Is it me or have you noticed a significant decline in the quality of chocolate Halloween candy? Last Halloween I ripped open a mini Kit Kat while still following the kids around from door to door (I wanted to make sure it wasn’t poisoned or didn’t have razor blades inside. Just doing my good-mom deed for the day) and I noticed that it wasn’t as satisfying as it should have been. The wafer seemed stale and the chocolate had those patches of white. That didn’t exactly stop me from eating it but that’s neither here nor there. What is that white stuff on chocolate anyway? A sign of old age? Were our neighbors handing out candy from last year? I did a check of the candy we were handing out at home (which had been purchased in bulk the week prior) and was equally disappointed.
I’ve come up with the following theory. Candy companies have to produce such a huge amount of mini chocolate bars in such a short time to satisfy our growing demand for Halloween candy that they have turned a blind eye to quality control this time of year.
Factory scenario that I imagine to be taking place late August:
Oompa Lumpa: Sir, we have discovered a colony of rats in the wafer room. They have constructed a tent city and are using the wafers as cots. The river of open sewage they have created is flowing directly into the river of chocolate. Shall we throw out all the wafers, drain the chocolate river and start over?
Willy Wonka: We don’t have time to make another batch. We’ve only made 12,ooo,ooo mini candy bars and still have 163,000,000 to go. Here’s what we’re gonna do…tear down their tent city and tell them that they can acquire a FEMA trailer over at Mars, Inc. (that should wipe that smug smile off the faces of those self-righteous M&M’s). Next, brush off the wafers and put them on the assembly line. We’ll file this under the “acceptable amount of rodent feces and roach parts” that the FDA allows us.
Next thing you know the Oompa Lumpas will do a fun song and dance number about chocolate rats.
I haven’t purchased my Halloween candy yet. I like to wait until just a few days before lest the package get broken into and half the bag is gone before it’s time to trick or treat. I’ll probably stick with Dum Dums or Smarties. Maybe I’ll be a little crazy this year and get some Sweet Tarts too.
Recently Kristen at Rage Against the Minivan wrote a post about forced child labor on cocoa farms in West Africa. According to her post and the news expose you can watch there, a lot of the chocolate we love to smash in our faces on Halloween comes at the expense of forced child labor.
Seriously?!? Another human rights, child labor exploitation to keep us bleeding hearts up at night? Well, that’s just craptastic.
I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this chocolate/forced child labor thing. I mean, what difference will one mom not buying chocolate candy make? It makes me feel helpless in a hopeless situation. Yet again. When it comes to chocolate production that makes a consumer want to shake their fists, I kind of like my rat tent city scenario better than the real life one. If only a rat tent city was our biggest concern. If only.