Healthier Halloween Candy
Orange, Black and Green for Halloween
Nothing kills a parent’s festive Halloween mood like realizing what a nutritional nightmare this holiday can be. After the fun of dressing up and trick-or-treating are over, kids are left with a pile of artificially sweetened candy that wreaks havoc on their health. High fructose corn syrup, Halloween’s most pervasive ghoul, is a leading contributor to childhood obesity and is frequently made from genetically modified corn and refined with genetically modified enzymes. And it seems to come with everything, whether in the candy your kids are collecting or the store-bought cider you’re serving at home.
Adding to the nutritional headache of Halloween are the environmental and social impacts chocolate can have. Cacao beans grown in full sun are more susceptible to disease than their shade-grown counterparts and therefore require heavy doses of toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. The crop’s social ills include child slavery, which UNICEF has found abundant on cacao plantations, and low wages paid to farmers because of market deregulation.
All that can make your face turn green. But fear not! There are healthier alternatives for your child—and the environment—that will make you feel green in a good way. [Emily has put together] a selection of organic, fair-trade and individually wrapped treats that you can hand out to the neighborhood kids, and you may even educate them about the environment in the process. And that’s a good trick.