Every year a lot of ink is wasted on advice about what kind of candy to give out on Halloween. If you want to make yourself unpopular, give out non-candy like state quarters (which someone might swallow). To see if you can get your house egged, try giving out some trinkets like tattoos or tiny toys instead of candy.
And some, like our colleague Analiese Paik, who writes the Fairfield County Green Guide (and deletes any critical comments on her blog) suggests you try for organic, non-GMO, Fair Trade overpriced politically aware candies.
Let’s be clear: these are foodie, yuppie theories with no basis in fact.
- As we noted yesterday, there is no evidence that Fair Trade benefits the farmers it is supposed to help. Most of the money ends up with the producers and the fair trade organization itself. And Fair Trade labels on chocolate are even more questionable, since all it means is the candy company bought some: not which candy it was put in, since the chocolate is indistinguishable.
- The “Organic” designation itself is just a marketing label. There is no evidence that organic foods are safer or more nutritious. And since both conventional and organic farmers spray their crops, both might have spray residues. But these are much smaller than the residues from insecticides the plants themselves create for protection.
- “Non-GMO” is just another marketing slogan. Biotech crops are completely safe. There is no evidence after nearly 20 years of biotech crops being grown that anyone has ever had any ill effects from such crops. And even if there were, the concept of “non-GMO sugar” is absurd, because sugar is a pure compound which contains no DNA.
|And of course, Vani Hari, the Food Babe, whose star has fallen as her overwhelming ignorance has become more apparent, suggests a list of crazy candies that no one will like, all to satisfy her fallacious dietary restrictions, and to earn her commissions on these disgusting treats.|
|Meanwhile, some wag has put together a list much like hers, but with a couple of ridiculous alternatives, like “dirt and twigs” and “organic razor blade apples.” Incidentally, there is no evidence that razor blades (or needles or drugs) ever were put into Halloween candy, so relax about that urban legend.|
Look people, this is not a political holiday where you take stands on your peculiar and unscientific theories. It’s a fun holiday where kids get some candy. Parents can ration the candy as they see fit, but a few days of sugary treats is not a serious issue. Sugar is not toxic. And if you are buying the candy just to give away and have no children at home, just behave like grandparents and give the kids what they like. Childhood is too short to make Halloween some sort of weird political statement!
One thought on “Halloween candy: How to decide”
While I agree with most of this, a simple look-up on Snopes, or even going straight to the source of Joel Best at the University of Delaware who has done the most extensive research on the topic will confirm that there have been a few isolated cases of razor blades and needles in Halloween treats. One man was convicted in 2000 in Minneapolis for putting needles in a snickers bar. I agree it is nothing to be concerned about, as these were highly isolated and very rare incidents and no children have ever been harmed, but you shouldn’t say it has never happened.
Poisonings by strangers, on the other hand, have never happened.