In just a few more days the city of Prince George (and many more just like it!) will be bombarded by gangs of goblins & ghosts, posses of pirates & princesses and an assortment of other branded characters collecting their rightful loot. Halloween is a fun holiday for those of all ages, but the reality behind the cute miniature chocolate bars the little ones are after is anything but…
There’s no way around it- Halloween really is the nightmare before Christmas… for your blood sugar. It’s so tempting to just have “one more” because they’re extra small portions, but before you know if there’s ten wrappers sitting next to you and you’ve had more than a full size chocolate bar would have been. Curb your sweet tooth by bringing some fruit to work (those wonderful mandarin oranges are in the stores!) or by brewing up a cauldron of your favorite tea. Consuming lots of fiber throughout the day will also keep you full, making it easier to skip the receptionists candy bowl.
Fact: Sugar is addictive. Sugar releases an opiate-like substance that activates the brain’s reward system.
Fact: The word “sugar” comes from the Arabic sukkar, from the Sanskrit shakara.
Fact: Sugars have been documented to contribute to and/or aggravate health problems, including: asthma, mood disorders, mental illness, nervous disorders, diabetes, heart disease, gallstones, hypertension, and arthritis.
While (increasing) diabetes & obesity statistics are in the news on the daily, there’s another less obvious dark side to the sugar factor when it comes to Halloween candy.
Fact: By 2010, 95 percent of the sugar beets grown in the U.S. were Monsanto’s genetically modified variety.
Fact: Genetically engineered foods have not been shown to be safe to eat and may have unpredictable consequences.
Fact: Sugar cane is grown with the use of synthetic fertilizers and weed sprays.
As for the chocolate (which I think can be generally agreed upon is the mass favorite!)…
Fact: West Africa’s cocoa industry is still trafficking children and using forced child labour despite nearly a decade of efforts to eliminate the practices.
Fact: The ownership of one human being by another is illegal in Ivory Coast, as it is in every other country in the world today. But that doesn’t mean slavery has ceased to exist.
Fact: The top ten global confectionary companies totalled over 75 billion USD in 2011. Cocoa labelled as Fair Trade has a mere 0.5% of the global cocoa market.
Yikes, that’s scarier than the new Paranormal Activity movie! What can I do about it?
Instead of trick or treating, host a halloween party featuring roasted pumpkin seeds, peeled grape “eyeballs” and a melon brain.
Fun things like pumpkin carving, bobbing for apples, spooky story telling & pin the nose on the witch.