My Quest for Healthier Chewing Gum
Mainstream chewing gum is entirely synthetic. It’s three main ingredients include: aspartame, BHT, and ‘gum base’.
- Out of 90 independently-funded studies on aspartame, 83 of them found that the artificial sweetener causes one or more serious health problems such as diabetes, auto-immune disorders, depression, birth defects, and several forms of cancer.
- Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is banned in parts of Europe and Asia, with links to cancer causing tumors. It’s also used an embalming fluid and in jet fuel!
- Furthermore, the gum industry isn’t required to list all of its ingredients on its labels. Take the ingredient “gum base,” this is a umbrella phrase for up to 80 synthetic substances, possibly containing petroleum, lanolin, glycerin, polyethylene, polyvinyl acetate, petroleum wax, stearic acid, or latex according to the Vegetarian Resource Group, with similar chemicals used to make plastic bottles and white glue!
We did some research on what kind of clean and yum chewing gum is out there for those of you that love gum. Fun fact – when children are under the age of 7 and their ears haven’t fully developed yet, their ears can be more easily prone to clogging – mostly from activities that have a change in air pressure like swimming or riding on an airplane. When this ear clogging happens, sometimes gum can be helpful to teach your little one to help release pressure from their ears by moving the jaw. Without further ado here are the results!
THE HEALTHIEST, MOST ECO, & BEST PACKAGING
Simply is made with just chicle (a natural latex made from the bark of the sapodilla tree), organic dried cane juice, organic vegetable glycerin, organic soy lecithin, organic rice flour, and natural flavors. Added bonus, they use recyclable paper packaging.
Flavors: spearmint, cinnamon, fennel licorice, maple, ginger, and coffee
Comments: Simply definitely wins sexiest packaging! In terms of taste, if you are a fan of more conventional tasting chewing gum, Simply might not be for you. The texture is different, the flavor less sweet, and taste more subtle. After tasting more conventional tasting healthy gums, Simply unfortunately did taste a little strange! However, the fennel licorice flavor was pretty cool.
HEALTHY ISH AND CLOSEST TASTING TO MAINSTREAM
PUR is sweetened with xylitol and contains *gum base, gum arabic, glycerol, and natural flavors from essential oils and ingredient powders. Their ingredients are non-gmo. *PUR’s gum base is stated to be 100% chemically inert, made from the highest quality ingredients sourced from Europe.
Flavors: pomegranate mint, peppermint, wintergreen, spearmint, coolmint, and cinnamon.
Comments: Spearmint is super yum, my #1! Cool mint would be my #2. Wintergreen was a bit strong for me, but if your into that it would be tasty. If your looking for gum that tastes the closest to mainstream without the aspartame and BHT, PUR is a good go-to.
Xylitol, *gum base, vegetable glycerin, natural peppermint oil, calcium carbonate, soy lecithin, gum arabic, and carnauba wax. Spry is GMO free (although not certified). *The company states its gum base is sourced from the Jelutong tree and is used as a bulking material.
Flavors: spearmint, peppermint, green apple mint, cinnamon, fresh fruit, green tea, bubblegum, licorice, and wintergreen
Comments: I have tried Spry’s peppermint and really like it! It’s pretty chewy so if you’re into that, you’ll dig Spry.
Ingredients include Xylitol, *gum base, vegetable glycerin, natural flavors, gum arabic, sunflower lecithin, citric acid, carnauba wax. Xylichew is GMO free (although not certified) and made in the USA. *The company states its gum base is plastic and preservative-free, but is unfortunately un-able to fully disclose ingredients since they are considered proprietary from their supplier.
Flavors: cinnamon, fruit, spearmint, black licorice, spearmint, and peppermint.
Comments: Xylichew is not bad, but not as yummy as PUR. However, if you are in the market for a cleaner version of Juicy Fruit, their “fruit” flavor is super similar and really good! In addition, if you’re a fan of licorice, the black licorice flavor is pretty cool, kind of like your chewing candy!
Glee Gum (*not vegan, includes beeswax!)
Glee’s ingredients include Fair Trade cane sugar, brown rice syrup, glucose, gum base (disclosed as natural chicle plus calcium carbonate, candelilla wax, and a pinch of dehydrated citrus peels), natural flavor, resinous glaze, beeswax, carnauba wax, and chlorophyll. Glee’s sugar free products are sweetened with xylitol instead of cane sugar and brown rice syrup, plus they’re Non-GMO Project Verified.
Flavors: cinnamon, tangerine, peppermint, spearmint, triple berry, watermelon, refresh mint, and lemon-lime.
Comments: I found most of the flavors a little hard in texture to chew, but if narrowing down top picks, my favorite would be the sugar free watermelon. Second to watermelon was the lemon-lime flavor. Third choice would be the bubblegum, except for some reason it was a little hard to chew!
Are there any clean vegan chewing gums you love? What do I need to try? Share your thoughts below!
Photo Credit: Simply Gum