10 Foodie Facts About Halloween

candy pileIt’s Halloween! Which only means one thing: CANDY. To some college students, the idea of “candy” is taboo and eating just one piece might as well be the scariest part of Halloween. Don’t fall into this mindset, candy is not something to be scared of. In fact many nutritionists, including Faye Berger Mitchell, RDN, LDN, Editor-In-Chief of Foodie On Campus, recommend for parents to allow their children to eat all the candy they want the night of Halloween, then start monitoring the following days This has been shown to teach children self-moderation, something that is important to carry on through adulthood.

As a college student, trick-or-treating is not as popular as when you were kid, so if you’re just hanging out in your dorm/apartment this year with no plans, there are still tons of last minute activities you can pull together to get in the spirit! Grab a few friends and reverse trick-or-treat by passing out candy to a few of your floormates or neighbors. Not in the mood for walking the halls? Host a Halloween movie marathon and invite some friends. You can even make some ghoulish treats for your guests to enjoy! These are just a few examples of the many ways to get in the Halloween spirit. But first, get into the spooky spirit with these fun foodie facts about Halloween, and show off what you know!

  1. Halloween candy sales average about 2 million dollars each year. This is approximately 10% of all annual candy sales! While everyone deserves a few pieces of candy on Halloween, remember that it’s also important to balance sweets with more nutritious choices and eat everything in moderation.
  2. October 28th has the highest candy sales out of all days in the year.  This is the most popular day out of the entire year for candy sales in the United States. Additionally, out of 365 days in the year, the top 5 days for candy sales are all in October!
  3. Jack-o-Lanterns were once made out of turnips, potatoes, and beets- not pumpkins! Every year Americans carve Jack-o-Lanterns with friends and family as a Halloween tradition, but the real tradition is believed to date back to an old Irish tale about a man named ‘Stingy Jack’. If you have any turnips, potatoes, and beets laying around, try carving them along with or instead of a pumpkin.
  4. Goddess Pomona- your apple festivities goddess!  Many Halloween games and customs such as bobbing for apples and making candy apples are influenced by Roman goddess of fruit, Pomona. Her name is derived from ‘pomum’, which is ‘fruit’ in Latin.
  5. Candy Corn was invented in the 1880’s A candy maker named George Renninger from Philadelphia, PA, created this iconic tricolored candy that is now made by the Jelly Belly Candy Company. In fact, Americans purchase over 20 million pounds of candy corn each year, making it one of the top selling candies sold each Halloween.
  6. Trick-or-Treating has evolved drastically Today trick-or-treating involves dressing up and receiving candy. However, it evolved from the Celtic tradition of setting treats and food out to please the spirits that roamed the streets of Samhain. A sacred festival, ‘Samhain’ once marked the end of the year on the Celtic calendar.
  7. Behind Christmas, Halloween is the 2nd highest grossing commercial holiday in the United States. Something about Halloween, whether it’s abundance of decorations, costumes, or the candy (it’s probably the candy), gets people to spend their money!
  8. Chocolate Wins Out of the wide range of candies and sweets handed out during Halloween, chocolate is the most preferred by children, and the most purchased!
  9. Recent High Availability It wasn’t until a little over a hundred years ago that candy became widely available. Before then, people tended to make their own fudge and candy at home and hand it out to trick-or-treaters.
  10. Biggest Pumpkin The biggest pumpkin ever recorded tipped the scale at 2,032lbs at the annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Napa Valley in fall 2013. Maybe this year’s pumpkin can top that record!
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