Mommybites Green Parenting: Is Chewing Gum the Most Poisonous Thing in Your Purse?

Chewing gum is one of the biggest thrills my four year old can think of when it comes time to check out of the grocery store. The brightly lined shelves around the cash register call out to her and taunt her with their cartoonish writing and yummy smells. She pleads with me to buy her some, but after flipping the packages over and reading the ingredient list, I put it back down, much to her disappointment. I try to tell her that it’s made of bad stuff that will harm her and I have to protect her from all that I can while giving her the healthy stuff to make her body strong. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but I think she is starting to get it.

Tired of just saying these ingredients are bad, I decided to do a little in-depth research on just what is in gum and what are those ingredients’ side effects. Here is a list of the most common ingredients in the most popular chewing gum products on the market (1):

  • Sorbitol, Xylitol, Mannitol, Maltitol
  • Gum Base
  • Glycerol
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
  • Hydrogenated Coconut Oil and Starch
  • Aspartame –Acesulfame
  • Soy Lecithin
  • Colors (titanium oxide, blue 2 lake, red 40)
  • BHT
  • Malic Acid, Citric Acid

Let’s break each of these items down:

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