Halloween is officially over and what's likely left is several week's worth of a sugar high bundled tight in a pillowcase or jack-o-lantern pail. If you've got candy corn in that candy sack of yours, hang tight -- watch this video below about what goes into a candy corn. (Hint: There's more to it than sugar and food coloring.)
As the video explains, candy corn is made up of several ingredients: corn syrup, confectioner's glaze, salt, dextrose, gelatin, sesame oil, artificial flavor, honey and food colorings (Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 3).
The four ingredients -- corn syrup, glaze, honey and, of course, sugar -- give candy corn its sweetness and the tri-color is a combination of the three food dyes. But, candy corn also contains gelatin. Gelatin is made from animal parts like hides and bones, the video reveals. No, it's not remotely vegan. This is why candy corn is left in festive Halloween bowls for weeks, hardening into a giant waxy mass; consumption should come with a warning!
But it gets worse. The ingredients list candy corn's coating as "confectioner's glaze," which also goes by "lac-resin," which also goes by "lac bugs." These bright red insects are native to Asia and dutifully coat the waxy exterior of candy corn. Lac bug larvae feed on tree sap, leaving behind alien-looking goo called encrustations. It looks like this (pictured below).
Like Pop-Tarts and Twinkies, which will outlast humanity by years, so will candy corn. Sugar and salt are natural preservatives and candy corn contains an over-abundance of both (70 milligrams of salt per serving).
If pulverized animal remains and insect "droppings" are your thing, help yourself to a diabetic bowl of candy corn. But one last thing, candy corn's "artificial flavors" can include any of the 700 additives permitted by the FDA, according to Cosmopolitan. Let's take that a step further: 2,000 chemicals are not regulated by the FDA directly but sanctioned by the food industry that brought you candy corn. Can you name that many foods?
If you're still crazy about candy corn, you must be a fan of Russian roulette.