Halloween Candy - The good, the bad, and the ugly

Halloween has always meant one thing to me....candy. We went out in the 1980-90s blizzards, slogging through knee deep snow, freezing in homemade costumes, spurred on by a burning desire for bags of candy!

It seems most of my childhood was motivated by candy. I am drawn to it, and I still really like it.

But that begs the question....why do we like it? And who does it benefit? In the pre-industrial years, poor people would spend any discretionary income on candy and sweets, forgoing more healthy fare. Why? Because it gives a quick dopamine rush, and to people that have very little pleasure in their lives, just a bit is enough and it calls to them. And big food knows it. They use it against us to drive their profit margins!

Think about it - every holiday involves sweets, candies, treats. All require shopping and spending money.

Is eating candy inherently bad? No. But it's not good either. It is devoid of nutrients, save for calories. Calories are important and necessary, but calories without vitamins/minerals that displace those vital ingredients cause disease. Calories outside of meals, interrupt a proper meal timing and cause a cascade of hormonal destruction. And besides, many candies aren't "just sugar." JUST SUGAR is probably okay in moderation. Hydrogenated oils, artificial dyes and colors, and who knows what else lurk in so many candies.

What can we do? Be selective when eating candy. Only eat the candy that's really good. For example, I will not eat most candies. I realize they taste bland, gross, or just not right. I do, however, have a soft spot for Mike & Ike, sour patch kids, Baby Ruth, Turtles and Butterfingers. So I will eat them or save them to relish later. M&Ms can suck it. Gross gum can forget about it. Chocolate that tastes like wax (I'm looking at you Hersheys!!) is a no go. Twizzlers - YUK-O-RAMA. And I will NOT be found eating a tootsie roll. Good candy or no candy.

And here's a hint for Halloween. Since the kids are going to want to go out and collect it, and you will most likely need to hand it out - buy it the day before the holiday starts. I know that sounds stressful and last minute, but it will save you from wanting to eat the candy beforehand.

You could also buy all the candy you hate, but I personally find that distasteful for the following reasons: why should I want/expect other people to eat things I find unpalatable AND I don't feel like financially incentivizing those companies that make gross candy.

See if you can make the candy haul last all year long. Space out the treats and reserve them for right after dinner and see how long you can make it. Any other ideas? Add them in the comments below.

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!


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