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The 2017 Candy Bowl

October 31, 2017

Do you want to hear a Halloween horror story? The candy companies have won. They have finally broken my resolve. Like a crunchy peanut coating, my will has been crushed to bits.

In the past I’ve tried rallying against child labor in cocoa harvesting, chocolate that’s not really chocolate, high fructose corn syrup, GMO sourced ingredients from both corn and sugar beets, PGPR, artificial colors, and who knows what else.

It’s exhausting.

Recently, someone sent me an interesting link to a story about processed foods. There was one line that really stood out for me. The poison is in the dosage. But none of my concerns are really about health and wellness. They are more about the integrity of food, and the sacrifices we’re willing to accept for the sake of a corporation’s balance sheet.

But of all the things I care about, candy is at the bottom. And at some point you’ve got to choose your battles. So this year I gave up and just let Little Miss Fussy go to town. At least I’ve trained her well enough to put together a well balanced candy bowl.

What’s in store for trick or treaters to the Casa del Fussy?

Twix. She knows that despite the PGPR these are still a favorite of mine. I hate myself for it. But the power of childhood memories is strong. Even when I’m angry at the Twix corporate overlords, I can’t stay angry at a crisp cookie, covered with caramel, and enrobed in chocolate.

M&Ms. They may be crap chocolate, covered in crap candy, and colored with artificial dyes, but kids love them. I’ll eat one or two M&Ms every now and again if I need a small hit of something chocolatey, and there isn’t any real chocolate around.

York peppermint patties. For Halloween, they are shaped like pumpkins. Not only are they a refreshing alternative to all the sickly sweet confections this time of year, these minty treats won’t screw up Little Miss Fussy’s braces.

Gummy bears. Haribo got in on the holiday game by putting together little packets of their classic fruity treats in 55 calorie bags. I’ll confess to eating one of these packets already. I can’t believe they will be all that popular amongst the kids, and that’s fine by me.

Kit-Kats. Don’t ask me why. Waxy chocolate, over dry wafer-like cookies? I guess it fills in the niche of being crispy.

So all told, we’ve got crispy, crunchy, chewy, and soft. We’ve got chocolatey, minty, and fruity. There are treats with lots of pieces, and options with one larger piece. There’s a good mix of colorful items and brown ones. Caramel is represented as are cookies. And we’re nut free.

Or at least as nut free as one can be with big factory-made mass-market confections. Look. I can buy them. I can hand them out to kids. But that doesn’t mean that I’m happy about it. Maybe I can research moving to a country where Halloween isn’t a thing. The alternative might be moving somewhere that at least has better candy.

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