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Q. Dear Umbra,

I have a huge sweet tooth. Yesterday, I told a co-worker I try to buy treats like gummy bears over chocolate, for ethical reasons. Is that completely ridiculous?

Elena V.
Seattle, Wash.

gummy bears

A. Dearest Elena,

See, I asked for a break from serious issues, and gummy bears rained down upon me. Truly a confectionary miracle. Thank you.

Your question might seem trivial to the untrained eye, but I believe it’s worth exploring. More than 75 percent of Americans eat candy [PDF]. More than half of us at least 10 times a month. We buy 600 million pounds of sweets for Halloween, which is fast approaching. So we should know what we are popping into our mouths. (Better yet, we should cut down on the stuff. Why yes, I am your mother.)