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Dangers of Artificial Food Dyes

on January 4, 2013

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Today, we wanted to share a few ways to avoid artificial food dyes. Many processed foods still contain harmful chemicals. Americans are actually consuming five times as much food dye as we did in 1955! Food coloring is made from petroleum, contaminants, and propylene glycol (antifreeze!). Many are unaware that they are even consuming petroleum dyes. Here are just a few places where our children might be exposed:

In school cafeterias: Kids consume petroleum food dyes in jelly, yogurt, condiments, meats, juices, fruit cocktail, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, chips, pickles, sugar-free and regular pudding, cake, popsicles, ice cream, and flavored milk.

At restaurants:  Kids’ menu items contain plenty of dyes: Lemonade, sugar-free lemonade, caramel dip, chips, pickles, rice, sauces, condiments, cookies, frozen yogurt, ice cream, “fruit” punch, and juice. Be wary of water taps that do double duty with highly dyed soda.

Artificial food coloring has also been linked to bed wetting, sleep disturbances, ADD/ADHD, hyperactivity, obesity, and asthma,  just to name a few. These are some scary facts!

Here are a few ways to avoid artificial food dyes:

1. Avoid synthetic food coloring by checking labels in grocery stores or by shopping at chains like Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s, which refuse to sell foods with artificial coloring.

2. Go Organic! Look for foods bearing the green-and-white USDA certified organic label, but be aware that foods labeled “made with organic ingredients” may still contain synthetic dyes.

3. Man-made food dyes appear in ingredient lists as a name of a color with a number following it: Blue 1 and 2, Citrus Red 2, Green 3, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6. Avoid these!

4. Check product ingredient lists for beet, carotenes, annatto or capsanthin (a paprika extract) —all are natural colorants.

Join In: Healthy Child Healthy World has teamed up with two moms, health and wellness experts Erica Reid and Latham Thomas, to petition Kellogg’s to take artificial food dyes out of their children’s fruit snacks.

*Check out our past post on 8 Ingredients You Never Want to See on a Food Label!

Source & Image: huffingtonpost.com/eatingwell, www.sortacrunchy.net,

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2 responses to “Dangers of Artificial Food Dyes

  1. […] –          Food coloring.  Ah.  What else would we use to make our holiday cookies, cakes, and everything else that requires color?!?  You know my rants about how horrible artificial food dyes are.  Well, food coloring is just a concentrated form of those artificial food dyes, so I highly recommend switching this out with a natural-based food dye brand that is made from spices and dyes from nature.  While these natural food dyes may be a little more pricey, I think the health and well-being of everyone eating anything colored with dye is worth it.  I use India Tree brand and they work great.  Here’s a post that highlights some concerns over food dyes: https://mysuperfoods.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/dangers-of-artificial-food-dyes/ […]

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