Conscientious Halloween

Halloween Candy

Image by respres via Flickr

I really enjoyed this piece from Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon yesterday. She describes some of the non-candy stuff that has ended up in her kids’ Halloween bags as folks try to align their food values with trick-or-treating. A few go a bit overboard, giving toothbrushes and pamphlets (yes, pamphlets) about how the deforestation from palm-oil farming threatens orangutans.

While this isn’t the Halloween haul she’s hoping for her children this year, she nevertheless does want her kids to understand that our food choices matter, both for consumers (did someone say “obesity epidemic”?) and producers (child laborers harvesting cocoa beans). As she puts it, “I don’t want my kids – or yours – to come home on Oct. 31 with a bag full of toothbrushes and earnest pamphlets. But I do believe in the power of conscious consumer choice. I want my children to understand that there’s a connection between them and the orangutans of Borneo and the kids of West Africa. That there’s a connection between what they put in their bodies and what happens to their teeth and their hearts. That even on a day when we dress up, we can be authentic.” Amen to that.

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