Halloween Scares: Activists and Organic Food

Forget vampires and Snooki. The scariest thing to dress up as this Halloween is a food activist. While most people spend the end of October buying candy and planning parties, the anti-sweets squad burns the midnight oil fretting about the candy children are eating.

One recent article in the Chicago Sun-Times (among countless others) quoted a long list of nutritionists and dentists pulling their hair out about Halloween candy. Their solutions? Hand out dental floss, toothbrushes, animal crackers, raisins, sugarless gum, or Play-Doh. To us, that seems like a sure way to wake up to an egged house.

Today we have an op-ed in the Bucks County Courier Times that takes these killjoys to task. Someone had to demolish the idea that handing out organic fruit leather on Halloween is a health panacea, and we're just the group to do it:

Want a real fright? If you think that organic apple doesn't need to be washed, think again. Organic farms that grow the overpriced produce we sometimes feed our consciences use plenty of pesticides. The U.S. government considers some bug-killing toxins more "natural" than others. (Guatemalan coffee farmers have even used fermented urine to scare off pests. You're drinking it.)

We're exposed to thousands of chemicals every day, some made by Mother Nature and others by scientists. One Berkeley professor calculates that 99.9 percent of the chemicals we consume every day are produced naturally by plants.

But we encounter even the remaining 0.1 percent in tiny, tiny amounts. Our exposure to most chemicals is only measurable in parts-per-trillion. That's like a single drop of water in 20 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Read the rest of the op-ed for more mythbusting about Halloween health concerns. We conclude: “[T]his Halloween, hand out candy bars with a clear conscience. Eat what you like. Let your kids indulge in a few extra sweets.” The little tykes will still be healthy and you can avoid becoming known as “that house” – you know, the one that offers a choice between raisins and oranges. The one with all the toilet paper hanging from the trees.

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