When you chew gum, what are you really chewing? The answer varies widely, depending on the gum. But writer Beth Terry has long been concerned with one potential ingredient in particular: plastic. And believe it or not, that ingredient happens to be in a lot of gum.
Synthetic materials often can be found in gum base, the indigestible part of gum that provides chewy texture. But the white, gooey stuff pictured below also provides chewy texture. It’s called chicle, and it’s the sustainably harvested tree sap that we use to make Glee Gum.
“I always travel with Glee. It saves me from inner ear problems while taking off or landing in airplanes, satisfies me when the munchies hit, and – without high fructose corn syrup – does not irritate my sensitive gut.”
So says social worker Kathleen S. of Evans, GA. She also tells us that her “travel buddy” Peppermint Glee has accompanied her all over the world by train, plane, and ferry. She reports, “My chewing increases as my energy does, or perhaps it’s vice versa!”
Either way, we say, FULL STEAM AHEAD. And thanks for chewing (and sharing), Kathleen!
We’re delighted to share a guest post by Kyle Freund, Digital Content Manager at Fairtrade America.
Last month may have been Fair Trade Month, but why not celebrate all year long? Remember, being fair is about more than just looking for a #FairTrade label (though that is an important part). Being fair means thinking about the things you buy and how they’ve made their way to your shopping cart. Every bar of chocolate, every piece of gum, every single banana in the bunch has a story to tell.
Here are a few facts and tips to chew on the next time you grab a shopping cart, or the next time you see a friend considering that tin of cheaply-produced coffee, or the next time you’re looking at a lovely black frock with a price that’s too good to be true (it likely is).
Get the facts – Looking into where your food and clothes come from can help you live your values. Did you know that 25 million smallholder farmers grow 80% of the world’s coffee, but many aren’t earning a living they can depend on? Or that there over 20.9 million victims of forced labor and human trafficking around the world?
These things aren’t fair. Investigate and get information on the reality behind what you buy.
Ask the tough questions – You have a right to speak up. Don’t just take what’s on the shelf. Let shop owners know that you’re looking for fairly traded and ethically-produced goods. Ask questions about where products come from.
Understand Fairtrade’s impact – Fairtrade has a Theory of Change outlining the world we want to see and our place in it. An important part of our work is making sure that we’re making an impact for farmers and workers. According to recent research:
• Fairtrade certification helps Ugandan coffee farmers increase household living standards by 30 percent and significantly reduces the prevalence and depth of poverty (Chiputwa, et. al, 2013). • Workers on Colombian banana plantations reported an average 34 percent increase in income due to their affiliation to Fairtrade. 98 percent consider that their quality of life has improved since joining Fairtrade (CODER, 2014). • In a sample of 51 Mexican coffee farmers (26 Fairtrade and 25 non-Fairtrade), there is a proven connection between Fairtrade certification and environmentally-friendly farming practices (Jaffe, 2012).
Fairtrade farmers and workers frequently tell us how certification helps them improve their businesses and their communities, but much of that impact comes when they can sell their products on Fairtrade terms. Support brands, like Glee Gum and others that carry the Fairtrade Mark.
Remember that Fairtrade is just one part of the solution – Creating a more sustainable world is a huge undertaking and Fairtrade is one tool in your ‘change-maker’ utility belt! A good approach is to shop LOFTy – local, organic or Fairtrade – for maximum effect.
Take the Fairest State Quiz – This one’s just for fun. Follow our friend ‘Greg’ through his day and help him make good, fair choices. Along the way, you’ll find out how fair you really are! Check out fairtradeamerica.org/faireststate.
So, don’t just rest on your ethical shopper laurels. Cogitate before you masticate!
Kyle Freund is a lifelong advocate of conscious consuming, from his youth growing up on a small-scale dairy farm in Wisconsin, to his service with cooperatives in the US Peace Corps, to his work with coffee farmers in Latin America. For the past six years, Kyle has helped Fairtrade International in Bonn, Germany, and Fairtrade America tell their stories and the stories of the farmers and workers they serve.
Looking for a dead-simple, DIY way to scare up some decorative Halloween treats this year? It only takes a couple of Glee Gum Pops, a few household items, and a half hour to create the cutest mummy lollipops this side of a crypt.
You’ll need: – a bag of Halloween Glee Gum Pops (any Glee Gum Pops will do the trick!) – toilet tissue – a pen or marker – scissors – white thread (or dental floss, if you’re in a pinch) – optional: a few wee, willing witches or game ghosts to assist you
Step 1: Roll out about 11 squares of toilet paper and cut them in half lengthwise to form two long strips.
Step 2: Begin by covering the head of the lollipop with tissue, then continue wrapping the sides until all packaging is covered. Kids don’t need to be particularly neat here!
Step 3: Tie a knot around the stick with the ends of the tissue, and trim any extra tissue as necessary.
Step 4: For extra freaky mummy flair, cut a length of white string (or dental floss). Wrap it in circles around the mummy and then tie it off.
Step 5: Add some eyes and a facial expression to the mummy with a pen or marker! If you happen to have googly eyes lying around your house, well, gluing those on could be a super good idea, too.
Step 6: Enjoy! Glee Gum Pops contain no artificial colors, flavors,sweeteners, or preservatives. They’re vegan and allergy-friendly, too. So, you can rest easy knowing that no matter how scary your creations may look, there’s actually nothing scary sneaking around inside ’em.
How did your mummy pops turn out? Snap a pic and tag it #MadewithGlee so we can see. With your permission, we might even share shots of your creepy creatures with our chums. Don’t be too frightened if they POP out at you later!
Something to chew on: how much time have you spent on introspection lately? Not to burst your bubble, but this is a really important thing to do. Pause and and take a moment to think about it. You just might find that now is the moment to answer one of life’s deepest, most burning questions:
Really. Are you bubbly like bubblegum? Cool like peppermint? How have you gone this long without knowing?!?! Take our quick quiz to find out. The quiz ends with a coupon to save 20% on EVERYTHING at GleeGum.com, too. You can even share your new insights (and coupon) with pals if you’d like. So, go on. Learn a little. Chew a lot!