I grew up long ago and far away, in a land where we sifted through our Halloween candy to cull the razor-blade apples and poisoned nibbles, identifiable by their opened wrappers. My mom took the extra precaution of keeping Yuck Mouth at bay by making us give up all the “pure sugar” hard candy and soft, chewy, cavity-inducing candies. We could keep the chocolate, because it had at least a tiny bit of nutritional value.
Now, it most likely doesn’t. Most of the sugar has been replaced by high-fructose corn syrup. But there’s even more frightening stuff in your Hershey’s minis: child slave labor. After being reprimanded with other chocolate companies years ago, Hershey’s decided not to take significant steps to change labor practices in Africa, where they source their chocolate.
So even though (because?) I’ve celebrated my freedom from the oppressive regime of my own childhood, where even the kittens needed to be taught to fake smile, I’m done with mass-market Halloween candy. No Hershey’s for me this year. Because of the deprivation* of the Great Cull, I never thought I’d be the kind of person who gave out raisins or pencils or (quelle horreur!) UNICEF change, so I’m going to go for another candy alternative. I’m not sour enough to give out crummy toys or office supplies yet. Yet.
We don’t get many kids, so I can spend a little more on fair trade chocolates. Dagoba, an Oregon organic chocolatier, has spendy tasting squares [Dagoba is now owned by Hershey’s — thanks, Carol, for the comment and see more info here], and there are other fair trade options here and here. Euphoria Chocolate Company, based here in Eugene, also has cute Halloween chocolates by the half-pound, but I don’t know anything about where they get their chocolate.
What are you giving away for treats?
* No, Mom, I’m just kidding.