by Marion Nestle
Aug 8 2007

Oh Good. Candy is Organic

I’ve just heard that organic candy is the new hot food. According to reports from Europe, “healthy” candy–another oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one–are the growth drivers for the candy industry. Candy is candy. If candy is organic or is laced with vitamins or substances that promote health, at least under laboratory conditions, it still has sugary calories. But is it better for you? Opinions, please.

Comments

  • Jill
  • August 8, 2007
  • 7:02 pm

Whole Foods just began selling all-natural (although not organic) jelly bellies. Kind of the same concept as the organic candy, and equally insane. I suppose on some level they might be better for you than normal jelly bellies, but that doesn’t make them good for you.

  • Brian M.
  • August 10, 2007
  • 1:07 pm

YES! Eating organic candy probably isn’t any better for you than eating non-organic candy (or vanishingly so). But living in a society where organic candy is produced is better for you than living in a society where an equal amount of non-organic candy is produced, in terms of air-quality, water-quality, soil quality etc. Organic candy is healthier, even though it isn’t more nutritious. The health-value of a food-system is not limited to the parts of it you actually eat.

With regard to nutritional value, candy is candy and sugar is sugar. Organic or not, it’s still a “junk” food that is displacing a healthier food in someone’s daily nutrition. For a diabetic, it will still behave like candy and sugar in the body. For a person looking to lose weight or maintain their weight, it could be excess calories that will take them off-course. Whether the excess calories come from apples or organic candy, at the end of the day, they are excess calories, creating a positive energy balance.

As for the whole idea of “ORGANIC” candy – It can be argued that the marketing of such products misleads the average person to believe it won’t make them fat. or holds some magical power that fights off diseases caused by “non-organic” foods. But I suppose that is where consumer eduation comes in…

Though I hadn’t considered this, I agree with, and appreciate Brian’s perspective on how organic candy could be said to have a higher health-value than regular candy, due to the way it is produced, and the way the ingredients used to make it are grown or obtained. With that in mind, if one is going to consume candy anyway – calories, cavities and disease be damned – then I would definitely go with the organic option when available, if only for the UNEATEN health-value of it.

  • Rebecca
  • August 10, 2007
  • 10:05 pm

I was in Australia last January, where it’s possible to buy organic water. I’m really unsure of what to make of that, but perhaps it puts organic candy in a new context.

  • Sue Koppmann
  • October 12, 2007
  • 6:46 pm

For children with food allergies, organic candy is a god-send. My son is allergic to several food dyes and food additives (as well as several other foods). Cane sugar is not a problem – and since he is underweight, I’m happy to find candies he can have. I’ve never been into the organic movement, but since he was diagnosed (at age 4), I’ve been very grateful to those persons responsible for it. It has definitely made his life more “normal”.

  • Erin
  • November 18, 2007
  • 1:31 pm

I do prefer to buy candy (when I buy candy) that does not contain artifical dyes, artificial flavors and high fructose corn sweeters. Is it healthier? I doubt by very much. My concern is that it would lead some consumers into thinking it’s a “health food.” I’ve been amazed how how sucessful putting “natural” on packages has been in convincing people that food is healthy.

Someone actually commented on my blog a few weeks ago “eat organic you will lose weight.” That was such a stupid comment I didn’t even dignify it with a reply. But it does show how terms like “organic” and “natural” mean “healthful” in the minds of many people.

  • Judith
  • December 3, 2007
  • 12:34 pm

I’m not sure organic candy is really “healthy,” but if it doesn’t contain artificial and genetically modified ingredients, then I’m in favor — on occasions that call for a little indulgence.

I cringed when I read your discussion on candy.

A friend of mine used to be a broker for conventional candy companies. The ingredients used to make conventional candies include the same dye that might be used to color clothing and can be toxic. The sugar is refined and contains no nutritional value. The flavors are made in a laboratory petri dish and then mass marketed. All the ingredients are sprayed with pesticides may be genetically modified and contain preservatives like sodium benzoate whic are dangerous to your helath. THEY ARE DANGEROUS TO KIDS AND ADULTS TOO!

According to Allergy Kids’ medical board, one of out of every three children now has allergies, asthma, ADHD or autism, affecting 20 million children. Allergies now affect approximately 20% of all children, having increased by 400% in the last twenty years. Over this same period of time, ADHD has increased by 400% and asthma has increased by 300%, with a 56% increase in the number of asthma deaths

So what has changed? …Additives and Preservatives…

Unless ingredients are scrutinized in an informed way, ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ labels can currently be misleading, because pseudo-natural and organic products (including many found in Health Food Shops) may also contain ingredients with a known risk to health. As an example, in the United States, The U.S. Department of Health Substances.Agency for Toxic Substances (ATSDR) names Cassava as the primary source ingredient for manufacturing of Tapioca. It is a plant that contains high levels of cyanide. The FDA provides for a maximum tolerance allowed in food but do they take into consideration whether it’s a 300 pound male or 30 pound child that will be consuming it, nor do they consider the accumulated amounts that may be consumed.

The Mayo Clinic reports dry mouth is common among older adults. Mouth dryness may be due in part to the effects of aging. As you get older, your salivary glands may secrete less saliva. Thirst and your perception of thirst also may change. Thirst receptors in your brain become less responsive to your body’s need for fluids. For this reason, older adults are at increased risk of dehydration. A common, reversible cause of dry mouth is a side effect of medication. Methods to reduce mouth dryness include sucking on a candy. Pure Fun Premium candies contain no additives or preservatives and will help stimulate production of saliva.

Consequently, there is a rising demand for candies that are based on organic ingredients such as fruit and vegetable extracts, rather than chemicals and synthetic recipes. My friends company is called Pure Fun. According to Allergy Kids’ medical board, one of out of every three children now has allergies, asthma, ADHD or autism, affecting 20 million children. Allergies now affect approximately 20% of all children, having increased by 400% in the last twenty years. Over this same period of time, ADHD has increased by 400% and asthma has increased by 300%, with a 56% increase in the number of asthma deaths

So what has changed? …Additives and Preservatives…

Unless ingredients are scrutinized in an informed way, ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ labels can currently be misleading, because pseudo-natural and organic products (including many found in Health Food Shops) may also contain ingredients with a known risk to health. As an example, in the United States, The U.S. Department of Health Substances.Agency for Toxic Substances (ATSDR) names Cassava as the primary source ingredient for manufacturing of Tapioca. It is a plant that contains high levels of cyanide. The FDA provides for a maximum tolerance allowed in food but do they take into consideration whether it’s a 300 pound male or 30 pound child that will be consuming it, nor do they consider the accumulated amounts that may be consumed.

The Mayo Clinic reports dry mouth is common among older adults. Mouth dryness may be due in part to the effects of aging. As you get older, your salivary glands may secrete less saliva. Thirst and your perception of thirst also may change. Thirst receptors in your brain become less responsive to your body’s need for fluids. For this reason, older adults are at increased risk of dehydration. A common, reversible cause of dry mouth is a side effect of medication. Methods to reduce mouth dryness include sucking on a candy. Pure Fun Premium candies contain no additives or preservatives and will help stimulate production of saliva.

Consequently, there is a rising demand for candies that are based on organic ingredients such as fruit and vegetable extracts, rather than chemicals and synthetic recipes.

My friend’s company is called Pure Fun, she makes a premium candy, tastes delicious and doesn’t give you the sugar rush that conventional candy has. It costs almost nothing to make candy with chemicalized ingredients… so it is very cheap to buy–you pay less for the poisons. ]

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