Friday, October 31, 2014

Candy and Corn

Happy Halloween!

Halloween without trick-or-treating feels weird. No pillowcases filled with teeth-rotting candy. No pumpkins on doorsteps. No wandering around dark neighborhoods with other laughing, screaming kids.

The Halloweens of my childhood hold a special place in my heart, and I would like to go back and experience that joy and excitement again.

If time machines existed, though, I could never fully recreate those nights, because a crucial element would be missing: I couldn't eat the candy.

I am allergic to corn. It is an allergy with many repercussions and many inherent difficulties, but the most obvious one on Halloween is not being able to eat the candy.

No Snickers (corn syrup, lactose, artificial flavor). No Twix (glucose syrup, vegetable fat, natural flavor). No Kit Kats (lactose, PGPR, artificial flavor). No candy corn (corn syrup, confectioner's glaze, dextrose, gelatin, artificial flavor).

Candy corn is not the only corn to be found on the block

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of ingredients that are derived from corn, which includes the obvious candidates (high fructose corn syrup, cornstarch, corn itself) and less-obvious ones (dextrose, citric acid, MSG). A resource I've turned to multiple times, on, is an extensive, though not comprehensive, list of possible "corny" ingredients.

I don't exaggerate at all when I say that corn is in absolutely everything. (This is a great graphic that demonstrates this point.)

Every other day of the year is a constant battle between myself and corn, reading labels and making gambles. But Halloween is the worst. I don't have to guess that there's nothing for me to eat; I know for a fact there won't be, unless I shell out for specialty candies. (Thank you, Sprouts and Trader Joe's!)

So, happy trick-or-treating, and eat a Snickers for me! I miss them.

Picture credits: 123

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