Crunchy parents have a totally different perspective on the world. What appears to most as a rosy paradise of bright colors and sugary delights, the crunchy parent sees only as a horror-filled wasteland of toxins, pharmaceuticals, additives, and petrochemicals.
We live in dangerous times.
And no other day of the year so perfectly positions crunchy parents in contrast with the culture-at-large than Halloween. Children are encouraged by all to go door to door to fill sacks with yellow dye 7, dubiously sourced chocolate, GMO’s, and loads and loads of refined white sugar.
And I used to think to myself, “Well…it’s just once a year. I used to eat candy like this at Halloween and it didn’t hurt me…” And lots of parents understandably join me in thinking this way, but then it hit me last year:
THIS CANDY IS NOT LIKE THE CANDY WE ATE AS KIDS
For the last 10 years at least, our food sources have been increasingly sourced from GMO’s, meaning pesticide-producing-enzyme-laced food ingredients. And while no formal links have been proven, the weight of evidence is growing that these genetically altered ingredients are causing massive health problems, and may be the leading cause of the epidemic of food allergies that we’re seeing in kids today.
Additionally, we’re finally wising up (Thanks Internet!) to the nutritional and social impact of some of the products we’re consuming:
- The global chocolate market is largely produced using child slave-labor, we need something on this akin to the anti-Blood-Diamond movement.
- Refined white sugar is more addictive than cocaine, and seems to be the root cause of childhood obesity and adult-onset diabetes showing up in kids.
- And I don’t think it’s necessary to review the dangers of food coloring (Cancer, ADHD, etc.)
What can parents do? A couple of suggestions:
- We open a Halloween store of small items from the dollar store (Thanks China!) and allow our kids to buy items using candy. Set the value of each piece of candy at so that it’s total value matches the total cost of items in your store. What you end up choosing will depend on the volume of your kids candy-haul that year. Save them from a sugary demise and work on their math and shopping skillz at the same time! (We do let them keep a few piece of candy to eat also, we’re not monsters, but most of their candy goes toward this shopping experience.)
- Educate your neighborhood! Instead of having your kids say “Trick or Treat”, have them rotate through an assortment of variant holiday greetings, such as:
- Trick or Type-II Diabetes!
- Trick or Attention-Deficient-Hyperactivity-Disorder!
- Trick or Genetically Modified Corn-Syrup!
- Trick or Blood-Chocolate!
You might have to also hand out an educational leaflet with that last one…
NEXT WEEK, ON THE CRUNCHY DUNGEON: