Halloween is upon us once more. That means fun creative costumes and some yummy hand-outs. Whether you’re buying candy to hand out to the kids or enjoying the sugar coma yourself, there are ways you can buy treats that are good for you and the planet.
Unfortunately most candy is made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). There’s plenty of research (including our own wellcast blog; July 4th & Aug. 11th 2007) that shows HFCS linked to obesity and complications with type 2 diabetes, as well as a host of other health problems.
HFCS is not only bad for you, but it’s bad for the planet. Even though corn is natural, it is one of the most environmental destructive crops. Only 1% of the corn grown in America is eaten on the cob, or in some other unprocessed form. The rest is either food for stock, or processed as ethanol or corn syrup. Corn is the #1 crop grown in America…that’s alot of corn to grow! So you factor in heavy duty fertilizers that effect the nitrogen cycle; loss of top soil since crops aren’t rotated, in addition to carbon emissions from processing, which all leads to a negative imprint on the planet.
But don’t get too depressed. There are other options for Halloween besides candy corn…
Chocolate (one of my favorites), especially organic is a healthy choice. Go one step further and buy fair-trade chocolate. Most cocoa is grown by farmers in inhumane conditions and they see less than 1/60th of the profit from an average chocolate bar. Buying fair-trade can make a big difference in people’s lives.
If chocolate doesn’t do it for you, you can hand out bags of organic chips, nuts or fruit leather. Yea, so you won’t be the most popular house on the block, but you can go to sleep with a better conscience.
For more information, check out www.purefun.ca or www.greenhalloween.org.