This Halloween, don’t get scared by candy with frightening GMO ingredients in them (which is most candy), give the ghouls and ghosts at your door something much better! Support companies that make wholesome products as another way to voice your opinion on the upcoming November 6 vote in California. Enough “Yes on 37” votes would require manufacturers to label offending goods as containing GMOs, or genetically modified organisms.
Here are five Halloween goodies for trick-or-treaters that you can feel good about passing out, as long as you’re not tempted to keep them all for yourself! Each company is committed to making GMO-free products, and proud to do so.
UNREAL 54, Candy Coated Chocolates with Peanuts: UNREAL candies, inspired by a 13-year-old boy looking for a candy that’s “unjunked” of artificial ingredients, is available at Target, CVS, and Kroger chains just in time for Halloween. Available in mini sizes, they are comparable to their traditional counterparts. These Peanut M&M look-alikes have 200 calories, 16 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of fat, but also 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. Plus, they dye the candy coating with beet root and purple cabbage!
Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops: These vegan suckers made from real fruit extracts come in fun flavors like Wet Face Watermelon, Pomegranate Pucker, and Mango Tango. They’re packed with flavor but free of GMOs, artificial dyes, and gluten. One lollipop has 22 calories, 17 grams of sugar, and no fat. A bag of 50 is $7.99, and Yummy Earth products are found at Whole Foods, Toys “R” Us, and Babies “R” Us, and health food stores. Trader Joe’s also has delicious Organic Pops.
Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks: These cute little gummies contain no additives or preservatives, but the best part is that they’re made without gelatin, a truly repulsive ingredient. One pouch has 70 calories, 10 grams of sugar, and no fat. Pick up a bag at Target or most local grocery chains that carry Annie’s products, usually in the organic section. The Halloween-themed graham cracker bunnies are also a healthy snack in a festive pack that’s free of GMOs.
Angie’s Kettle Corn: Popcorn is great as a Halloween treat because it’s a whole grain and has less sugar than candies. A 24-pack of Angie’s Kettlecorn can be found at Target for $7.99. Their “naturally simple products” contain no trans fats, artificial flavors, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners, and only four ingredients – popcorn, corn oil, sugar, and salt. One individual bag has 70 calories and 4 grams of sugar.
Endangered Species Rainforest Mint Chocolates: Although these aren’t marketed for Halloween, the individually-wrapped chocolates not only taste good, they help the environment. Ten percent of Endangered Species’ profits are donated to support habitats and species survive. The ethically-sourced squares have 17 grams of fat, 11 grams of sugar, 0 grams of trans fat, 4 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein. One reasonably priced bag of ten is $3.29, and can be found at natural food stores.
As GMOs are in approximately 70 percent of packaged products in the grocery store, the vast majority of traditional candies and chocolates contain them. If, however, you’re unsure if certain Halloween treats have GMOs in them, keep this list in mind:
Ingredients Commonly Made With Genetically Modified Organisms:
- Sugar (not specified as cane sugar)
- Anything ending in “ose” (high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, glucose)
- Aspartame (brand names are Nutrasweet and Equal)
- Corn starch and modified food starch
- Anything containing soy and soy products not certified organic
- These oils: soybean, cottonseed, canola, and vegetable
- Food additives and artificial ingredients including caramel color, xanthan gum, and citric acid
Simpler put, if it’s made from corn, soy, sugar beets, or canola, chances are that crop was genetically modified. More than 86 percent of these crops grown in the United States are GM varieties. Steer clear of GMOs this Halloween while still giving kids something that tastes delicious and you’ll be the most popular house on the block.