Halloween Candy Horrors

A trip to any grocery store will tell you that Halloween is just around the corner. Racks of halloween candy are at the ready so you can stock up for trick-or-treaters. Unfortunately, in addition to being loaded with sugar, many popular candy brands have some scary ingredients.
#1. Lice Treatment Chemicals in Fake Flavors
Colorful spices used to be the basis of food coloring, but today candy manufacturers usually turn to fake food dyes, some of which contain coal tar chemicals. These compounds are also used in sealants and harsh lice treatments.
The Workaround: Look for certified organic candies…they aren’t allowed to use toxic food coloring ingredients.
#2. Hidden Wheat
Parents who want their kids to stick to a wheat and gluten-free diet need to know that many treats handed out for Halloween contain wheat, and therefore have the potential to disrupt learning, impair concentration, spark behavioral outbursts, and stimulate appetite as well as inflammation. You can find wheat in the following popular Halloween candies:
* Butterfingers
* Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme Bar
* KitKats
* Twix
* Twizzlers (second ingredient).
The Workaround: Check the label for wheat flour or related wheat products, or consult the manufacturer’s website for the product. For kids who must meticulously avoid all gluten sources, such as kids with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, a product must be identified as “gluten free” to be certain it is safe from any cross-contamination with gluten sources.
#3. Franken-Ingredients
Today, 90 percent of sugar beets, a major sugar-producing crop in America, have genetically engineered, or GMO, seeds designed by scientists to tolerate large and sometimes multiple sprayings of glyphosate, the main active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup. Food crops are sprayed with such high amounts that the crops absorb them. The government now allows glyphosate in the food you eat. That’s scary, considering a 2009 study published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology outlined Roundup’s ability to kill human cells in umbilical cord veins, embryonic kidneys, and placentas in concentrations typically found in food.
The Workaround: Look for organic chocolate bars and candy, since the use of chemical pesticides and genetically engineered seeds are banned in organic agriculture.
Article adapted from Rodale Wellness.

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