Lifesavers Spear-o-Mint candies


Life Savers
Spear-O-Mint hard candies
$4/6oz

lifesavers-candies_pep-o-mintHow does a traditionalist live? There’s many layers to that question. Beyond the big stuff, which includes questions of values and activity, there’s the question of everyday life. Our world is toxic: we are surrounded by bad imagery, destructive ideas, nearly poisonous food, degraded behavior and few options for our families as substitutes for the pleasures that mainstream people enjoy.

Take candy, for example. Reading the ingredients alone is a chemistry research project, and when you look at it, with its radioactive neon colors and odd non-natural consistencies, it’s hard to think about cheerfully giving it to your kids. “Hi kids, here’s some synthetic frankensugar ADHD-in-a-box to keep you happy!”

It’s baffling that our society thinks it even needs so many candy options. First, candy isn’t that important; even to kids, it’s only one part of a world of delights to explore. Further, it’s a passive activity. It’s mentally healthier to be doing something and derive a reward from the accomplishment. But in the meantime, candy is also fun, and we like fun… and sugar.

Sometimes it’s the older candy designs that come out ahead. You could buy boutique all natural candies, but nearly anywhere you go you can find one of the American stalwarts: Life Savers. Specifically, their classic Spear-O-Mint flavor. Here’s the ingredients list:

Sugar, Corn Syrup, Natural Flavor, Stearic Acid.

For modern candy, this is positively denatured. Then again, what makes classic candies good are the flavors artfully embedded within them. In this case, these candies are overflowing with mint flavor from natural mint oils. The Spear-O-Mint flavor, as opposed to the Pep-O-Mint (their other naturally flavored selection), is peppery with almost floral undertones. It’s a complex flavor, and easily as good as the Pep-O-Mint with a little more zing.

Not all Life Savers are this undisturbed from their natural form. The fruity ones tend to use artificial colors and flavors, and are radiant bright unearthly objects like plastic or digital screens. However, for an old time candy classic that contains a minimum of stuff that’s bad for you, the mint Lifesavers are a good option.

You have to be careful, however. The Wint-O-Green mints are not naturally flavored, and taste a bit like a plastic branch of mint rendered in a computer. However, the Pep-O-Mint and Spear-O-Mint stay true to tradition and are as simple and delicious a candy as you’ll find anywhere.

7 Comments

  1. Magister Ludi says:

    The bag says “made in Canada”. Could be worse, I guess. At least it’s not made in China.

    1. Made in Canada by Chinese immigrants.

  2. Anon says:

    Candy is one of the worst things to eat, and especially bad to give to kids as it fuels and initiates a potential addiction to sugar.

    This is one is better than a lot of others, but it’s main ingredient are still sugar and corn syrup. We all get way too much sugar from other sources (2-3 fruits a day provides more than enough fructose, never mind any other sources). Corn Syrup is loaded with sugar from corn, and so is one of the worst sources of simple sugars. The only thing worse is High Fructose Corn Syrup.

    Something sweet is nice once in a while, but I’d prefer something unprocessed like fruit, or even a desert which isn’t just pure sugar.

    1. I have to differ here. I’m not worried about sugar in candy; I’m more concerned about the steady encroachment of sugar, fat and salt as additives to all of our foods.

      I will never claim to be opposed to sugar, fat and salt. In many instances, they work beautifully together. But the blight comes when someone takes a hamburger, adds extra sugar, fat and salt to make it more like candy, and then sells that as a day-to-day food.

      While I acknowledge that our experts love fruit, I would like to point out that most of us come from ancestral lines that ate a fair amount of vegetables, and for fruit, berries, but did not have much access to fruit beyond the apple. Our experts don’t mind sugary apples, mainly because they also contain fiber, which is good for The Colon.

      We should look toward the ultimate creators of junk food for our knowledge of what to avoid. Your dystopian restaurant of the future will use a stir fry, because that enables you to throw sugar, oil, salt and vinegar into a superheated wok and to essentially make “candied food” that hides how much of the aforementioned unholy trinity (sugar, fat, salt) it uses.

    2. Hear, hear. Just give your kids mint leaves or some apricots.

  3. Ted Swanson says:

    Made me think of the old Marx Bros. movie when the girl falls in the lake and she says “throw me the life saver!” and Groucho throws her one of the candies! Har har!

    1. Brilliant example of early product placement. Wonder how much Wrigley paid for that one?

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