Being Vegetarian On Halloween

Are Halloween treats vegetarian?

So it’s Halloween and you might be wondering how this impacts you as a vegetarian. Well, it does if you don’t want to eat any animal products whatsoever. You may find this surprising but some candies and chocolates contain animal-derived ingredients. Believe me, I found out one day and was very disappointed.

I really like dark chocolate and used to buy chocolate covered ‘superfood’ snacks at the grocery store. You know the kind with goji berries and blueberries. Well, I don’t buy them anymore. One day I was reading the ingredient list very closely list and noticed one that I was not familiar with called ‘confectioner’s glaze.’ I googled it and this is what I found out ‘it is a resin which is secreted by the female Lac insect after it consumes tree bark.  The raw resin is collected, heated, filtered and mixed with an alcohol solution to create the food glaze’.  Needless to say I was personally grossed out and stopped eating them right away.

So, just be forewarned that all those nice and shiny Halloween chocolates and candy may have confectioner’s glaze on them. The best thing to do is read all the labels to make sure.  Here is a list of what else to look for if you want to make sure your Halloween candy is free from animal products:

  • Dairy: Found mostly in chocolate products also called milk-fat and can be called whey or casein. Note white chocolate is not chocolate and may contain dairy products.
  • Gelatin: A common ingredient in gummy candies, gelatin is made from animal tendons, ligaments and bones.
  • Shellac: or confectioner’s glaze: created using the excretions of certain insects.
  • Carmine: found in bright red products, carmine is a pigment made by crushing the shell of a female cochineal insect.

I did some investigating and here is a list of treats that may be vegetarian-friendly. Some of these may be the American version of these products so if you are buying them in Canada just double check the label:

Twizzlers, Hubba Bubba, Cracker Jack’s, Rolly Ranger Hard Candy, Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, Wonka Fun Dip, Sweet Tarts.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating for eating this stuff at all and I wish we could control what our kids get in their goodie bags but we can’t. We can however, monitor how much they eat and what they eat. So, let them eat a few things when they get home and stash the rest to give out slowly over the course of a few weeks.

And, after you’ve pilfered a few items from your kids’ stash, join me for a 5 Day Sugar-Free Challenge to get back on track. Believe me, you’ll feel much better going in to holiday season. We get going on Monday November 4 so you have a few days to enjoy the treats.  And, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter for on-going tips and tricks about vegetarian diets.