Crack-o-ween Is Over…or Is It?

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crackoween The problem with Halloween is that it doesn't end quietly the morning of November 1, skulking into the night with its emblematic ghosts to make way for the Yahweh of holidays...Christmas. Rather, it drags on like an after-birth hemorrhoid (anyone who's ever survived labor knows exactly what I'm talking about), back again every morning to remind you, "Still here! Not going without a fight!" That is Halloween. It's the kiddy crack of holidays. Kids pumping sugar, unable to sleep, jonesing to get to their candy bag, up at the crack of dawn for rainbow-colored candies and petroleum-dipped chocolate. Yo, time for an intervention man! This is where the moms who don't read food labels (not judging) all groan at me: "Chillax Mz. Uptighty-Pants! We all hoovered Halloween candy when we were kids. Let this generation get theirs, too!" This is true. A hundred years ago, when I was a babe, I found Halloween more sacred then the papal tiara. It was the one day a year when just about anyone touting a salad-tossed-ragamuffin costume and a pillowcase could run door to door for a couple of hours and return home with a wheelbarrow full of sugar in every imaginable configuration. Yeeeeeeee-uuuuuuuum. But, and this is a huge but, this was also when sugar on any label was not "frankefied." A time when, to be safe, we didn't have to buy organic to trust that our food wasn't poisoned. Yes, there were pesticides, but not like today. Now, if the label does not say "organic cane sugar" you can assume it is genetically modified. And that's only half of it. Ever heard of tartrazine? It's made of coal tar and is in just about any sugary treat that has color. How about titanium dioxide? A very suspicious metal oxide, great for paint or varnish, horrible for consumption. And don't talk to me about trace amounts - the fact is our kids can't skip a rock without landing on a birthday piñata overflowing with cheap chemical candy. It's everywhere. 027297962125 What makes me an expert? Nada. But I spent three hours on November 1 with my six-year-old looking up curious ingredients found on the labels of his many Halloween treats, trying to explain why we were going to Whole Foods the next day to redo his favorite holiday with good old fashioned "organic" candy (sans chemicals, sans the GM experiment). Oh, and put the trash candy under your pillow and the Tooth Fairy might drop you a 5'er. This is why I think Halloween sucks. Not because my kids act like orangutans for three solid weeks, but because their sugar high is actually a petro-chemical high. Europe phased out this toxic waste years ago. Why not North America? So now I have two kids with five-pound baggers of sugarita in various guises (per 30 years ago), still waking up in the early hours to sneak jelly beans colored with purple beet juice and yellow turmeric, dancing around with underwear on their head and climbing the walls from good old fashioned glucose yummy-ose. Three more weeks of this and I can trade my monkeys in for kids again. This rant calls for a song (something heavy, dark) and a big ole bag of natural black licorice. Yes, "The Fragile" from Lullaby Renditions of Nine Inch Nails  will do.

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