promote Nutella as breakfast, which is a disturbing thought. To be honest, my mother-in-law once fed my toddlers cake for breakfast, because they were being picky and said that's what they wanted and, you know, she's grandma. But cake is a good breakfast food right? There're eggs and bread in there. And I would much prefer they eat cake than Nutella.

So what is the point of all these robberies and the current obsessions with sweets? Obviously there's more going on here than just people with extreme cases of sweet tooth, and it's a little more serious than parents stealing from their children's Easter baskets, which I would never do.

But if you're in the sweets business, beware. There's obviously a shady confection underground. I predict it won't be long before you're walking down a city street and hear, "Psst hey, buddy," coming from a dark alley. And the sinister character standing there won't want to sell you drugs. He'll be pedaling Nutella.

- Rebecca Todd is a freelance writer and the author of the book, What's the Point?, available at booklocker.com. Contact her at btodd@tds.net.