Although Halloween looks different this year, that doesn’t mean it has to be canceled, and this year as always, it can produce anxiety in parents hoping to keep their kids healthy by staying away from all the chemicals found in conventional candy.
To make healthier choices, it’s important to know what to avoid, so we’ve come up with some safe ways to enjoy the holiday and skip the spooky chemicals, from scary high fructose corn syrup to frightening artificial colors.
There are more than 700 spooky chemicals used to make conventional products. The top five toxic and inflammatory ingredients found in sweets:
- High fructose corn syrup and corn syrup
- Partially hydrogenated oils
- GMO ingredients come from GMO soy, corn, canola, cottonseed oil and sugar
- Artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners
- Preservatives such as sodium benzoate, sulfites, polysorbate 60, 65 or 80, nitrites, TBHQ, and BHT/BHA.
In many other countries, candy is better regulated and excludes ingredients that have been linked to health problems in kids. In fact, the data on pesticide use alone is scary enough for any parent. You can immediately and dramatically reduce your kids’ exposure to pesticides and other agricultural chemicals by switching to certified organic foods, as a study by the Swedish Environmental Research Institute showed. When the family in this study switched to organic food, both the amounts and number of pesticides in the children’s bodies dropped.
Another study, from Friends of the Earth, showed switching to an organic diet decreased levels of cancer-causing glyphosate – the main ingredient in Bayer-Monsanto’s pesticide Roundup – by 70% in families’ bodies in just one week.
Luckily, scary ingredients don’t have to be part of your trick-or-treating fun on Halloween night. We’ve come up with a list of some delicious organic treats instead that contain none of the scary chemicals. Our picks:
- Ocho Organic Candy
- Amy’s Kitchen Candy
- Sunridge Farms Candy
- Black Forest Organic
- Annie’s Homegrown
- Yum Earth
- Equal Exchange Organic Chocolate
Since most families and neighborhoods aren’t spending this Halloween trick-or-treating in the traditional way, knocking on doors, here are some other ways to celebrate safely.
Our friends at Organic Valley have three fun crafts to celebrate the spooky season. Or, if your little ghost or goblin doesn’t love crafting, pumpkin hunting at a local farm and carving will be fun for them.
Making costumes from things lying around the house is an efficient way to reuse them and save on the cost of a costume; you’d be surprised what you can make out of a paper shopping bag or shipping box with a little creativity and imagination. Our friends at Stonyfield have come up with excellent DIY Halloween costumes to help you get your creative juices flowing.
Also, many friends and families are celebrating on Zoom this year, or using apps like Houseparty to host game nights. This is a safe and fun way to celebrate with your family without worrying!
For the baker and recipe maker in the house, our organic brand partners have many seasonal options to enjoy Halloween treats at home. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Halloween doesn’t have to be canceled this year if you use a little imagination, and it doesn’t have to be scary if you skip the chemicals and just go with organic treats. We’d love to know how you’re celebrating Halloween this year.