For me as a kid, (and can I assume you too?) the temptation of sweets is huge! In fact when shopping with my Mom at Fruit & Veg I ran straight past the fresh stuff to get to the sweet section. I was after watermelon, but some how it’s not the real watermelon that attracted my attention, but rather cute little watermelon shaped balls. I was prepared to pay for them myself – I wanted them!!
Hold on, first I had to check if they had gelatin in them. But I was in for a bigger surprise! There was a whole lot of ingredients I couldn’t even pronounce!!! Where was the food in all this?
Other than eating a whole lot of chemicals, us kids are eating a whole lot of bugs! Did you know that? I didn’t until I was looking up what our pretty pink cake decorations had in them. Turns out there are boiled, steamed, or cooked, and then ground up beetles in these tempting little shinnies.
What, bugs in my food?! I learnt that cochineal beetles are commonly used in things that have a red colour, like some cool drinks lipsticks and many sweets. What you want to avoid on the ingredient list is: cochineal, carmine, carminic acid, crimson lake, natural red #40, or E120, because it’s all the same thing.
Like some bugs’ bodily fluid?
So Carmine is made from the insect body itself. There’s more – Shellac is something unappetising that also fills our stomachs. It’s a sticky substance secreted by the female lac bug (this insect is in the same cochineal family). The insects suck the sap of the tree and excrete “stick-lac” onto the bark. People scrape this off the bark and made it into ‘food’.
Ordering skin & bones?
Why aren’t we more grossed out that our sweets are made out of skin and bones? Why is it okay that our mothers are buying this for us and that we are asking for it? I think it’s because we look at these beautiful, colourful and tempting sweets and forget what they really look like – skin & bones.
A fresher, juicer and kinder temptation
I now want to go straight to the fresh, mouth-watering watermelon! Or decorate our delicious cupcakes with fruit or vegan sprinkles and marshmallows. My pretty lipstick is from LUSH and The Body Shop. (That’s worth licking my lips for!)
Don’t get me wrong, I still love sweets and eat plenty of them, but I choose smartly, no bugs or skins for me!