Trick or treat? More like trick or eek! Some of your favorite Halloween candies are filled with icky ingredients, and I'm not talking about sugar and empty calories. Those are fine. I'm talking about animal secretions and crushed bugs. Ewwww! I wish I could tell you these ingredients were found in random, hard-to-find candies, but the truth is, they're in everyday candies--candies that will soon fill your kiddies' Halloween Jack-o-lanterns and, later, their tummies. Ugh. That's enough to make a person sick.

Read more ¿Qué más? 11 Spooky Halloween recipes your kids will love

But don't go rogue and ban trick or treating all together. That's hardly fair to the little ones. Just check your kids' candies for these 7 scary ingredients and avoid them like the plague.


Beetles 1

Beetles

Image via Corbis

These little critters are first dried, then boiled in water to extract the carminic acid, a deep red acid commonly used in candy and fruit punch drinks. Ewwww! If you’re wondering about whether or not your favorite “red-flavored” gummy candies contain this creepy, crawly ingredient, all you have to do is check the label. The FDA now requires that carmine be listed on all food labels.

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Beaver "berries" 2

Beaver

Image via Corbis

Oh, you thought the “natural flavoring” in some of your favorite berry-flavored candies came from berries? That’s cute.  Actually, some of those flavors might have been “enhanced” by castoreum, a bitter, strong-smelling creamy substance extracted from a beaver’s perineal glands aka a pair of glands located near the beaver’s…anus. Not exactly the kind of berries you were thinking of, now are they?

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Insect secretions 3

Insect secretions

Image via Corbis

I hate to ruin candy corn and jellybeans for you, but the shellac used to make ‘em all shiny and hard is made, in part, with “confectioners glaze,” which is essentially secretions from a bug native to Thailand. There’s just no sugar coating that. It is what it is.

Butane 4

Butane

Image via Thinkstock

Crispety, crunchety Butterfigners contain tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), which also happens to be commonly found in lighter fluid. That’s pretty insane, especially when you consider the fact that you could die from ingesting five grams of this stuff. But not to worry. The FDA has your back…kinda. Though they allow TBHQ to be used in candy commonly consumed by children, they’ve ruled that it could not be used in greater quantities than .02 percent of the total oil or fat content of the food.

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Phosphoric acid 5

Phosphoric acid

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A little bit of soda never hurt anyone, right? Right. But a lot of soda could rot you from the inside out. That’s because it’s made with phosphoric acid, the same stuff used to remove rust and hard water stains. That news is kind of hard to swallow, right?

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Animal skin and bones 6

Animal skin and bones

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The gelatin used to make those yummy gummy bears were made from a protein collagen, which is extracted from animal skin and/or bones. Um, things just got a little too real for my taste.  

 

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Sheep sweat 7

Sheep sweat

Image via Corbis

Hate to burst your bubble, pero the lanolin used in some skin care products and “gum base” is actually an oily secretion from a sheep’s wool. In other words, it’s basically sheep sweat.