Sometimes things happen in life that are so disturbing your entire existence is altered. This was one of those times.
Shortly after Christmas, I was looking for bargains on the clearance rack in a store. To my surprise, I found a package of name brand Christmas gummy bears, for 75% off. This was no ordinary pack of gummy bears though. ALL of the bears inside wear red and green.
This was a big deal!
If you’ve ever eaten gummy bears, you know nobody really wants the yellow, orange or white bears. Simply put, the red and green bears rock (they’re my favorite). To have a package containing ONLY red and green AND getting them for 75% off made me feel like it was like it Christmas morning all over again.
I don’t often buy gummy bears, but I always somehow end up with a stash of them. I couldn’t resist this opportunity to buy them for just a bit of pocket change. I got home, rapidly tearing open the package to indulge in some nutritional fun, or so I thought.
I’ve never felt guilty about slamming down a gaggle of gummies because I was always under the impression they were healthy. They do look sort of like fruit snacks, so I figured they must have SOME nutritional value. Plus, the package clearly lists the red bear’s flavor as raspberry, and the green as strawberry.
Well, I was proven wrong.
To my surprise, I found out gummy bears have ZERO nutritional value.
How could this be?
They’re so sweet, and colorful, and yummy, and fun…
Now that I think about it, I guess that does describe most candy.
But still, I actually thought they were made with fruit juice, or at least had some vitamin C in them, or maybe in some odd stretch, at least had SOMETHING healthy in them.
While my thoughts of completing the fruit portion of the food pyramid with gummy bears were shot down, there was a slight glimmer of redemption. While 14 grams of sugar and some food coloring is their claim to fame, the ingredients did list something of curiosity: Dextrose from wheat or corn.
Dextrose is a simple sugar, but if it comes from wheat or corn, those are BOTH nutritious foods, so they can’t be bad for you, right? I’m not a dietician or chemist, but in my head that’s at least sort of healthy still. (I know it’s not, but it sounds good in theory.)
BUT, somehow in the production process gummy bears are blessed with 2 grams of protein. From where, I don’t know, but 2 grams of protein is better than nothing, isn’t it? Please at least let me hang on to that.
Will the lack of nutrition change my opinion?
But it’s sort of like when you find out the Easter Bunny isn’t real…
~ Marty ~
Marty is a writer and entertainer based in Kansas City.
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