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Send gummy bears to your representatives

Written By: - Date published: 3:43 pm, February 4th, 2014 - 25 comments
Categories: food - Tags:

Haribo Classic Sugar Free Gummy BearsLast night Lyn was regaling me with an advertisement on amazon for a 5 pound bag of “Haribo Classic Sugar Free Gummy Bears” with its 643 product evaluations. In this fine example of online consumerism, all appeared to agree that these really were some of the tastiest snacks around. In fact they were so good that many were suggesting that they got sent to all members of congress.

Just read some of these raving reviews.

Haribo Classic Sugar Free Gummy Bears1


Such a kind thought… Perhaps it would be worth sending them to parliament?

This next review was ranked “most helpful” by readers of the reviews…

Haribo Classic Sugar Free Gummy Bears2


Ouch. But I can sympathise with the urge to share this opinion about the product. I have the same explosive purges in one form or another whenever I ingest anything with Maltitol as a sweetener. Which is why I strongly support the full labelling of all food products – preferably on the front. So lets have a look at the ingredient list..

Lycasin Syrup, Gelatin, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Artificial Colors: Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, Starch.

What are most of these? I don’t know. But read this safety warning.

Safety Warning
Consumption of some sugar-free candies may cause stomach discomfort and/or a laxative effect.  Individual tolerance will vary.  If this is the first time you’ve tried these candies, we recommend beginning with one-fourth of a serving size or less. Made with Lycasin, a sugar alcohol. As with other sugar alcohols, people sensitive to this substance may experience upset stomachs.

But in particular what in the hell is Lycasin?

Lycasin is a trade name given by Roquette for hydrogenated glucose syrup (hydrolysed starch).[1] One of the major components of Lycasin is maltitol, …

My nemesis – bloody maltitol hidden under some half-arsed trade name

Something as lethal to my work life (and that of those around me) as maltitol isn’t required to be listed as a potential problem in NZ unless it is more than 10% of any product by weight – a level that can be medically dangerous to many people.

I know from inadvertent experimentation that I react to it at well below that level. Some products have it listed in the ingredient list down to 5% by weight. I react badly to it at that level. But it is also in a number of products that merely label it as a “sweetener”. The solution is better food labelling and screw the producers and importers.

But no, I think that tormenting our elected representatives should never be done with sweeteners. Talk to them instead. That is what they are there for – especially in election year.  Do give them a rocket up their collective arses about food safety and labelling this election. Better still, if you have a problem with unlabelled sweeteners or whatever, buy the local equivalent of gummy bears before you see them.


25 comments on “Send gummy bears to your representatives”

  1. Puckish Rogue 1

    I’m considering trying them but then I also try the hottest curries 🙂

  2. karol 2

    I’ll give them a miss. I prefer to avoid foods with additives with unclear names.

    I have had some unpleasant experiences with some soya-based foods (not as extreme as the gummy bear one sounds) – probably as mauch the additives as the actual soy. Why they try to dres up soy as a meat substitute is beyond me.

    I’m a regular visitor to the fruit and vege shop, and buy as little as possible of the processed foods.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Why they try to dres up soy as a meat substitute is beyond me.

      Because that’s what it is in many vegetarian/vegan diets?

      Soy has a huge protein content as well as other essential vitamins and minerals.

  3. Tracey 3

    My local Mp is john Banks… I could send a pack to he and his replacement.

    • McFlock 3.1

      just before a campaign event would be good 🙂

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        yup. all those supporters getting freebies at the door… i wonder if one each is enough?

        • McFlock

          Didn’t I see this in a high school / coming of age movie once?

          I suspect that it would be a plan more rewarding in the contemplation than in the act…

          • lprent

            Favourite amongst medical students has always been either the hand jokes (corpse, skeleton, or whatever) plus the alternate uses of laxatives

  4. Lanthanide 4

    Somewhat of a strange post on a political blog, but oh well.

    Here’s my favourite review on Amazon, for Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 gal, 128 fl. oz.: http://www.amazon.com/review/RXXPVOUH9NLL3/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00032G1S0&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=16310101&store=grocery

    • stargazer 4.1

      why? food labelling is a legitimate political issue – the greens have been carrying on about it for years, but more related to country of origin labelling.

      i think everyone deserves to know what’s in their food, in terms that we can actually understand without having to do a whole lot of research. as someone who eats halal food, i’ve had my share of frustration trying to figure out if animal products are included in the ingredients, because it isn’t always made clear.

      speaking of which, does anyone know any brand of toothpaste that has absolutely no animal products?

      • QoT 4.1.1

        Lush’s Toothy Tabs are marked as vegan, but probably a more expensive option? http://www.lushnz.com/shop/product/search&keyword=tooth

        • stargazer

          so these tablets turn into toothpaste? or you use them instead of brushing your teeth? i think i need the sparkly ones, so people will stop me in the street…

          … ok, just found the instructions:
          How to use:
          1. Pop a Toothy Tab into your mouth.
          2. Crunch it up.
          3. Start brushing with a wet toothbrush.
          4. Brush your toofy pegs with the foam.
          5. Do it for a good 3 minutes to get them extra clean.
          6. Rinse your mouth out.
          7. Et voila. Clean gnashers, a big cheesy grin and fresh breath

          i love reading marketing guff, can keep me entertained for hours. i hope they have a fluoride-strengthened version in hamilton, cos we still have none in our water.

          • QoT

            There is no product Lush won’t put glitter in. It is both their best and worst feature.

            They used to do an actual toothpaste (in black, even) but it looks like it’s been discontinued in favour of the tabs.

    • lprent 4.2

      Food labelling has been a highly political football since I was a kid. It has improved a lot in the last 4 decades.

      But after looking at the flowcharts in the food labelling guidelines in the link in my post, I’d have to say that they still leave a lot to be desired. As far as I can see it becomes a tradeoff between the packaging cost and the cost of using more ingredients.

      I picked this particular example to highlight today because I obviously ate something that wasn’t well labeled this morning…

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