One of my fondest memories as a child was exchanging Valentines in school. Beckett began preschool this fall and as February 14th neared, I got more and more jacked up for the annual V-day swap. The only rules we had to follow were 1) no candy and 2) a card for everyone. The adorable eco-friendly cards we made were a great project for a three-year-old. Most cards she received had preschoolers showing off their beginning writing skills, parents translating the chicken scratch with clear printing and sweet messages of friendship. But, there was one child that assembled Valentine’s butterflies – there were pipe cleaner antennae, heart shaped wings and a stick of gum for the body. The cards were a big deal to Beckett, but this butterfly in particular was a REALLY.BIG.DEAL.
For two years, we have been telling Beckett that she can have gum when she is five-years-old. Why you ask? I believe in giving a child a set age for when they can do something instead of a vague promise of “when you’re older” and I don’t think young children should have gum. Traditional gum is more sugar, empty calories, icky ingredients and, despite the kids’ best efforts, almost always gets swallowed. Beckett had a personal struggle on her hands – Momma and Daddy have told her she needs to be five, but I said I would make an exception and let her have her special Valentine’s gum. But, she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t pull the trigger and in the end, chose to keep her gum until she is five-years-old. I’ll keep you posted on that preservation.
Gum is our breath-freshener of choice. We obviously brush our teeth, but gum is the go-to for freshening on the go or when a sink isn’t accessible. We keep the glove compartments, diaper bag and purse stocked with a package. My enthusiasm for chewing gum began waning when I ran across an article on the dangers of aspartame. Aspartame is a man-made sweetener found in almost all major chewing gum brands. It’s a chemical based sweetener and the FDA, who is notoriously slow on the uptake, has now acknowledged and documented 92 known symptoms and side-effects of aspartame poisoning. According to the reports received by the FDA, aspartame accounts for 75% of the adverse reactions to food additives. That’s A LOT. And, it’s in almost every single type of chewing gum.
I switched into eco-mama gear fast, tossed our old gums and made the choice to find an alternative. I tried a number of brands that were sweetened with natural, plant-based sugars, but was left way less than thrilled. The flavor was short-lived to the say the least. My breath was often left worse than it started if I erred on the side of budget and opted to chew the gum for longer than three minutes and after the freshness had worn off.
Then, I found PÜR Gum. It’s a delicious, long-lasting chewing gum that uses Xylitol, a natural corn-based sweetener instead of aspartame. The flavorings and colorings are all natural and the gum comes in four different flavors: Peppermint, Spearmint, Pomegranate Mint and eXcitemint. Each package’s retail price is comparable to higher-end gum brands and the flavor is so long lasting, you won’t feel duped by a 90-seconds lifespan. It’s widely available on both the internet and in most local stores – which is saying something because our neck of the woods is borderline podunk. I was a bit wary of the Pomegranate Mint because I am not usually a fan of fruit-mint combinations, but this one was a very pleasant surprise. The fruitiness is just enough sweetness to tame the bite of mint. I also appreciate that all the ingredients are non-GMO (knock another concern off my eco-mama list) and there is the bonus of added antioxidants with white tea extract.
The battle over aspartame’s purported side-effects and possible risks has two very heated sides contending for the win. So, whichever side of the fence you sit on, it’s up to you. But, I tend to avoid exposure when there is a potential risk and PÜR Gum is an outstanding alternative to aspartame sweetened chewing gums. It’s an affordable choice and the perfect flavors leave nothing to be desired. You’ll never miss your aspartame again!
Got bad breath? Tired of worrying about aspartame’s risks? Then, you need to check out this giveaway!
Interested in entering the giveaway?
One lucky Sacred Bee Blog reader will win a:
- A selection of all four flavors of PÜR Gum
Interested in entering the giveaway? Comment on this post and tell me: What is your favorite flavor of chewing gum? My guilt-free choice is Spearmint. My I-shouldn’t-admit-this is Grape Bubblicious.
Want additional entries? You must follow these directions and tell me about them via a comment on this post. Each of these options is available for one single entry per giveaway, not per day.
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Giveaway will be closed to entries on Tuesday, April 17th at 8:00pm PST.