KLERIFYING FACT: Americans buy nearly 600 million pounds of candy each year for Halloween. 600 million pounds for a SINGLE day’s worth of eating.
Turn down the lights, put on some creepy music, and we’ll tell you a terrifying tale. It involves seemingly innocent Halloween favorites that secretly hide some monster-sized problems. Whatever you do, stay with the group and DO NOT go down to the basement.
Oooh, scary! We aren't going to try to scare you with thoughts of candy's impact on your and your kids' health...Halloween is the one day we'll give you a pass on that stuff.
But we will ask if there's anything more frightening than deforestation, climate change, and human rights abuses like forced and child labor? We don’t think so.
Team Klerify lives in the house that gives away stickers and pencils (though we draw the line at toothbrushes). We understand that most kids prefer chocolate and sugar candy. But we just can’t, and here’s why: Much of the candy bought for Halloween involves palm oil and sugarcane supply chains that are really bad news for the people who produce those products.
Watch out for these tricks: palm oil, sugar, and cocoa When you read the labels, you’ll see that a lot of candy (and frankly, a lot of food) contains palm oil. So what’s the problem? Unsustainable palm oil is a leading cause of climate change, which threatens your kids’ future. Bad palm oil producers also have cleared forest that was home to your kids’ favorite animals like orangutans, tigers, rhinos, and elephants.
If that’s not scary enough, child labor and slavery are common practices on palm oil plantations in some parts of the world.
Companies like Hershey’s and Mars are leading the way to buy sustainable palm oil, thanks to guidance from a certification organization called the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). RSPO sets global standard for the entire supply chain of sustainable palm oil to protect human rights and the environment.
Cocoa and cane sugar, meanwhile, can mean nasty pesticides and abusive conditions for child and forced laborers. So spend your money on smaller brands like Wholesome Sweeteners, Yum Earth, and Equal Exchange, which make candy with Organic and Fairtrade certified treats without the tricks! They buy cocoa and sugar that ensure human rights protections, and avoid the worst environmental impacts in cocoa and sugar cane farming.
Have we sent you screaming in terror? What’s a ghoul to do now? Stop being a brainless zombie and pay attention to what you toss into those pillowcases and candy bags!
Klerify Shopping Guide for Eco-Friendly Candy
You know the drill: buy Organic, Regenerative Organic, and Fair Trade or other responsibly labelled products when you can.
Red brands: Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, Nestle Crunch, Lemonheads