By Max Greenberg
Taking the Trick out of the TreatUploaded: Oct 13, 2014
I guess it's a sure sign of getting older and crotchety, but something really bothers me when I walk into the local supermarket (which shall remain nameless, except it's in Midtown on Middlefield) and smack dab right in front of the door is a free-standing island the size of Greenland, made of sugar. Of course it's not just mounds of the white stuff all by itself. It's cleverly disguised in multi-colored wrappers with all-time favorite brand names, and mixed in with a whole lot of nostalgia and ingredients to give each its own unique look, feel and taste. Here's the ingredients list of a fan favorite, Snickers Bars: MILK CHOCOLATE (SUGAR, COCOA BUTTER, CHOCOLATE, SKIM MILK, LACTOSE, MILKFAT, SOY LECITHIN, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR), PEANUTS, CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, MILKFAT, SKIM MILK, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, LACTOSE, SALT, EGG WHITES,CHOCOLATE, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR. ALLERGY INFORMATION: MAY CONTAIN ALMONDS.
Now we know that sugar and all this candy are totally legal substances and companies are free to make this stuff, market and sell it (they are also free to sell cigarettes and alcohol, with some minor restrictions attached. Plus grow and sell medical MJ and eventually the non-medical stuff.) But there is a raging epidemic of obesity and diabetes which starts with kids and often sets people on an unhealthy path throughout their lives. It's kind of cruel to introduce our children to sugar and sweeteners and then play this punishment-reward game with them which only increases their desire for the sweet stuff.
Maybe it's a small step but would it be unreasonable to ask our local stores to forego the massive prominent display of their sugar delivery systems for that entire month before Halloween? This will not discourage folks from giving the trick or treaters a little treat when they ring the bell. But maybe it'll start folks thinking about something else they could give the little ghosts and goblins instead of plain old candy. Something that will take the trick out of the treat maybe?