'Reverse Trick or Treating' Is Worse Than Smashing Pumpkins

Food & Party 25

sad halloween pumpkinOne of the newest trends in trick-or-treating (in addition to the thank-you note) is, well, doing exactly the opposite. Confused? I can explain.

"Reverse trick-or-treating" is a recently contrived tradition in which trick-or-treaters (and their parents) go door to door on Halloween night handing candy back to the adults who answer the door. Why in the world would they do this? Well, the kids will be handing back Fair Trade chocolate (attached to an informational card) to educate candy-givers about the fact that most brand-name chocolates come from third-world countries with poor working conditions including slavery and child labor.

It's a really great cause -- with a really bad tactic for raising awareness.

Now, I wouldn't be caught dead defending slavery and child labor. Moreover, I'm in absolute agreement that consumers should be educated (and educate themselves!) about making good choices, which would include purchasing Fair Trade chocolate made by companies that have transparent and acceptable working conditions. (I've even written about it here.)

But there's a time and a place to have this conversation, and it's not on Halloween going door to door. Did the person at the house handing out the Hershey's candy bar make the best choice they possibly could with respect to ending child labor? Who knows?! But there are more effective ways to spread the message about Fair Trade chocolate than giving candy back to people and making them feel ignorant and ashamed in the moment.

Yes, let's raise awareness about and fight against major chocolate companies with disgusting labor practices! But let's do it before or after Halloween -- not when you are at a well-meaning person's front door taking candy they're giving you out of the goodness of their own heart.

Do you reverse trick-or-treat?


Image via Hitchster/Flickr

candy, food, halloween


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angev... angevil53

no, we would never try to make people feel like crap for giving out candy on halloween.

Ladyw... Ladywithtwo

It wouldn't bother me if someone gave me that.

hotic... hoticedcoffee

What a stupid idea, though I admit, I'd be pretty happy having a kid hand me a fair trade piece of chocolate.  Wouldn't make me feel guilty, though - I'd be happy to hand out fair trade chocolate, if I ever saw fair trade bars in fun size. 

nonmember avatar Gertie

No. It is annoying. And it would totally turn me off to their cause.

Melis... Melissa042807

When they make fair-trade chocolate more affordable, I will buy five pounds of it to hand out on Halloween. Until then, Mr. Budget says we're gettin' Hersheys.

But if reverse trick or treaters showed up at my door, I would definitely eat the chocolate they handed me. 

danim... danimc1984

Worst. Title. Ever.

tis.u... tis.unnatural

Uh, how is trying to educate people about child slavery worse than property distruction? I gotta say, you have odd priorities.

tuffy... tuffymama

LOL is frickin PETA running Halloween now? Oh, wait, they don't care about kids. This is more obnoxious tactics from crybaby bleedinghearts. While I don't let my kids eat crap candy anyway, I'm not about to start railing at my neighbors for doing something nice and having fun on the holiday. Jeez Louise.

nonmember avatar NavyWife

If I was kid, I'd be pissed if adults were suggesting that I hand back candy while all of my friends were out getting it. Oh, and before anyone attacks me, I do believe it's very important to educate people about where their chocolate is coming from. However, Halloween isn't the time or place for it. Let kids be kids!

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