Candy lovers beware: The hard, shiny shells on Junior Mints, Red Hots, Lemonhead, and Boston Baked Beans candies are glazed with secretions from lac bugs.
Nearly 100,000 bugs die to produce about 1 pound of shellac flakes, which are combined with alcohol to make a confectioner's glaze. By glazing candy with these secretions, companies such as Tootsie Roll Industries and Ferrara are killing insects—and customers' appetite.
Ferrara's Atomic Fireball candies and Tootsie's Cry Baby Gum are vegan, showing that both brands already have the recipe for a shellac-free glaze. Jelly beans made by Jolly Rancher, SweeTARTS, and Nerds—as well as the Gobstopper, Skittles, and Tic Tac candies—prove that animal ingredients are not needed to make great sweets.
Other companies have switched to vegan ingredients after hearing from customers: Starbucks replaced dye made of crushed beetles in its Frappuccino recipe, Chipotle removed bacon from its pinto beans, and White Castle removed dairy ingredients from its buns.
Please ask Tootsie Roll Industries and Ferrara to de-bug their glazes and switch to a vegan alternative.