Marshmallow Side Effects + Benefits

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 06/03/22 •  10 min read
marshmallow benefits and side effects

What are marshmallow side effects and benefits every ethical consumer must know? Here are marshmallow pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on marshmallow benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about marshmallow benefits and side effects. This will include marshmallow benefits for your health and potential risks, marshmallow water footprint and marshmallow carbon footprint, marshmallow sustainability, if marshmallows are vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if marshmallows are good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about marshmallow benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Marshmallow Side Effects And Benefits

Health

Energy: marshmallows are bad for / increase the risk of bloating, cavities, heartburn, stomach irritation

Longevity: marshmallows are bad for / increase the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation

Appearance: marshmallows are bad for / increase the risk of tooth decay, weight gain

Marshmallows are typically…

Environment

Water footprint: likely low, it takes 1,666 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of raw sugar / 200 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of raw sugar

Carbon footprint: likely high, 3.93 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of refined cane sugar, a car driving equivalent of 9 miles or 14.5 kilometers

Destruction: high, marshmallow production is typically destructive, land usage for pasture, grain and forage, solid waste (excrement/manure) runoff into soil and freshwater, deforestation for feed crops, animal agriculture leading cause of: species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction, responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction

Marshmallows are typically…

Animals

Kills: cows, chickens, pigs and fish

Harms: cows, chickens, pigs and fish

Indirectly kills or harms: ecosystems and wildlife

Marshmallows (typically made with gelatin) are…

Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Marshmallows…

Where do most marshmallows come from?

The world’s top marshmallow exporting country is Germany, followed by Mexico, Spain, USA, Canada, Netherlands, Belgium, UK, China and Turkey.

marshmallows are typically acidic. marshmallow side effects include being acidic.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Are marshmallows alkaline or acidic?

Marshmallows are acidic. Processed foods and sugars are acidic food groups.

When you eat food, it is broken down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

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marshmallows may or may not be gluten free. marshmallow side effects include not likely fitting into a gluten free diet.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Are marshmallows gluten free?

Possibly. Marshmallows may or may not be gluten free. Marshmallows are made from either corn starch or wheat starch. Check specific brand ingredients and labeling to determine whether marshmallows are glutinous.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include: recurring abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, constipation, tingling, numbness in hands and feet, chronic fatigue, joint pain, unexplained infertility and low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis).

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

marshmallows may contain a common food allergen: wheat.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Are marshmallows a common food allergen?

Marshmallows may contain a common food allergen: wheat. Many people may experience allergic reactions to marshmallows.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods is often referred to as the Big-8 and includes milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. 

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

marshmallows likely have a low water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake….quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

marshmallows likely have a high carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating product emissions, some factors that may be included are… farm equipment, animal feed production, hothouses (greenhouses), food processing, packaging, transport, refrigeration, freezing, package waste, and more.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

marshmallows are typically unsustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, are marshmallows eco friendly? Are marshmallows sustainable?

Marshmallows are typically unsustainable.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

marshmallows are typically not vegan. marshmallow side effects include killing, harming and using animals.

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Are marshmallows vegan?

No, marshmallows are not vegan unless specified otherwise. Marshmallows are made from sugar, water and gelatin. Gelatin is an an animal-derived food and animals must be killed in order to produce gelatin

Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

marshmallows may or may not have labor issues.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Are marshmallows a product with labor concerns?

At this time there have been no major concerns with marshmallow production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!

It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

This post was all about marshmallow benefits and side effects.

Sources:

SF Gate: How much sugar is in marshmallows?

Candies, marshmallows – FoodData Central – USDA

Adriane Marie

Self-proclaimed Grocery Guru, Material Maven and all around Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful and use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.

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