poisoned halloween candy?

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Now, it most likely doesn’t.  Most of the sugar has been replaced by high-fructose corn syrup.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.

7 thoughts on “poisoned halloween candy?

  1. CarolB, former Eugenean 20 October 2010 / 7:15 am

    Are you aware that Hershey’s bought Dagoba in 2006? The Dagoba website makes it look like the company is still a small Oregon-owned one. It would be interesting to learn what changes in philosophy, manufacturing location and quality of ingredients this has wrought in the past 4 years. Buying Dagoba products means supporting Hershey’s and their greenwashing attempts. By the way, Hershey’s purchased Scharffen Berger a year or so before purchasing Dagoba.
    And Green and Black chocolate company was purchased by Cadburys, which is now owned by Kraft Foods!

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  2. Jennifer 22 October 2010 / 5:35 pm

    I, too, will be using the equal exchange minis again this year. I also try to spread the word by educating college students I know who trick or treat. The equal exchange folks offer a reverse trick-or-treating pack and downloadable info sheets to help educate folks about chocolate. You can check it out here:http://www.equalexchange.coop/reverse

    Thanks for spreading the word!

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  3. Eugenia 23 October 2010 / 12:16 pm

    Thanks, Lynn and Jennifer! “Reverse trick-or-treating” is a great idea.

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  4. Brooke 23 October 2010 / 11:02 pm

    Have you tried YummyEarth lollipops? These have been a big hit with everyone I’ve shared them with! All natural, organic ingredients, low(ish) calories and a bunch of great flavors including pomegranate, mango, strawberry and watermelon. I found mine at Market of Choice.

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  5. Alison 28 October 2010 / 3:36 pm

    The co-op in Corvallis has a pretty strict chocolate policy. They even stopped carrying Rogue Chocolate Stout because of it! I’d post a link, but they just redid their website and it is now much harder to find what you’re looking for!

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