The Kitchen Think: Before You Buy Your Halloween Candy, Read This!


Halloween CandyDo you hand out goodies on Halloween? Here’s something to think about before you stock up.

Petroleum-based synthetic food dyes, the preservative sodium benzoate and aspartame are in a lot of the candy that we hand out to trick-or-treaters. Studies have shown that these dyes can trigger hyperactivity and allergic reactions in sensitive children.

The FDA acknowledges that there is a problem, because they have a committee looking into the evidence linking the dyes to behavioral disorders. But they still haven’t forced food companies like Kraft, Wal-Mart, Mars and Coca-Cola to remove these things from their products or even require them to place a warning notice on labels.

Here’s the stunner: Those same companies have voluntarily removed many of these things from the products they sell in Europe. Yes, that’s right. M&M’s loaded with artificial dyes are apparently hazardous to the health of kids in Europe… but not here at home.

Kraft, Coca Cola, Wal-Mart and Mars removed these ingredients from their products sold in Europe but not here. Why not?

Before you buy your Halloween candy, read the ingredient label and don’t buy products that contain sodium benzoate and aspartame and artificial dyes Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has an amazing amount of information about this issue. They’ve started an online petition to get the artificial dye out of M&Ms. Click here to find out more!



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posted under The Kitchen Think

7 thoughts on “The Kitchen Think: Before You Buy Your Halloween Candy, Read This!

  1. Kerith Stull

    (Actually visiting from SITS Monday’s “About Page” LinkUp – You’re the post ahead of me! — I couldn’t find a way to directly email you, so there’s my suggestion. Couldn’t find it anywhere on your blog. Liked the little snippet followed by the longer version. Very clever! But, honestly, it took me halfway through the second section to get it. Really liked your blog layout and post layout. Very organized sidebar and I love that! Sorry again to have to post here. No where else to send you feedback!)

  2. BJacques

    What candies to you suggest we buy? Is there a list of good alternatives? Going to do a little research now… thanks for getting me thinking!

    1. Mama Post author

      This is a tough one because some of the candy that is dye free has nuts… which is another allergy hit! Then you have all the gluten and dairy allergies. Hershey Chocolate is a popular choice, but it, too, has an artificial flavor!

  3. Rosey

    I’ve always thought the ingredients list on most candies was more than a mouthful.

    Awareness really is key and you’re smart to share.

    Thank you for linking to Super Sunday Sync. 🙂


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I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: