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  • Writer's pictureCarla Abate

The Scariest Thing About Halloween? The Candy!

With Halloween just around the corner, as parents, many of you are probably caught up in the frenzy of costumes, party decorations, and candy selection. While Halloween is certainly one of my favorite celebrations, the candy part has always added a bit of stress since my parenting style has always centered around whole, clean food. We are not perfectionists of course, and sugar has crept its way into our lives more than I'd expected it would, but it’s the other ingredients that I find much more frightening than simply sugar.


Sustainable shopping made simple.


Many of the additives in popular candy are linked to endocrine disruption, hypersensitivity and other behavior-related challenges such as ADHD, and/or are known or suspected carcinogens. Below are a few ingredients to watch out for.

  • High fructose corn syrup

  • Partially hydrogenated oils

  • Artificial colors and ingredients

  • Preservatives: titanium dioxide, BHT, TBHQ, polysorbates

And it is not just the health implications that are concerning, but also the environmental and ethical consequences these products impose. Many of these candies are individually wrapped with plastic and are processed with additional petroleum-based ingredients placing a burden on environmental resources. While other ingredients are not always sustainably farmed or ethically sourced involving child labor for example. Below are some additional reasons to avoid popular candy brands.

  • Petroleum-based ingredients

  • Palm oil

  • Plastic wrappers

  • Hormones

  • Pesticides

  • Unethically sourced

Popular Candy Brands to Avoid:

  • Mars Brand-Skittles, M&Ms, Twix, etc.

  • Starbursts

  • Airheads

  • Baby Ruth

  • 3 Musketeers

  • Butterfinger

  • Twizzler

Preferable Brands

There's still hope yet. Several companies out there are doing it right - they're using better ingredients, have ethical labor practices in place, and are mindful about packaging. And most importantly, they are making candy that tastes good; these are all wholesome, healthier candies both of my children enjoy.

Yum Earth - From gummy candy to sour candy to lollipops, they make delicious treats for everyone to enjoy. Their products are allergy friendly, organic, non-GMO and free from artificial dyes and high fructose corn syrup.

Justin's - They've come a long way since the days in Justin’s home kitchen in Boulder, CO back in 2004 where Justin Gold wanted to create new varieties of nut butter that not only packed protein, but also tasted great. Justin's now crafts naturally delicious nut butters, plant-based snacks, and organic confections.

OCHO Candy - Delicious Organic and Fair Trade candy bars that are beautiful inside & out. Originally from Oakland, CA. In 2021, they decided to move production to the Islands of Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean. That way they are closer to the ingredients and worldwide trade, thereby helping to keep more income opportunities in those origin countries.

Surf Sweets - started in Santa Cruz, California by two guys who liked to surf and wanted allergy-friendly Treats. They believe in making mindfully delicious treats that taste as they should, using high-quality, allergy-friendly, organic ingredients.

So this Halloween, let's keep the scary for the costumes and pick the candy that is less toxic, more mindful of the environmental impact and tastier too! Big change takes place in small steps and each small step supports a better future for our children!

For sustainable product recommendations, check out the askBelynda Google Chrome Extension.


Carla Abate is a Certified Master Nutrition Therapist and Postpartum Doula. She supports mothers and their partners throughout the pregnancy journey, and well beyond, to achieve optimal wellness for their babies and themselves! Check out her website Rebel Roots Nutrition to learn more about her services.

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