Caster oil in Reese’s Cups and Twix? Chalk in Lemonheads Jellybeans? Petroleum preservatives and colors? What’s really in your Easter basket?
It was the jellybeans that started it off for me this year. Kmart had a million kinds: Sweettart, Lemonheads, Nerds, Sour Patch etc. and I wanted to try them all! I bought one of each, way before Easter. Such an influx had me questioning my choices so I looked on the back to see what was in them. Adam loved the Nerds jelly beans which to my surprise had Tapioca. Tapioca, go figure.
It sparked my interest so I looked up the rest of the ingredients to some of the most popular candies that we had on hand and found out that Easter looks very different than I thought it did.
(click to see picture)
A mound of sugar and a river of milk I knew. Fueled by petroleum, yes. The amount of corn, soy and palm tree products, nope. The impact on others that my little Easter basket would make: I pretty much didn’t think about it at all. I mean, it’s once a year and we’re just one small family. Then it started nagging at me and wouldn’t let go.
So I decided to make a change to a more natural Easter this year. I stressed myself out yesterday trying to come up with some creative Easter ideas. I frowned at how cheap the junk candy that I normally would have gotten was. Easter was going to cost me a lot more than it normally would’ve this year. (But the cost on the planet, my karma etc will be less I tell myself.)
I despaired because as we pressed our faces against the windows of the still closed new natural food store we saw that it didn’t appear to sell any food, only lotions and junk. Three stores later I sat discouraged as I repeated the name of the candy store I was looking to call for the billionth time to the automated 411 operator.
Finally got the number and they weren’t going to be open for another 3 hours and since I’ve never been there I have no idea whether they use natural local ingredients or not. I gave up on trying to buy local and did with what I could find at Hannaford. They have natural gummy bears and fruit snacks, Annie’s crackers, different kinds of chocolate and dried fruit. Not the special Easter treats I was hoping for but it was going to have to do.
Adam felt my pain and picked up some chocolates: “No coloring in these, Mom” he said. “Yes but they have chalk and that’s not what Mom wants you to eat,” I said.
So this is what I’m going to do to fill an Easter basket this year:
Make chocolate covered raisins: Bought the individual packets, a packaging waste but eh, it’s a holiday. Melt chocolate chips (which are just cocoa and sugar essentially, though not organic: organic chocolate makes us very sick even with only a little), dump raisins in, while chocolate hardens decorate mini-boxes, refill with chocolate raisins and put boxes in reused plastic eggs from last year to hide around yard.
The basket will also have the natural Annie’s crackers and fruit snacks shaped like bunnies. Putting fruit snacks in the eggs too along with little toys Adam can’t ever get enough of like pop bullets for his gun, stickers etc.
Going to fill some of the eggs with confetti that I’ll make from cut up pieces of paper and he can throw around and make a huge mess with. We’ll hop around like bunnies in the bunny ears we’ll make and plant some seeds in containers with the shovel I put in the basket and that he’ll use all summer at the beach.
For today we’ll try dying eggs the natural way: boiling red cabbage, tumeric, paprika, dill seed and squooshing blackberries. It should help get out all that frustration from the stress of trying to buy a natural fun Easter basket.