- Holidays and Celebrations
Organic and Fair Trade Halloween Candy
Do you shop Fair Trade and/or organic?
These eco-friendly, organic and Fair Trade Halloween candies pass the "YUM!" test with my little ghosts and goblins
Every year, more and more of us ask our grocers and suppliers for Earth-friendly, organic Halloween candies and products. Just two years ago, I had a tough time finding Halloween treats I could give my grandchildren with a good conscience.
This year, organic and Fair Trade manufacturers offer quite a selection of eoc-friendly candies you can be proud to give to the ghosties and goblins knocking on your door, including the SurfSweet gummy bears and Endangered Species dark and milk chocolate delights you see in the photo above.
On this page you will find several more of the greener Halloween treats that pass the "yum" test with our grandchildren. If you know of a resource for organic, Fair Trade, or eco-packaged candies I've missed, please share it in the comments section.
New to the Fair Trade concept? Check out this quick primer.
- What is Fair Trade and why should we care?
Check out the cute video near the top of the page, in which Bernadette, the Fair Trade banana, meets Carlos, the conventional banana, in the produce section of your local supermarket. Will the peels come off? Will the bananas get squishy?
Fair Trade means no child labor in this chocolate
Unlike much of the conventional chocolate sold today, no slave or child labor is used to produce these chocolates, so when you hand them out this Halloween, you know only adults planted, harvested and helped to manufacture this chocolate. More, they were treated and compensated fairly.
Like other Endangered Species products, part of the profits from each sale go to support endangered species around the world.
Why is organic important to so many of us today?
If you're wondering why so many people today spend more for organic, pesticide-free and GMO-free foods, here are three big reasons.
1. Organic food is more nutritious
According to a peer-reviewed study published in The British Journal of Nutrition in July 2014, people who switch from a conventional diet to an organic diet get 20-40 percent more disease-fighting anti-oxidants and polyphenols.
The journal likens that increase to eating one or two more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. For a good capsulization of this study, see the Environmental Working Group (EWG) article, Is Organic Really Better?.
Whenever you can shop and buy local first!
I haven't tried the jelly bean snack yet, but if it's anything like their fruity bears, I'm in trouble! This package contains 24 child-size packets of juicy jelly beans, all safely sealed and just right for the Halloween candy bowl.
2. Organic agriculture is better for the environment
On About Money, environmental writer Jennifer Chait lists eight reasons organic farming is better for the environment. So we can dig deeper, she backs her assertions with links to supporting studies and data.
Some of the benefits she mentions include protecting our soil, air and water supply, contributing fewer carbon emissions, helping to slow global warming and supporting biodiversity and animal welfare.
3. Organic agriculture is better for the farm workers
The farm workers who plant, grow, tend and harvest our food crops are among the lowest paid, least protected people in western culture. Very often, they are required to apply known-carcinogenic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers without adequate training or protective gear.
Take a look at the exposure these farm workers experience routinely in this Pesticide Action Network article titled simply, Farmworkers.
That's one reason I buy Bug Bites Endangered Species candy bars. They're Fair Trade, and every purchase gives a little back to protecting the biodiversity of our planet.
What could be more Halloween than Chocolate Bug Bites?
Just like conventional bags of individually-wrapped candy, now you can get organic milk chocolate squares, each wrapped and sealed in its own little package. Two things make these candies even more fun for the eco-conscious Halloween-treat shopper.
First, to satisfy you and me, 10 percent of net profits help to support endangered species habitat.
Second, to entertain and educate the little ones all year long, but especially this ghostly season, each candy comes with a colorful collectable Bug-Bite card depicting a real-life creepie-crawly on one side and facts about the insect on the other side.
Perhaps because my family were farmers first
Were you taught to give thanks before a meal? We were. We gave thanks for the food, and also for the bounty of the land, the fresh air and water we enjoyed.
At every meal, our prayer ended asking for the well-being of the workers whose labor brought the food from seed to table.
Maybe that's because my parents grew up on farms and helped their families grow much of their food.
They knew how the farmers backs ached at the end of the day, how they massaged salve into their blistered and calloused hands.
Back then, almost all food grown was organic
My grandparents grew most of their food the old-fashioned way. Late fall, after the last of the crops were in, they seeded the soil with cow dung they'd stockpiled from their own cattle all year. In some plots and fields, they sowed quick-growing legumes, then plowed them under before the hard winter frost. Those cover crops put important nutrients back into the soil.
With healthy soil and good crop husbandry, my grandparents didn't need to apply heavy artificial fertilizers and herbicides every year.
For the grown-ups accompanying the tiny monsters on their rounds
At 70 percent dark chocolate, these bug bites may be more popular with the adult dark-chocolate-loving crowd. Like their milk chocolate cousins, each of these bug bites come with a colorful bug card to educate and perhaps, creep the little ones out--in a Halloween-spooky good way. There are a lot of crazy-looking insects out there!
No bio-hazard suits in organic farming!
Today's mega farms, with their mile-long stretches of mono-crops rely heavily on soil-killing chemicals to combat the ever-more-resistant weeds and crop-eating bugs. Some of those chemicals are so toxic that the workers have to wear bio-hazard suits when applying them.
That's why it's so important to me to see that my children and grandchildren have only organic treats and why I'm willing to spend a little more.
The farmers and their field hands bear the brunt of the pesticides and insecticides they administer to the crops. Organic farming uses far less toxic measures.
Organic lollipops two dads made because, Kids!
When two dads couldn't find what they wanted
Two dads, who had babies at about the same time, realized one day that, while they were careful to feed their darlings organic milk, veggies, fruits and crackers, when it came to candy, they had few choices. Like any good dads, they hunted for a solution. Not finding any other, they decided to make their own great-tasting organic lollipops.
Then they made a video to show us all how they do it. Don't you love it when a company is so proud of their processes--and have nothing to hide--that they take you inside and show you? Refreshing!
In the video below, watch how YummyEarth makes the lollipops and how they derive those fabulous, food-based colors and flavors.
Another tasty option when the doorbell rings
We're not through yet!
There are lots more organic candy options this Halloween than ever before.
Take these tidy little packages of sweet berry candy from Annie's for a tasty and somewhat healthier treat. Each package is packed with a full day's child-sized dose of Vitamin C.
My granddaughter's favorite flavor is strawberry, and she loves the cherry and raspberry flavors almost as much.
For the candy rope lovers in your crowd
Looking for vegan candies?
Here's an old favorite--Tangy-sweet fruity twists.
Get them in a variety of flavors, including strawberry, mixed berry and grape flavors.
Made with apple juice, and certified organic, they are also gluten free, vegetarian, vegan and Kosher.
What matters more in your Halloween treats? Organic? Fair Trade grown and made? Eco-Packaging? Price?
What is more important to you? - Organic, Fair Trade, or eco-packaging?
In hunting down organic and Fair Trade treats for the kids, I find that, in this day of plastic packing everywhere, I pretty much have to give up on the hope of finding any dolled up in eco-friendly, Earth-friendly packaging.
Still, it's an important consideration. Each year, I ask for it wherever I buy treats.
Price is another important consideration, especially for young families in our struggling economy.
What's most important to you? Take advantage of the opportunity to weigh in on the poll to the right.
After you've voted, be sure to tell us more about why you feel the way you do in the comments section that follows.
How about a treat of another kind?
- Lavendula and the Purple Shoes: A Halloween fable
After the costumes come off, treat your darlings to a bed-time story about a young girl who meets the good witch Lavendula and discovers that she is one too
© 2012 Kathryn Grace