Hey. We need to talk. It’s about your gummy snack problem. I get it; I’ve been there. I know how those juicy bears and worms conjure up memories of childhood. But that warmth comes with quite a high cost. Those gummies are terrible for you. They always have been.
A single serving – 18 gummy bears – contains as much as 22 grams of sugar. That’s 5.5 teaspoons, or 58% of your daily sugar intake. Eating too much sugar, particularly the added variety in gummy bears, leads to a barrage of health problems. That includes cavities, an overactive appetite, weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Sugar is also highly addictive, which is why you’re likely totally unphased and still craving gummy bears right now.
Don’t worry, I’m going to change that – not with a 12-step program but with an in-depth look at the horrors of the gummy trade.
What if I told you that, for you to enjoy those bites of bliss, this needs to happen?
Image: Alina Kneepkens
Gelatin, as you likely know, is the substance that gives gummy candy its texture. But did you know that, for you to sink your teeth into that texture, hundreds of pig carcasses need to be blowtorched and split in half? Workers will then strip their tendons, skin, ligaments and bones. They’ll boil those components and dry them out to produce this:
Image: Alina Kneepkens
Belgian filmmaker Alina Kneepkens shot these images for the show ‘Over Eten.’ Of the project, she said:
“I got the assignment to direct some reversed audiovisual stories showing the production of some of our food. I saw quite a few slaughter houses and examples of both industrial and [artisan] food production. A true eye opener.”
Have a look at Alina’s full footage below to see more startling images from the production of jelly candy.
Other Products That Contain Gelatin
If you’re grossed out by the footage above, you might want to stay clear of these as well:
- Trident gum
- Hostess Cupcakes
Of course, you’ll also want to stay away from using gelatin in your own cooking. Instead, use organic agar. Agar is a vegan gelatin substitute derived not from animal remains but seaweed. It produces a similar texture without all the ickiness.
Have a look at this post for an agar marshmallow recipe.