Easter Candy and its Ingredients

Easter is celebrated with family meals, egg hunts and church services. It doesn’t seem to matter if you’re Catholic or Baptist; it’s true that with Easter comes candy. In fact, the average child will eat about $36 worth of candy this Easter. Just FYI, that’s a lot of candy. Be careful though, there is a dark side to Easter candy and its ingredients.

Candy

Being so glossy and easy to munch on makes Jelly Beans an Easter favorite. But what exactly makes the candy so shiny? We all know that the fruits after which these beans are flavored just do not reflect light in the same way. Coating every scrumptious bean is actually shellac. Shellac is often listed as “confectioner’s glaze” but it can be found in varnishes and paint as well. In fact, shellac is sold in many hardware stores. So the question becomes, just because it is edible, should we still eat it?

Colorful and sweet Peeps candy also represents Easter. One of the main ingredients found in Peeps is carnauba wax. This wax comes from a plant found in Brazil and is used in automobile waxes, shoe polishes, floor waxes and, curiously enough, food products. Though derived from a plant, this wax does not seem very natural to me! Again, should we eat it?

Though Reese’s Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs and chocolate bunnies also represent Easter, they are simply different shapes of candy offered all year. Therefore, the final disgusting fact regarding Easter candy will focus on Cadbury Creme Eggs. Personally, they have always disgusted me because of the liquid “egg” inside the hard shell, but everyone seems to love them.  Now, after some research, there is a new reason to be disgusted. The “natural flavoring” in these eggs is actually castoreum, which just happens to be an extract from beaver perineal glands (glands near the anus).  Need I say more?

Regardless of the technically edible but incredibly unappetizing ingredients of the above candy, the calorie content is still a concern. Five marshmallow Peep chicks contain 140 calories and one Cadbury Creme Egg is 150 calories. Believe it or not, there are only four calories in one Jelly Bean. So, if you can get past the ingredients, choose the Jelly Beans if you’re worried about calories because chances are that you’ll get sick from the sugar or the thought of shellac before you eat too many.

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