2016 Update: Sadly, it looks like Green Tree Gum has gone out of business. This post remains active for archive purposes only. I have removed links to the company’s website, as they no longer work.
I don’t chew gum, but Michael does, as did legendary test pilot Chuck Yeager (maybe he still does.) But if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that most chewing gum (even “natural” Glee Gum) either contains plastic as an ingredient in the gum base or is packaged in plastic.
For a while, English company Peppersmith offered a plastic-free gum in plastic-free packaging. Sadly, the company switched to a synthetic gum base last year, much to the dismay of many of its loyal customers, if the comments in this post are any indication.
Simply Gum came along with all natural gum in plastic-free packaging. But many people are concerned that the sweetener used is cane sugar, which is bad for dental hygiene.
Now, Portland, Oregon company Green Tree Gum is offering an all natural, synthetic-free chewing gum in plastic-free cardboard packaging, and it’s sweetened with xylitol, which is good for teeth, rather than sugar.
Here are the ingredients, with explanations, from the company’s website:
Chicle Gum Base: A natural substance traditionally used in making chewing gum. It is collected from several species of Mesoamerican trees in the Manilkara genus.
The tapping of the gum is similar to the tapping of latex from the rubber tree: zig-zag gashes are made in the tree trunk and the dripping sap is collected in small bags. It is then boiled until it reaches the correct thickness.
Candelilla Wax: A wax derived from the leaves of the small Candelilla shrub native to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, Euphorbia cerifera and Euphorbia antisyphilitica, from the family Euphorbiaceae. It is yellowish-brown, hard, brittle, aromatic, and opaque to translucent.
Xylitol: A sugar alcohol roughly as sweet as sucrose with 33% fewer calories. Unlike other natural or synthetic sweeteners, xylitol is actively beneficial for dental health by reducing cavities to a third in regular use and helpful to remineralization.
Vegetable Glycerin: A simple sugar alcohol compound. It is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations.
Lecithin Syrup: A yellow-brownish fatty substances occurring in plant tissues.
Guar Gum: It is primarily the ground endosperm of guar beans. The guar seeds are dehusked, milled and screened to obtain the guar gum. It is typically produced as a free-flowing, off-white powder.
Gum Arabic: Is a natural gum made of hardened sap taken from two species of the acacia tree; Senegalia (Acacia) senegal and Vachellia (Acacia) seyal. The gum is harvested commercially from wild trees.
Citric Acid: A natural preservative/conservative which occurs naturally in citrus fruits and is also used to add an acidic or sour taste to foods and drinks.
Natural Peppermint Flavor: A hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint.
Win a Pack of Gum
08/02/2015: The giveaway is over. The random winner is Tara. Congratulations!
To enter to win an unopened pack of Green Tree chewing gum (Don’t worry — I’m not giving away the one I already opened), leave a comment with either questions or suggestions about plastic-free treats. Is there a particular candy that you would like to see plastic-free? Have you discovered a plastic-free treat that satisfies your cravings without plastic? Or have you given up sweet treats? If so, what’s your secret? I’ll choose a winner next week.