INGREDIENTS: CONFECTIONER’S SUGAR (SUGAR, FOOD STARCH), CORN SYRUP, CHEWING GUM BASE* (NATURAL RUBBER LATEX, CALCIUM CARBONATE, HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, SOYBEAN LECITHIN, VEGETABLE OIL, BEESWAX, CARNAUBA WAX), NATURAL FLAVORS.
Contains natural rubber latex, soy, and corn ingredients. Some ingredients processed in facilities that also process milk, egg, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans. *More info on gum base can be found here.
Eduardo’s Story: What Chewing Gum Has to Do with the Rainforest
Eduardo lives in the Northern part of Guatemala, in an area called the Peten, which is a rainforest. It’s hard to imagine how different life is there from life in the United States, but you can get an idea by thinking about a deep, lush forest filled with different kinds of birds, animals, and trees. Because it rains so much, everything grows very quickly and there are plants everywhere. It is very beautiful with all sorts of different colors and sounds. And the rainforest is important because it is home to many different plants and animals who can’t live anywhere else in the world. For humans, life in the rainforest can be difficult because it is hard to earn money or grow food to eat there. In order to make a living, some people chop down trees in the forest to sell them for lumber. And, pretty soon, if all the trees are sold, there won’t be a forest left at all.
Eduardo has found a good way of earning money without chopping down any trees. Eduardo is a “chiclero.” That means that he collects sap from tall trees called Sapodilla trees. He does this by “tapping” the trees: making small cuts in the bark so that the sap will flow out. He then gathers the sap and boils it in large pots. That sap is called chicle, and we use it to make a brand of chewing gum called GLEE GUM. Many years ago, all gum was made from chicle, rubber, or jelutong— natural latexes from trees. I bet you never knew that chewing gum came from trees! Nowadays, most of the chewing gum we buy in stores is made from chemicals and man-made, petroleum by-products—not latex of any sort. That means that there is less work for people like Eduardo in the rainforest.
Chicle gives texture to natural chewing gum like GLEE GUM, making it sticky, snappy, and fun to chew. In the MAKE YOUR OWN CHEWING GUM KIT, we use similar stuff: natural rubber latex, from rubber trees. Like Sapodilla trees, rubber trees grow wild in the rainforest. They also are grown on farms. Rubber trees can be tapped more often than Sapodilla trees, and need less time to heal. We call chicle and natural rubber latex “non-timber forest products.” That means that they come from trees, but you don’t have to chop down the trees to get ‘em! Maple syrup is another sweet (and sticky) example. Non-timber forest products give chicleros and farmers more reason to protect trees. They also help to conserve special regions like the rainforest. Cheers to them– and now, let’s make (and chew) some yummy, natural gum.