I did it. I am completely gum-free! It took me almost a year to give up the temptation, and even now when someone offers me a piece, I stand silently for a moment as I weigh the options in my head. To chew or not to chew.
But think about it….does gum ever go away?
Since the age of four, when handed my first piece of Wrigley’s, wrapped in shiny foil and bright, yellow paper by a worker on our farm, I was a goner. I slowly crinkled off the wrapper with my tiny fingers, the whiff of sugar traveling to my brain. I examined the curious grey rectangle dusted with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, and bit into it. I stared up at him, gave a dazzling smile, and told him he was my new best friend.
I chewed gum constantly, along with drinking tons of water and coffee to keep myself from eating for years, among many diet tricks. Most of the time it worked. Sometimes, it didn’t. My nutritionist said gum contained no nutritional value, caused my stomach to bloat, and I had to give it up. “You need to eat food when you’re hungry, not chew gum,” she preached.
But it was that crazy Christmas special Elf, that made me think how environmentally unfriendly gum is. Remember when Santa instructs Elf before his New York trip about what NOT TO DO? And then the Elf gets to New York and finds gum stuck on handrails in the subway and under desks and, well, just about everywhere. And he thinks it’s free candy, pulls them off and chews them— all.
How long do you think those had been there? How long do you think they would hang around?
So, I looked it up. Though two of the sites stated gum would decompose in five years and could be placed in the compost bin with any other food scraps, most of them said…well, never. These sites claimed because chewing gum is non-organic and its base created from non-biodegradable substances of wax, plastic, latex or rubber, it never breaks down. I don’t know what to believe, but it appears there are no official reports on its environmental impact, as it’s only been around since the days of Laura Wilder. I wonder what happened to the piece she chewed…
EHow Health explained recycled gum can be used in the manufacture of athletic running tracks and drainage ditches. But gum is mainly a costly mess draining tax dollars for clean up, and remains wherever it’s placed.
Chicza Rainforest Gum was the first biodegradable gum invented and turns to powder within six weeks. It was the only one I found. Made in Mexico, Chiza is available in many countries, but of course, not in the United States.
Why are gum companies creating a product that will last so long? (Think about how long you chew a piece.) Are we going to chew it in our graves? Have you tried throwing chewed gum in the compost pile? Would you?
All about gum:
- Chewing Gum Could Help Test Taking (thedailymeal.com)
- 95,200 Pieces of Chewed Gum Make Up the World’s Largest and Grossest Gumball (gizmodo.co.uk)
- Tips Avoid Flatulence (okehealth.wordpress.com)
- Vs. Gum (makyamcbee.wordpress.com)