Causes and candies
Tuesday, October 7, 2008 | 09:21 AM ET
by Tara Kimura, CBCNews.ca
Halloween, perhaps because of its inherent free-for-all qualities, has become a hotly political holiday with debates centering around sugar excess in the face of rising childhood obesity, the qualities of organic candy and the responsibility to teach kids about fair trade chocolate.
New campaigns, of course, build upon a practice of teaching kids social responsibility during the holidays. In the past 53 years, Canadian children have raised $96 million for UNICEF. While children no longer collect change for the charity on Halloween night, they do continue to raise money through a host of fundraisers.
But some friends with kids have expressed discomfort with some of the new campaigns. It's one thing to teach your child lessons about social responsibility but it's a little heavy-handed to lecture other peoples' kids, they reason. On the flipside, they acknowledge it is good to expose children to a range of views.
For example, one reverse trick-or-treat campaign encourages kids to bring samples of fair trade chocolate and information cards with them on Halloween night to give to other adults
A more rebellious campaign encourages consumers to enter stores and slap stickers reading 'Warning: Product May Contain Rainforest Destruction' on candies containing palm oil.
How do you feel about mixing politics with the holidays?
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From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.
About the writers
Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.
Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.
Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.
Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).
Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.
Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.
Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.
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