Talk about scary, Halloween candy has been on sale since before Labor Day. That’s a long time to be bombarded with “fun-sized” treats cloaked in shiny come-and-get-me wrappers. Worse, every public space seems to offer a bowl brimming with “free” candy. Who can resist?
Even I (a registered dietitian, who should know better) could not walk past a Halloween offering without indulging. I figured one little piece (or package) of candy couldn’t hurt my otherwise healthy diet.
Not anymore. Today, I skip right past those devilish displays and candy dishes.
What happened? I learned about the ingredients. For example, about half of all sugar consumed in the U.S. comes from sugar beets, of which at least 95 percent are genetically engineered to withstand spraying with “glyphosate,” an endocrine disruptor and active ingredient in Monsanto’s “Round-up” herbicide. Ditto for high fructose corn syrup; it’s made from genetically modified (GMO) corn, which is engineered to manufacture its own pesticide. What’s more, little if any popular Halloween candy is made with both organic and fairly traded chocolate.
Much like Toto in the Wizard of OZ who pulled back the curtain to reveal who was at the controls, once I learned the story behind the ingredients in Halloween candy, suddenly, those treats didn’t taste so sweet.
In October we celebrate both Halloween and non-GMO month. No parents would want to dress up their children as guinea pigs, so why treat them like experimental animals? It’s time for parents to demand GMO food labels so we can protect our children from ingredients never tested for long term safety.
Don’t be scared, be smart. Instead of GMO candy, give your little trick-or-treaters toys, stickers or mini-pumpkins. (Yale Research shows kids are happy without candy!)