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Halloween sugar, food additives and the commercialization of holidays

Tuesday, October 30, 2007
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: Halloween, food additives, children's health

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This year at the annual sugar-and-food-additives fest for children called "Halloween," I think parents should skip the middle step of handing out candy and just hand out Ritalin directly to the kids. I say this in jest, of course, since I am adamantly against the use of Ritalin in children, but let's be crystal clear about one thing that's different from last year's Halloween: This year, we have scientific evidence that artificial colors cause hyperactivity in children.

The evidence I'm talking about is, of course, the study recently conducted in the U.K. at the University of Southampton and published in The Lancet which establishes a strong correlation between the ingestion of artificial food colors and hyperactivity (which is eventually diagnosed as "ADHD"). The study was actually funded by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which is the British version of the FDA except that it's not run by criminals. When the FSA study revealed the extend of the behavioral disorders caused in children by these food additives (which include sodium benzoate), the U.K. press went into a feeding frenzy over the issue and now the FDA is pressuring food manufacturers to remove the additives from the national food supply.

Back in the USA, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seems to have heard nothing about this issue. It's doing nothing to protect children from such food additives and, in fact, appears to be taking a position that pretends the Southampton research never took place at all. There's nothing quite like burying your head in the sand when it comes to running the food and drug industry in the United States, is there?

Check out my bulging sugar sack...

So now Halloween arrives, and guess what? Tens of millions of children are running around the streets of the United States, tramping door to door with crinkled paper sacks and noisy plastic bags, dressed like the walking dead and begging for candy. Ever wonder what's in the candy, exactly?

Virtually ALL of the Halloween candy being given away to children on this bizarre holiday is made of these three primary ingredients:

SUGAR (sucrose, corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup)
COLOR (chemical food coloring additives, including the ones that cause ADHD)
FLAVOR (artificial chemical flavors)

Slap a blob of this nutritious mixture into a plastic wrapper, stamp a fun-looking logo on the outside, and you've got candy!

If you want to manufacture a different kind of candy, simply change the chemicals you're using to have a "bubble gum" flavor or a "tangy" color. My favorite example of Halloween candy? The dreaded candy corns. They contain virtually nothing other than corn syrup and artificial colors.

A holiday that's fitting for the most obese nation in the world

Every Halloween, I stare in astonishment at the scene playing out in front of my eyes. I'm not astonished at the children, mind you: They're just doing what they've been taught to do by television advertisements and peer pressure. I'm more astonished at the parents who waddle down wide suburban streets, diabetic and obese, rallying their children to ring yet another doorbell and cash in on the windfall of candy profits made possible by the mass commercialization of the holiday by candy manufacturers. Some of these overweight parents are so out of shape, they can barely huff their way through a four-block neighborhood before needing to head back home for their nightly insulin shot. The irony of it all goes utterly unnoticed by virtually everyone.

Ahh, it's a moment to savor. Take it all in as you watch children dressed like dead or diseased adults rushing door to door, gulping down the very products that will lead them to both disease and death. The United States of America is the most obese nation in the world, having achieved a whopping 66% rate of overweight and an unprecendented 34% rate of obesity among adults. Diabetes is rampant among both adults and children, and massive sugar intake only accelerates the development of the disease.

Halloween, my dear friends, is the big kick-off of a season of massive caloric intake where we gulp our way through Thanksgiving, Christmas and Near Year's, treated by an endless buffet of sugars, chemical additives, processed food and saturated fats. If processed food made people smart, America would be the land of sheer genius.

But, alas, it seems to have the opposite effect. And from now through January, we will all get to witness free market gluttony at its best: Commercially-driven caloric consumption sponsored by Kraft, or Pepsi, or Snickers or practically any food or beverage manufacturer you can imagine. They're all in this together, and in order for them to profit over the next quarter, consumers have to CONSUME! All the food, candy and sodas that are going to be consumed over the next several holidays have already been made in a factory, stored in a warehouse, shipped on a truck and loaded onto store shelves, just waiting for hungry, gullible consumers to come along and shovel down their own share of processed food additives and refined sugar derivatives.

There's a kind of sick beauty in the whole thing. I'm always struck by the idea that we must actually be the wealthiest people in the world, because we have so much "food" around here that people are actually just giving it away for free. Children can collect enough candy in one evening to roll around in it on the living room floor, bartering their boring candy corns for something good like Skittles (yet another form of sugar and artificial color additives). Our free market market economy has worked wonders. Truly; it's amazing! We have mastered the economics of delivering nutritionally devoid calories to a nutritionally ignorant population, and we've even managed to wrap Holidays around the whole consumption racket, forever imprinting each subsequent generation of children with the belief that Halloween = Candy, Thanksgiving = Turkey and Christmas = Cookies.

This holiday season, be amazed. Look around at what's happening with the eyes of a visitor from outer space (someone who has no knowledge of our bizarre customs and holidays). Then ask yourself: What the heck is behind all this?

The answer, of course, is the same thing that's behind everything else in this country, from politics to medicine: The Corporation. Halloween is big business. So is Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and every other holiday. I only hope that you, as a skeptical consumer, join me in celebrating these holidays for their true, non-commercial purposes, and avoid being suckered into spending your money on candies and trinkets that have no real purpose other than to enrich the commercial entities that have essentially hijacked our sacred holidays and turned them into mass consumer stampedes towards disease and bankruptcy.

What am I giving out this Halloween? Amazon Herb capsules. Let the parents try to figure that one out... (They'll ignore all the sugary chemical candies, open the herbs, and ask themselves, "Gee, are these safe?")

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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