Sunday, October 4, 2009

Forget goblins: it's the (Nestle) candy that should really scare you

A lot of attention has been focussed on the Nestle boybott following a firestorm around a PR junket. I'll let Annie at PhD in Parenting tell the story. I've been heartened by how questions I've gotten about the boycott and reasons behind it. With Hallowe'en coming up, many households are thinking about stocking up on candy - if you're paying more attention to who makes your chocolate these days, you'll no doubt begin to realize that Nestle has much of the market concerned in the typical Hallowe'en candy area.

October 26 to November 1 has been designated Global Nestle-Free Week. Even if you don't boycott Nestle the rest of the year, consider it for just this week around Hallowe'en. Information on how to maximize the impact of your participation can be found at INFACT.

To avoid Nestlé, you need to not only avoid Nestle labelled products, but also Crunch, Cailler, Galak/Milkybar, KitKat, Quality Street, Smarties, Baci, After Eight, Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, Lion, Aero, Polo and Frutips. It's a long list and it gets confusing. Infact Canada maintains an on-going list and information on the Nestle boycott here.

After you look at that list, you might wonder whether it wouldn't be easier to just list the things that you can give out. Here are a few ideas:

- ok, so toothbrushes and apples are likely to get your house toiletpapered. You might get away with stickers or colourful erasers. How about play dough? The big Play-Doh manufacturer makes tiny containers or you can get in touch with the nice folks over at Dirty Dough for a natural product. For something truly local, try making your own with the kids.

- check out local chocolate makers who make high quality yummies right in your community. My favourite in our neck of the woods is Sitting Around Eating Bonbons . She makes delicious, special chocolates in her tiny little shop - and the only guilt is about my diet with the organic, free trade yumminess.

- if you just need something you can pick up at the grocery store, try Mars products (which include M&Ms as well Mars, Twix and others). Jelly Belly beans are also a long-time favourite here. Now, these brands aren't fair trade compliant and they may contain stuff (like artificial colours) that aren't great for growing bodies and brains - but if it's between Twix and Kit Kat, take the Twix. Smarties vs. M&Ms, take the M&Ms.

Don't forget to have change for UNICEF available - and tell your friends why your Hallowe'en shopping has required a few extra steps this year.

1 comment:

Tamara said...

Also check out for more Nestle-free ideas. It's great that you're bringing attention to this!