You just about finish dinner when Dracula shows up at the front door. Does he demand blood? No, sweets are what he craves. It’s Halloween. It’s candy time but you can’t just eat one bite of a regular size candy bar and put it down. I’m sure there are some who can do this, but why? It tastes so good! Fun size means never having to put it down. Of-course when you eat too many fun sized bars that’s when it stops being fun.

The chocolate protocol of eating these fun sized treats is very predictable in our household. The dark semi sweet chocolates are eaten first, then the Nestles Crunch, the peanut and then the bastard child of the litter, the regular old chocolate. Sometimes those last until March because they’re eaten less often and ultimately take on a swirl of discoloration (Emergency chocolate).  This doesn’t mean they’re bad, it only means you’re desperate for chocolate no matter how old it is. Every holiday has its own sweets.

One of the absolute joys of Halloween or, in fact, any season is candy. With the holiday’s approach, we buy bags full and separate the morsels we want for ourselves from the dross. It’s a convenient holiday for the Snickers® aficionado when you totally dismiss National Dental Hygiene Month! Oh yeah, some dentists still have dishes of hard candies at the front desk. Why? Come on, you know. I don’t think they think that you will think twice about popping a hard candy and ‘testing out’ their cleaning.

There’s a wrinkle which comes between you and your sweet treats, however. Of course, the immediacy of the brain’s sugar rush can impact the inner body later, through the unfamiliar and harmful ingredients which make up the bright colored treats we munch on. Has our health become more compromised by substances which we can’t pronounce or spell? Of course! Even if we could spell the ingredients, would you still want to stuff yourself with candy corn? One State is taking action!

California’s Governor Newsom signed a law banning the red dye No. 3, a chemical used as food coloring for products like Peeps, the marshmallow style treat, most associated with Easter and savored by sugar freaks everywhere. Red dye No. 3 is in many of our Halloween treats too, as well as the coating on the candy shell. Candy corn’s slick outside coating is made from “lac-resin”, which is a secretion from tiny red Asian insects called lac bugs. OK, sorry for that, but an ingredient that was once alive is not my favorite part of a diet.

Don’t think too deeply about ingesting something like that, but we’ve been scarfing bits and pieces of tiny animals for ages. Even the gleaming steel machinery with its head covered attendants can’t stop the floating parts from mixing in with the sugar, corn syrup, confectioner’s glaze, salt, dextrose, gelatin, sesame oil, artificial flavor, honey and yellow 6, yellow 5, and red 3. Most Halloween candies contain the basic sugar, corn syrup, carnauba wax, artificial coloring and binders, but those numbered colors…..

Candy Corn is wrapped in confectioner’s glaze, with each piece containing about 7.5 calories (For dieters, that’s equal to about 4 Tic Tacs; almost 95% sugar) and containing almost no nutritional value although we cleverly discard that kind of information from our brain. Brach’s makes approximately 7 billion pieces of candy Corn per year which means 20 pieces of candy corn for every man, woman and sugar addict on the planet. Only 20? The practice of eating insects (Or their parts) is called entomophagy and practiced by about 2 billion people mostly from hotter climates like our own sub tropics. How do you identify a person who eats bug parts as part of their diet? You can’t.

We should have never mentioned that fact because it’s the type of thing that could stick in your head like a crummy ear worm from your ex-girlfriend when she told you Céline Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ is now her song.


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