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Happy Halloween!

It's that time of year where witches, ghosts and vampires appear, but what's even scarier are the list of ingredients that appear in the Halloween candy that is given out to our kids. The bright colours, the fruity flavours and the extra sweetness made for a purpose. How many of you still have Halloween candy laying around from last year? Not only you have last Halloweens candy but also the stores that you purchased from. Why? Because these types of candies are created to last for a decade or more. Yikes! 

I'm definitely one to check labels, mostly because I'm shocked to see how much sugar are in these products and I like to make sure I can pronounce the ingredients I'm about to be eating. Most people check calories, fat content and sodium which are great things to keep in mind when shopping but I encourage you to keep an eye out for these 7 scary food additives.


Although Halloween isn’t a healthy holiday by any means, there’s no reason to throw all caution to the wind and litter the neighbourhood with these toxic “treats” once a year. More and more people are becoming concerned about GMOs in their food – and a growing number of us are starting to read ingredients and are moving away from artificial food additives – yet there seems to be a disconnect when it comes to holidays like Halloween and what people are willing to put into their cart.

If you normally avoid GMOs, artificial colours, flavours, and controversial preservatives, now’s the time to stop buying conventional Halloween candy and seek out better alternatives. If you wouldn’t feed these ingredients to your own children (or yourself), why would you hand them out on Halloween?

Most Halloween candy does not have the ingredients listed on the package because it comes in smaller sized versions sold in multipacks, so here’s a reminder of what is lurking in most conventional candy: 

Artificial Flavours – Made from cheap toxic chemicals derived from petroleum along with solvents, emulsifiers, flavour modifiers, preservatives that aren’t labeled, so you don’t know what you’re really ingesting.

Artificial Colours – Made from cheap toxic chemicals derived from petroleum along with solvents, emulsifiers, flavour modifiers, preservatives that aren’t labeled, so you don’t know what you’re really ingesting.

Caramel Colour – The most common form is made from ammonia and contains the chemical 4-MEI which is classified as a possible carcinogen. Why add this to chocolate and caramel that is supposed to be naturally brown anyway?

Vanillin – This artificial vanilla flavour is made from wood or petrochemicals.

Partially Hydrogenated Oils – The main source of trans fat in our food that contributes to heart disease. It’s so harmful to our health that even the FDA has stepped in and is requiring companies to remove this ingredient within 3 years – but until then you can still find it in Halloween candy!

Growth Hormones – Unless it’s certified organic, much of the dairy in chocolate comes from conventionally raised cows raised with synthetic hormones that are banned in other countries and linked to an increased risk of cancer in humans.

PGPR (polyglycerol polyricinoleate) –  A cheap emulsifier used to replace more expensive cocoa butter. 

TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone) – The preservative TBHQ derived from petroleum that’s linked to asthma, allergies, and dermatitis.

DATEM (diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides)– A dough conditioner usually derived GMOs that can be a hidden form of harmful trans fat.

BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) – A preservative banned and heavily restricted in other countries because it is linked to cancer.

Just as important as the “scary” ingredients and despicable practices used to produce Halloween candy, food allergies are skyrocketing putting many children at risk. It’s a pretty grim picture when you realise that 1 out of 13 children now have food allergies and these are serious allergies to boot. There’s a lot of common allergens in popular Halloween candy – peanuts, milk, egg, soy, wheat – so it’s a great idea to stock up on non-food Halloween treats for children with allergies.

Some fun ideas:

Try our Pumpkin Smoothie - a healthy fun alternative to all the candy!

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