Like many families, we took our kids Trick or Treating last night for Halloween.
The rule in our house is that a few pieces can be saved at the end of the evening with the rest going to the dentist who will buy them for a dollar per pound.
This is not the same dentist, by the way, as the one I wrote about who gave me a gift certificate to Dunkin Donuts as a thank you for referral business, in case you were wondering.
To me, Halloween offers parents an opportunity to teach kids balance when it comes to handling the constant onslaught of junk food that surrounds them in our processed food addicted culture.
Allowing them to enjoy a favorite treat but encouraging them not to overindulge and embrace moderation can prove a helpful life lesson once they are away from a home that serves nourishing meals and they are in charge of making decisions about what they will eat each and every day.
Who would have thought that another lesson in the advertising tricks of Big Food would also come our way on Halloween night?
As it turns out, my kids also received bags of chips instead of candy from some of the homes they visited.
As my kids were going through the spoils at the end of the night, one of them inquired as to why one of the bags of chips was labeled “Wise” when the ingredients were most definitely not.
The ingredients on this Wise brand bag of plain potato chips contained the following:
Potatoes, vegetable oil (one or more of: corn, cottonseed, sunflower, soybean, or canola oil), salt.
First of all, the oils listed are all polyunsaturated. These delicate oils are severely damaged and rendered toxic when you cook them at the high temperatures required to fry potato chips.
In addition, frying of any starch creates acrylamide, a carcinogen that can be very dangerous to health when consumed in the high levels of the typical American diet loaded with refined carbohydrates.
Not a whole lot that is Wise about those chips at all, is there?
I nodded and told my kids that this observation was brilliant and right on. Just because a product is labeled natural or wise doesn’t make it so.
Warning to Big Food: The next generation is on to you. They won’t be as trusting and swallow your misleading marketing lingo hook, line, and sinker like the Baby Boomers. Your days of market dominance are numbered.
What’s really sad is that kids have to grow up reading food labels. As a child of the 50’s and 60’s I was blissfully unaware that there even WAS an ingredient list.
And I do mean blissfully. At least I got to be a child. Kids nowadays are adults from the moment they learn to speak, read and/or walk. How sad. It’s what our idiot nation has wrought.
wonderful post. love the site. so glad i found it.
We use Halloween as a health lesson too — we don’t participate because it is about candy and that doesn’t mesh with the way our family lives. Why would we go out trick-or-treating only to throw it all away?? I don’t get that. We do something else instead —
I set up a candy party here at home with my kids in costumes from the dress-up box and candies and sweet treats (like banana chips and ginger snaps) from the whole foods store nearby. No artificial flavors, colors, hydrogenated junk or corn syrup here! They walk from room to room in the dark house, with their flashlights, searching for the candy dishes and proceed to fill their buckets! That’s half the fun right there — seeing gobs of goodies all for you! This way, there is no waste of time or money and we stay healthy too. I just show them how to portion out some in a snack cup for today and put a lid on the rest for later.
my daughter decided to do experiments on her Halloween candy last year by seeing which ones dissolved, melted, etc.. This year she continued that idea. She wanted to see which ones would burn in a fire so we went into the driveway and had a candy fire. She has stopped being sick from Halloween to Valentine’s Day now that she is on board with real food and no sugar anymore!
I would use a different word than”wise” to describe those chips. One that starts with “s” and ends with “d”.