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Healthy trick-or-treat snacks: sugar-free alternatives to candy
by Dan Brawner Columnist · November 9th, 2017

When I was a kid, one of the most exciting parts of Halloween was the day after when I had the leisure to sort through all my loot and make a thorough inventory.

There were Sweet Tarts and Sugar Babies and Baby Ruths and Tootsie Rolls and Hershey bars and candy corn and on and on. I was giddy with the abundance of it all. Occasionally, there would be an apple, which I had to admit, though technically healthy, was somewhat disenchanting. We grew really good apples of our own and those woody red delicious apples from the store were, to me, a lot more common than candy and not much of a treat.

Bobbing for apples on Halloween always seemed like kind of a creepy game. Somebody would haul out a big galvanized tank like they use for watering livestock, fill it with cold water and throw in some apples, which kids were supposed to peck at with their hands behind their backs. The idea was to see who would be first to harpoon an apple with their teeth, without accidentally biting some other kid, bashing their face into the edge of the tank or choking on the frigid water, infested with bugs and boogers. I mean, what's the point? The best you could hope for would be to have your head soaked and get to eat an apple. It was like combining healthy snacks with waterboarding. You can be sure no kid came up with that.

Now we live in a politically correct time when offering trick-or-treaters "healthy alternatives" is the proper thing to do. Self-righteous websites smugly offer suggestions for making sure that children who come to your door on Halloween hoping for a bit of chocolate will get the disappointment they deserve. Instead of a sweet treat, they can have a sugar-free, gluten-free carrot stick or - and I am not making this up - a little packet of organic honey.

A guy named Adam was so fed up with the notion of healthy trick-or-treat alternatives that he created a spoof ad on the Internet for a "Dole Mini Salad" in a "fun size" perfect for Halloween. Thinking this was a real advertisement, some viewers wrote in to say that giving out mini salads would guarantee getting your house egged.

The Dole company got wind of the expertly-crafted spoof and posted their note to Adam in what has to be one of the cleverest "cease and desist" letters of all times. It began by joining in on the absurdity of giving produce instead of candy on Halloween. It continued, "On a serious note ... we're certain you didn't get our permission to use our trademarked intellectual property.... Normally, we would insist that you take your images down or else I and our more formal and scary hired-gun lawyers would come and take all your candy away.... Kind regards, Richard Jacobs, Vice President & Division General Council."

It is probably good to remember that Halloween isn't all about candy and make-believe monsters. Because somewhere lurking out there in the dark are creatures that really can bite.
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