Wednesday, October 26, 2011

THESE HALLOWE’EN TREATS ARE TRICKY


October 26, 2011

No ma’am, you’re right to wonder if the chocolate poo you bought for your kids is really chocolate and here’s the answer: No it is not. But – whoa whoa whoa - it isn’t real poo either, just something that’s a bit less disgusting.
At $5 a lump, Number Two is number one on the list of most repulsive candies being offered this Hallowe’en, sharing the top spot with snot, the, er, edible kind. Other major contenders for the key to Barf City are two hospital-type products, a plastic specimen jar containing a sour lemony Urine Sample for $5 and, at a dollar more, an IV bag of blood, fruit punch flavored.
All Hallows Eve is becoming increasingly bloodthirsty; maybe it’s just a reflection of society as a whole, although tradition refuses to die completely.
There are still the usual candy cockroaches and bags of gummy worms and other insects. Also cute little assorted body parts in fake formaldehyde or in a chocolate-colored version, including plucked-out eyes, severed fingers and toes.
But about that toilet tidbit that’s top of the Yechhh Parade. Chocolate Fantasies of Washington call their indelicate delicacy Crapola and will tell you what’s in it if you ask them. At 3.5 ounces and 550 calories the edible excrement has more sugar and partially hydrogenated oils in it than other ingredients. So Crapola is likely well-named, but it’s not actual chocolate, just a fantasy. .
Let’s take a closer look at what we’re giving our youngsters. And Parents: please be seated because this can be quite frightening.
The Mayo Clinic heads those who’ve been warning for years about the ubiquitous villain that uses different aliases in order to confuse us. It’s trans fat, aka trans fatty acid and also partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. It raises the bad cholesterol and lowers the good. Heart disease and other serious ailments can result. Plus it depresses the thyroid and thereby makes you fat.
Palm oil is sometimes offered up as a substitute. The World Health Organization warns against this goo too, citing heart disease, while American medical scientists add that there’s a risk of stroke.
One point made by the celebrated Dr Andrew Weill is that palm kernel oil, extracted with a petroleum-type solvent, is worse than palm oil, and fractionated palm oil, as found in “healthy” power bars, is the worst. They’re all potential killers.
So we face a – forgive me – a grave situation.
Who’s to blame? Even on a moonless night we don’t have to look far for the culprits. Begin with our old favorite the PalmOil company, going under the name Palmer and makers of the trans fatty Easter bunny that’s 2,100 calories. These folks produce yuk-yuk candy for other jolly festive occasions, yucky Hallowe’en included. But it’s no joke.
A 9 ounce bag of their Googly Eyes costs $2 and contains six servings of 220 calories, half of which from fat. Your eight-year-old wolfs down – today I should say werewolfs down - the lot and she’s had way more than her entire daily caloric allowance just from that one sweet treat. Eat just three of Palmer’s other ocular outtakes, Creepy Peepers, and you’ve had 190 calories. Both versions are replete with sugar, partially hydrogenated oils and additives.
The eyes have it. Bee International is selling its Chinese-made Oozing Eyeballs, jelly-filled with corn syrup, sugar and chemicals.
Moving on from baby blues we come to the offal in the Chocolaty Body Parts bag containing fudge and rice and peanut butter. Munching just two 2½-inch ears or three of the smaller items like lips equals nearly 200 calories
But notice the wording: Chocolaty. Not chocolate, which, legally, they couldn’t say because even though it looks like the good stuff it isn’t really. Sugar and the awful trans fatty palm oil are the main ingredients with cocoa down the list at number five..
Oh woe. The supermarket shelves are groaning with the weight of these abominations.
Flix Candy are the makers of Box Of Boogers, 3.5-ounces of green gilberts that’ll set you back two greenbacks. “Tangy” nose pickings, it says, that, “look and feel real”. Huh? How would they know? Did they get a panel of street urchins to compare their product with the actual? Did they make the comparison themselves? Ewwww!
Skeleton Pops are artificially flavored. You get an arm and a leg but at $5 it clearly doesn’t cost you that. There are more chemical treats like a 600-calorie bag of SpongeBob Squarepants Gummy Crabby Patty Candy for a couple bucks. Frankford Candy that sells these Chinese concoctions should be called Frankenfood, and not because it’s Hallowe’en.
Toxic Waste Hazardously Sour Candy might sound deliciously inviting to mischievous little pixie ears, but each little drumfull contains sugar, more corn syrup and artificial fixin’s, thereby making its name not terribly far from the truth.
So it’s back to dung, and if we must give our tyke this for Hallowe’en, then at least let’s seek out one made of real chocolate, even though this seems to be endangered feces.
Guittard’s $10 DooDoo is 5.6 ounces of pure milk chocolate with no additives or preservatives, however they don’t broadcast the ingredients and calorie count. You’d have to buy one, which I’ll admit I didn’t do because by now I’m all poo’d out

ENDIT

© 2011 Fred Wehner is a journalist formerly with the Daily Mail in London, who then founded and ran the New York News Agency before settling in Monroe 21 years ago.