Unfortunately regular chewing gum is packed with artificial - and potentially toxic - substances, including aspartame, BHT, and the same components of rubber tires, plastic bottles, and white glue.
Consumers are kept in the dark about what they are chewing because the FDA allows up to 80 synthetic ingredients to be hidden in the catch-all term “gum base.” Lets look at the ingredients in a simple pack of Wrigley's Extra gum:
SORBITOL, GUM BASE, HUMECTANT (422), MANNITOL, FLAVOUR, SWEETNERS (951, 950), EMULSIFIER (322, FROM SOY), ANTIOXIDANTS (321,320), COLOURS (133, 132, 160a).
Look bad? Now for the closer look:
SORBITOL = sugar
GUM BASE = synthetic rubbers
MANNITOL, = Sugar
FLAVOUR, = Artifical flovor
SWEETNERS (951, 950), = more sugar
EMULSIFIER (322, FROM SOY), = to help it stay combined - also used for firefighting
ANTIOXIDANTS (321,320), = added antioxidants - who knows whats in them
COLOURS (133, 132, 160a). - and finally artificial colors. Nice
So I set out for an alternative. Eventually I evened it down to three products:
Pepppersmith - Rapeseed lecithin? - Hard to get in Australia
Chicza - Glucose and evaporated cane juice - Easy to get, comes in lots of flavors and it's organic
Simply Gum - Sunflower lecithin and evaporated cane juice - only comes in one flavour
We settled on Chicza. Mint. I'll just have to brush my teeth afterwards.
I'll post a review soon-ish. It will arrive on Monday and I'm away camping then so I'll just have to wait.