Sugar, Sugar: How to avoid GMO this Halloween

Halloween is coming, and with it the onslaught of sugar.  But sugar isn’t just sugar anymore.   Most Halloween candy is made from HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) or sugar.  Since 50% of American sugar supply is from GMO sugar beet, and HFCS is made from GMO corn, that makes standard Halloween candy more than likely to be genetically modified.
Although deemed safe by North American powers that be, GMO crops are potentially harmful in many ways.  Among other things, new allergens, antibiotic resistance, social and ethical concerns, pesticide-tolerant crops and herbicide-tolerant insects are a few of the potential side effects of GMO crops. 

HFCS is also highly processed, addictive, and can lead to weight gain and dental problems. 

And don’t forget the artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.  Most are derived from petroleum products.  Many are potential carcinogens and all are created in a lab.  Obviously, it is much cheaper to make candy with artificial ingredients than with natural ingredients. 
But wait!  Don’t lock you kids up this Halloween.  There are ways around GMO candy, thankfully.  All certified organic sugar and candy is non-GMO by regulation.  In fact, anything certified organic is non-GMO. 
Here are some non-GMO treat ideas for Halloween:
  • Yummy Earth organic candy and lollipops:  These really are yummy.  We’ve tried ‘em.  They are free of artificial flavours, colors and HFCS. 
  • Annie’s Halloween Snacks and Crackers:  We love Annie’s products!  They are organic, flavourful and free of preservatives, artificial colors, flavours and HFCS.  Fruit snacks, crackers, granola bars and more! 
  • Yogavive Organic Apple Chips: Treats don’t have to have added sugar!  These are in convenient sizes and are 100% organic apple, nothing else. 
  • Homemade Halloween Treats: Halloween doesn’t have to be all about store bought, pre-packaged stuff.  VegKitchen has some neat homemade ideas for Halloween including candy apples and fruit leather.  My mom used to make popcorn balls to hand out to the kids.   I admit I have always stayed away from homemade products for two reasons: allergies and the fact that they might get thrown out by strangers who don’t know or trust me.   But they would be great for parties.

  • Fruit: There is nothing wrong with handing out apples, or mandarin oranges for treats!  They will probably get eaten even if they aren’t the first thing the little ghost goes for.  Her parents will be pleased anyway.
  • Toys:  Treats don’t have to mean things to eat.  You can find halloween pencils and stickers at dollar stores.
What To Do With The GMO Loot
Now that you have figured out something safe to hand out to all the vampires and witches, what are you going to do about the candy your own little dragon brings home? 
Last year I allowed the children to pick out 5 treats to keep and eat whenever they wanted to.  I then bought the rest of the candy from them in exchange for a trip to Value Village where they could pick out anything they wanted.  My son is now 8 and will probably try to go for cash, but his health is worth it to me, so even giving him $20 for his candy would make me happy.  The rest of the candy?  (After I picked out my own share) I gave it to the teenagers who work at our family’s store.  Shhh!  Don’t tell their parents!  If you are hardcore enough you could toss it, and I have heard of some people donating it. 
We have a long dark driveway with a big wooden gate so no one ever ventures down our way to trick or treat.  I always have some healthy snacks on hand though, just in case.  Healthy is good, because then I don’t have to worry about feeding the left overs to my children afterwards.  And I won’t be eating garbage when I sneak some for myself!
Have a safe, and happy Halloween!  If you feel like sharing, I would love to hear your ideas for healthy Halloween treats, and what you do with your child’s loot afterwards!
Other References:
For more great ideas for a healthy Halloween check out Green Halloween.  They are the best resource for costume swaps, party ideas, treat suggestions, games and more!

This post has been linked up to Little Bit of Mom Sense: Greening Your Halloween Carnival, and I Thought I Knew Mama: Green and Natural Link up.

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