Let’s face it, we all just love M&M’s. Guilty as charged. All of us just cannot resist these sweetest little sins, especially during the holiday season!
Yet, we have to disappoint you, since we can offer 30 reasons to avoid those “melt-in-your-mouth-not-in-your-hand” chocolates, which is much more that the number of reasons to reach for them.
Initially, let us review the facts concerning the popular M&M:
They were created in 1941.
They were created in order soldiers to be able to carry chocolate without it melting.
The two “M’s” are forForrest E. Mars, Sr. and William F.R. Murrie, the son of Hershey chocolate’s president.
Their partnership allowed Mars to use Hershey in their products.
Hershey controlled chocolate at the time.
They are currently sold in more than a hundred countries with 33 different fillings.
However, Red candies have been banned in 1976, as they contained questionable dyes, and FD&C Red #2 was believed to be a carcinogen. Then again, in 1983, Red candies were reintroduced.
Nevertheless, customers still urge Mars to get rid of the artificial colors used in their candies. Namely, these colors are regarded as “neurotoxic chemicals”, by a Change.org petition and a press release from Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
The recommendation of the CSPI stated that all products which include these harmful ingredients must contain warning labels which would list the risks of the 8 approved FD&C food colors.
The CSPI’s Dr. Jacobson stated:
“The evidence that these petrochemicals worsen some children’s behavior is convincing.
I hope that the committee will advise the agency to both require warning notices and encourage companies voluntarily to switch to safer natural colorings.”
Furthermore, the bag of the Original M&M’s lists the following ingredients:
Milk chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, skim milk, milkfat, lactose, soy lecithin, salt, artificial color), sugar, corn starch, >1% corn syrup, dextrin, artificial colors (Blue 1 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1, Blue 2 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 2),gum acacia.
Let us now see the harmful effects they can cause:
Ingredient Negative effect
Soy lecithin 93% of soy is GMO
Affects fertility and reproduction
Can lead to breast cancer
May cause behavioral and cerebral abnormalities
Blue #1 Possible effects include: low blood pressure, hay fever, hives, allergic reaction, asthma
Creates malignant tumors at the site of injection and by ingestion in rats
Caution is advised in the case of aspirin sensitivity
Red #40 Leads to swelling around the mouth
Causes damage to DNA
Hyperactivity in children
Yellow #6 Hyperactivity
Swelling of the skin
May lead to cancer
Yellow #5 Hyperactivity
May lead to allergic reactions
Blue #2 Petroleum-- based product
Increases brain tumors in lab rats
Supports other abnormal cell development
Increases hyperactivity in children
Gum Acacia Dietary fiber from the Acacia tree
Leads to nausea, bloating, gas, loose stool
Unfortunately, the Mars company has not quit their use of these artificial colors. What’s more, they were even declared to be safe for human consumption by the FDA, while scientific research provided evidence that they are not. Yet, do not forget the fact that there are absolutely safe and natural alternatives available!
According to 2007 Forbes, the Mars company has an income as high as $27.4 million dollars, so it is about time they use some of this money and positively alter their products. Until then, we recommend that you avoid these sweet evil chocolates.
Instead of the M&M’s, you can satisfy your desire for something delicious and sweet. You should try the following dark chocolate bars:
Equal Exchange: completely organic and fair trade
Sweetriot: Fair trade and contains no GMO ingredients
Good Cacao: These chocolate bars are enriched with supplements