A good friend of mine recently linked this article  about food dyes on Facebook and it was so interesting that I wanted to talk about it's content here too.

I feel really good about the food my kids and I eat. And why not. Our fridge contains more fruits and veggies than anything else. They are mostly organic . We eat alot of whole grains. We eat out very rarely. Other than my absolute love of good food, my other motivation for keeping it simple, food-wise, is being able to avoid all sorts of ingredients I do NOT want my kids to be eating. I'm sure many of you can relate. In particular, I'm talking about artificial colorings and flavors.

Here is an incomplete list of most commonly used food dyes: FD&C 1 (Brilliant Blue),FD&C Yellow #5,FD&C Red #40.

And here is a (very) incomplete list of food items they are found in: soft drinks, some artificially sweetened 'juices' (Minute Maid punches for example), candy, wasabi peas, fake blueberries (see below), cereals with funky colors (you know which ones I'm talking about) , Jello, Doritos, Kraft macaroni and cheese, some 'orange' cheeses, Kellogg's Nutrigrain bars, pop tarts,...

As I was researching food coloring, I found this article about the creation and use of  fake blueberries in baked goods...FAKE BLUEBERRIES??? What is the world coming to!? Did you know that in order to get marshmallows white, most brand name companies include blue dye in their making? Sad, but true . The same friend of mine who linked the facebook article also  makes her own marshmallows at home, minus the creepy dye. And although, being vegetarian, I don't eat gelatin, I have been told by many that they are dee-licious. 

Now, Here is a list of natural dyes that some companies use in their foods:

-Red: Annatto (made from the achiote seed), carmine or cochineal (the two latter ones are made from crushed female beetles, to which some individuals may react allergically)

-Yellow: Turmeric

-Orange/yellow: Paprika

-Green: Chlorella

If you don't buy the negative hype about food dyes, I invite you to read this. It is a scientific article, so a little on the heavy side, but worth reading all the same. In any case, whether or not you agree about food dyes and flavorings, perhaps we can all agree that in the end, our systems will always do better fueled on wholesome ingredients and not petroleum by-products.