What’s in your Easter basket?
Holidays- Halloween, Valentine’s Day and of course Easter- are synonymous with candy and that means consuming chemicals, toxins and of course ungodly amounts of sugar. There is nothing wrong with having a sweet treat (yay!), but what is wrong is the ingredients IN those Big Food candies. Here are three reasons why most candy & chocolate on the supermarket shelves should not be bought, eaten, given and additionally a guide of what candy and chocolates that you can enjoy every now and then!
It’s probably not a surprise that the ingredients in candy are not good for the human body. Made with GMOs, artificial dyes, flavorings, preservatives, hydrogenated oils- what makes up the candy you are eating is more like eating a sweet treat of death! Artificial dyes alone are a known carcinogen (cancer) and have also been linked to tumors and hyperactivity. GMO ingredients have been linked to infertility and reproductive problems, cancer, leukemia, allergies, alters our DNA, immune problems, fast aging- the list is quite appalling and long. GMO ingredients are in 80% of processed food-like products. Another reason to eat real food!
Many don’t stop to think “how was this made?” when they pick up a bag of Cadbury Eggs or Hershey Kisses. But sadly the majority of the products on commercial supermarket shelves are made with unethical labor and also unethical sourcing of ingredients. Cocoa (chocolate) and coffee are the two most popular crops that are produced with less than desirable ethics. Sustainability is very important and the sustainability of small farms in developing countries is a justice issue that concerns you. Hershey’s is one company that has frequented the news headlines with their use of child labor in harsh conditions. Additionally, Big Food companies routinely participate in land grabs, driving out small farmers, their communities and their way of making a living. So that bag of candy you buy is either keeping people trapped in poverty and unfair conditions or giving them a fair living. it is imperative that chocolate (and coffee) are bought with the fair trade label. Like Fair Trade states “every purchase matters”. Consumers can change the world through what they buy. Our purchases say much about us. What people buy reflects how they live and view life. How can you change what you buy to make a positive, sustainable statement?
No doubt you know that sugar is addictive and the research that goes along with that. Sugar has also been said to be more addictive than cocaine! The health risks of consuming sugar (artificial sweeteners included) range from obesity (which will then cause heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease), weight gain, headaches and mood disorders. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is not a GMO ingredient but has been linked to a host of health problems. It’s a cheap filler and is many, many Big Food candy and chocolate products. It’s okay to have a sweet treat on occasion but for optimal health, make sugar a rare part of your nutrition.
If you are thinking “but you just took away my favorite candy!” do not fear! We’ve created a special Ethical Easter Candy Guide just for you (all the links are below). And here are some additional ideas for your Easter baskets:
Cooking: kid size cooking utensils, apron, kids cookbook, herbs
Play+fitness: kites, jump rope, organic cotton socks, pedometer, yoga mat