Healthy Candy? UNREAL!

It doesn’t take long after I’ve entered the door of my childhood home in Connecticut before I gravitate to the long cabinet near the dining area of the kitchen. Out of habit, I inspect what there is to eat. It’s the family junk food depository, home to assorted cookies and candy. While the contents have changed over the years, the premise remains: here’s where you’ll find a quick, usually sweet, nosh.

As my children grew, each house we lived in had its junk food cabinet, equally cherished and visited.  The complaint  “there’s nothing to eat in this house,” usually referred to the lack of anything appealing there.

When I visit my son Jacob and daughter-in-law’s Adeena’s house, I tend to open a similar cabinet, well stocked with all sorts of snacks, from apricots to walnuts, granola bars to pretzels, and chocolate, thin bars laced with mint or caramel or bite-sized delights.

Hearing about UNREAL last summer, I’d sent the information to my kids. And now Adeena is buying the candy. I sampled two UNREAL products my last visit. The company, founded by a 13 –year- old after his father confiscated his Halloween candy, offers five types of candy, all mirroring popular Mars offerings. Called by number, ie, UN8 and UN41, the candy comes in bright packages and claims no preservatives, no artificial ingredients, no corn syrup and more. The website compares the ingredients to the Mars counterparts.

I found the UNREAL candy less sweet and more natural tasting. Adeena said the UNREAL  available at most chain stores like CVS and Target, does cost more than the less healthier candy.

I thought about UNREAL when I read  about the opening of a M&M pop up store in Hackettstown, NJ, home to a Mars production factory since 1958.

Residents have gleefully greeted the  M&M’s World, projected to be open through Halloween and maybe through Christmas, creating a “Mars Chocolate North America Day” and renaming a part of the main road outside the factory M&M’s Chocolate  Avenue.

As a nation, we’re worried about the economy and health care.

As we create more jobs, such as a new store, shouldn’t health be part of the equation?  Is every attempt being made to ensure “green” practices and healthy choices?

We’re accustomed to finding the lowest cost as consumers. We expect cheap gas, while our counterparts worldwide routinely pay higher fuel prices. We want inexpensive produce and imported goods manufactured by lower labor costs.

Maybe it’s time for us to consider the future instead of our own self-absorbed present.  A few extra dollars might be better for everyone’s health.

Ironically, the newspaper article placed a filler between the M&M article and the next story. It was a quote by Henry David Thoreau.

“What is called genius is the abundance of life and health.”

Food for thought.


About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. ( I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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13 Responses to Healthy Candy? UNREAL!

  1. Barbara Younger says:

    Love the Thoreau quote. Will check out UNREAL!


  2. Interesting name for a candy that sounds more real than not!


  3. Adeena says:

    The placement of that quote is pretty funny. Do you think they did it on purpose?


  4. Would you believe that I don’t really like candy? We had it my house growing up and usually it collected dust!


  5. Huffygirl says:

    I wish I didn’t like candy, but I do. I indulge in a little dark chocolate every day, but finding it harder and harder to stop. As far as natural candy, I think I’ll stick to the real stuff.


  6. Karen R-W says:

    We have decided not to give our one-and-a-half year old son any junk food until he goes to preschool (when we have accepted that he will not be able to escape the candy “prizes” that the kids are given). As a result, he gets as excited eating broccoli florets and fruit as other kids do eating ice cream and chocolate bars. Is it a coincidence that he (bli ayan hara – without the evil eye) is in the 96th percentile of height, has no allergies, no illnesses, etc? Definitely possible but still noteworthy. This “UNREAL” candy sounds like a great healthier alternative to normal candy and definitely should be encouraged for people who want a candy fix (will definitely be passing this article on), but for me (and for my son) I would rather eat the real stuff – real and unprocessed natural fruits, nuts etc. Tastes delicious and even helps you grow an inch or two!


  7. hugmamma says:

    Will have to look into this UNREAL candy. As many diets as I’ve tried, and I’ve tried quite a few, I can’t seem to kick my sweet tooth.

    I had to laugh when I read about your “goodies cabinet.” I have one. My daughter threatens to toss everything out of it whenever she visits. I merely ignore it for as long as I can. Usually the length of a diet. 🙂


    • I like the UNREAL. I don’t see a difference. For some reason I haven’t been getting your posts to my email. Hope I start getting them! Thanks for the likes!


      • hugmamma says:

        My blogging has been sporadic of late. I’ve been entrenched in internet conversations about the Presidential campaign. I’ve posted a few opinions to my blog recently.

        Am trying to get back to WordPress more regularly.

        Must try to get my hands on UNREAL…and do my bit for better health…and better choices.


  8. CVS and other drug stores. Look forward to your posts!


  9. Fabulous, what a blog it is! This weblog presents helpful data to us, keep
    it up.


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