Peanut Butter cups, Snickers bars, Milky Way, Twizzlers, Pixie Stix, Skittles, Laffy Taffy, Nerds, Smarties, Starburst, Whoppers, M&M’s, Almond Joy… the list of Halloween candy favorites is never-ending.
Americans purchase over 600 million pounds of candy every year for Halloween, but do you know what is actually lurking in your favorite Halloween candies?
The majority of the nation’s candy is produced by two companies- Mars and The Hershey Company. Both Mars and The Hershey company use toxic ingredients in almost all of their candy. These are ingredients include High Fructose Corn Syrup or Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Oils (aka Trans Fat), Artificial Flavors, Additives & Preservatives, Artificial Colors (i.e. Red #40, Blue #1, Yellow #5, etc), and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
Some of the dangers associated with consumption of these ingredients are detailed below:
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is found in most candies that you’ll find in Halloween buckets nationwide and it’s a health concern for a variety of reasons. A study out of Princeton University found that rats fed HFCS gained fat 300% faster than rats that were fed equal (or larger!) servings of fruit-derived sugar. And it doesn’t just make your body fat, it can also make your heart fat by raising cholesterol levels and putting you at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. It’s consumption also increases the likelihood of developing Type 2 Diabetes, causes liver damage and can also expose the body to Mercury which can lead to irreversible neurological and nervous system damage.
Partially Hydrogenated oils are vegetable oils whose chemical structure has been altered to prevent foods from going bad. This saves money for manufacturers by giving food a longer shelf life, but results in health consequences for consumers. Hydrogenated oils are filled with saturated fat (“trans fat”) and they increase bad cholesterol (LDL) while decreasing good cholesterol (HDL), which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Artificial flavors, additives and preservatives have been linked to cancer, human resistance to antibiotics, increased risk of heart disease due to phosphate accumulation, bowel symptoms, neurological problems and more.
Artificial Colors like Red #40, Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 contain compounds like benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl that research has linked to cancer. Studies also show an association with the consumption of artificial colors and allergies, learning problems, hyperactivity, irritability and aggression.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are dangerous to the human body in a number of ways. Animal studies have shown that the consumption of GMOs leads to organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility.
Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is a chemical preservative that is actually a form of butane. It is found in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and consuming 1 to 4 grams of the preservative can lead to nausea, delirium, tinnitus, and vomitting. TBHQ can also cause hyperactivity, asthma, rhinitis, and dermatitis.
So what are your options for Halloween candy that won’t destroy your health and the health of the children who come trick-or-treating at your door in a few weeks?
Check out Black Forest Organic candies who have a USDA Certified Organic Halloween assortment which contains delicious candies like Fruity Chews, Gummy Bears, Gummy Bats, Sour Heads, and Lollipops. YumEarth also has several Halloween themed, USDA Certified Organic candies available in stores and on their website.
Don’t line the pockets of companies like Mars and The Hershey Company who don’t care about the health of our children! This Halloween vote with your money and support companies who understand the important of using USDA Certified Organic ingredients.