Gummy Bear Essay

Improved Essays
My complicated relationship with the chewy little bears began when I was six years old. At the corner convenience store, the teeniest, tiniest packets of gummy bears were just 25 cents, well within my first-grader budget. So when my mom stopped to get gas, she’d often let me scamper inside to buy a packet of HARIBO’s Gold Bears, a plastic pouch of 12 new friends with arms outstretched awaiting my embrace. Adorable and delicious, gummy bears easily claimed the top spot in my heart.
Halloween candy pile? Ruled by King Gummy Bear.
The best ice cream topping? I called them Polar Bears.
The greatest wash of jealousy to take hold of my young body? When iCarly got an entire gummy bear-themed bedroom.
So, yeah, gummy bears matter to me. The trouble
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The gelatin used to make the ooey, chewy delight comes from...wait for it...horse hooves. Or, at least that’s what the internet tells me.
After a little research, it seems that’s not entirely true. Gelatin is made from all manner of animal parts, including skin and bones. So, technically, my little gummy friends could be made from pig hooves or horse knees or cowhides. Whatever the actual source, this means one of their main ingredients was actually once alive.
I’m not a vegetarian and I don’t have any religious beliefs that prevent me from eating animals. It’s just that when I think of candy, I don’t want to imagine dead horses or boiled pig carcasses. The cause of my angst is gelatin, a substance derived from animals by “boiling collagen, a protein found in bone, cartilage, and other connective tissue” (Lencki). Depending on the country
Smith 1

where the gelatin is produced, the collagen can come from any livestock in the food supply
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These staggering numbers make me think the rest of the world has made its peace with the gummy bear’s grizzly origin. I guess I have, too.
What do you think? Does this information change the way you view gelatin-based products?
Should it? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
• whipped cream
• cake frosting
• chewing gum
• some types of sausage
• throat lozenges
• the coating on pills that makes them easier to swallow (Brinson)

• Jell-O (obviously)
• marshmallows
• yogurt
• sour cream
• jelly
• cream cheese

Smith 2

Works Cited

Brinson, Linda C. “What Exactly is Jell-O Made From?” HowStuffWorks.com, 13 October 2011, recipes.howstuffworks.com/j-ello2.htm. “Help for the Curious: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions.” HARIBO.com, haribo.com/enUS/contact-information-service/faq.html. Lencki, Robert W. “Gelatin.” The World Book Encyclopedia, no. G 8, World Book, 2016, pp. 76-77.
Oltermann, Philip. “Haribo: The confessions of a confectionary addict.” The Guardian,
16 October 2013, theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2013/oct/16/haribo-confection

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