Those chewy shiny colorful candies that you see on holidays and at baby showers filled in a clear jar with the words, “Guess how many is in here.” Jelly beans!!! We’ve all heard of them. Well, most of us, but what if I told you that those pretty shiny little jelly beans are bugging some people…. literally! When you find out what’s actually in those jelly beans, you may not want to eat them anymore.
Here it goes
Jelly beans are coated with shellac to make them shiny. Shellac, also known as resinous glaze, pure food glaze, orange dewaxed unbleached glaze, natural glaze, lac, pharmaceutical glaze and confectioner’s glaze, is recognized as GRAS under the FDA or Generally Recognized As Safe for human consumption. Safe? Well, just because they say it’s safe, doesn’t mean I want to eat it!
Brace yourself: How Shellac Is Made
The disgusting fact is that shellac, used on jelly beans, is made from the excrement of beetles. In other words, beetle dung, or bug poop! The female lac bug, Kerria lacca, found in the forests of India and Thailand, secretes excrement (poop), which forms a tunnel-like tube on the branches of trees. These tunnels are referred to as cocoons, although they are not really cocoons at all. The insects live off of the sap of the tree and excrete the dung onto the tree. DISGUSTING!!!!
The beetle dung is scraped from the tree branches and heated. The raw shellac, which contains bark shavings and lac bug parts, begins to liquefy, and the bark and bug bits are strained out. The sticky shellac is then dried into a flat sheet and broken up into flakes, then bagged and sold. The dried shellac is then mixed with denatured alcohol in order to dissolve the flakes and make liquid shellac. Is your stomach turning yet? Wait, but there’s more….
Where Is Shellac Used?
Shellac is used in the manufacture of a number of products including furniture polish and varnish; aluminum foil; lipstick, hairspray, shampoos, mascara and perfume; printing ink and paints; pharmaceutical tablets; and agricultural fertilizer.
IN FOODS, shellac is most commonly used as a coating or glaze on confections, chewing gum, and coffee beans, as well as some fruits including apples.
As a general rule, all hard-coated, shiny candies contains a shellac coating or glaze such as most chocolate covered almonds and peanuts. M&Ms™ & Skittles™ is two exceptions to this rule— they do not contain shellac.
A break to think a bit
Well my friends, there you have it. The jelly beans have been exposed. I’m sorry I had to break the news to you about why jelly beans are bugging some people, but I WILL NOT leave you hanging. That’s just not my style.
I love chocolate covered almonds and I personally like to have nice candy from time-to-time and so… I did some homework and found a great source for chocolate covered almonds without shellac, in fact, it has a sesame glaze covered over the chocolate to give it the shiny look. You can check those chocolate covered almonds as well as other nuts here.
Take your time
I have not combed through their entire website so be careful if you decide to shop around; please read the ingredients and ask questions if you’re unsure. If you want to shop with no worries, I found another source where their candy’s are milk-free, peanut free, tree nut free, gluten free & egg free! You can have a ball shopping their entire website right here.
Healing that jelly bean wound
As far as my jelly bean shock, I did find some jelly beans WITHOUT SHELLAC; Vegan Sweets Jelly Beans. Their jelly beans are made without beeswax, gelatin, insect-derived “confectioner’s glaze” or any other animal-derived ingredients commonly found in jelly beans. You can check out their jelly bean product right here.
Don’t want to buy candy? Learn How To Make Your Own Chocolate Candies The Easy Way, Right from home
Have a look at this blog post where I show you how easy it is to make your own chocolate candy.
Well, we’ve had a full-time together. I hope you found this information to be both enlightening and encouraging. Although there are products out there that clearly aren’t made for us to live strong and healthy, know that with knowledge comes the ability to make better choices and ultimately take responsibility for your own health and well-being. Until next time, have a fabulous day. -Miranda
Reference source: Shellac
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