EMM 4: Chewing Gum

Whether it’s in pink and blue wrapping and you can blow big bubbles with it, or it’s got a nice green and minty flavor to freshen your breath, we love gum! It’s fun to chew, it cleanses the mouth, and it’s yummy of course. But, gum isn’t as innocent as you may think it to be…

Have you ever thought about why your mom always told you not to swallow your gum? Well, that’s probably because it’s not meant to be ingested. The standard stick of chewing gum is made from synthetic polymers, AKA plastic and rubber. That’s why it can pass through your digestive tract almost completely unaltered – it’s not really food! That’s also why we see gum SO often stuck to the sidewalk and under desks and chairs. Because of it’s ingredients, gum can’t break down and biodegrade. And this is stuff we’re putting in our mouths?! Yuck!

Gum is a major contributor to the waste stream and costs tax payers and businesses thousands of dollars to clean up each year. Not to mention all the waste that comes from packaging it, too! But have no fear, there are better options! In this episode I discuss the problem with gum even further as well as some easy solutions, such as using a tongue scraper to freshen breath, switching to mints, and one company that I’ve found that has a truly sustainable gum option. Listen in for more!

Links from the show:
The Atlantic article:
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/12/chew-on-this-what-gum-has-cost-society-in-its-5000-year-history/383452/
Washington Post article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/science/the-green-lantern-is-chewing-gum-bad-for-the-environment/2011/03/29/AFrVjO1D_story.html
“Dark Side of the Chew” TED Talk:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Myce8GLcJsQ
Simply Gum:
https://www.simplygum.com/

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