Last month my good friend Melissa found out her preschooler was allergic to artificial food dyes. Since then her world has turned into scrutinizing labels and a new level of menu planning. She had a rude awakening after her son ate a raspberry cheesecake yogurt that if yogurt isn’t all fruit, it probably contains dyes.
Next week’s Easy Organic Living Challenge from Healthy Child Healthy World is about reading labels. I’ve already started. And let me tell you, my eyes are now wide open.
Artificial food dyes are EVERYWHERE. Some obvious ones are sodas, Jello, most candies… but also many medicines, and not so obvious ones like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Yes, that’s right; that yellow color? It’s artificial. Did you know they even use yellow dye in refrigerated crescent rolls? EW. (Said with my best preschooler face and my tongue stuck out)
What’s the big deal? Well, according to many sources, including Organic.org, artificial food dyes have been linked to ADD, ADHD, Cancer and serious food allergies. And you wouldn’t BELIEVE what some colors come from… like, um, bugs. Do you want to eat bugs? (Organic bugs or otherwise, I am not talking about chocolate covered crickets here…)
I found out that large manufacturers like Kraft Foods voluntarily removed these artificial food dyes from products they sell in other countries, but not from the same products they sell in the US! That just seems REALLY wrong to me. Aren’t are kids (and families) good enough to eat dye free foods too? You can read more about it, and sign the petition below.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to all goodies, Stretch Island Fruit Leather, Annie’s Fruit Snacks and Clif Kids Twisted Fruit Rope are all artificial dye free. So is Annie’s Mac n Cheese. Goldfish crackers are dye free too. And the rainbow ones? Dyed with spices. Two popular grocery chains, Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s, refuse to sell foods with artificial coloring. So there is a starting point for you.
Next week, Melissa and I are planning on dyeing Easter Eggs with natural food dyes. We’re excited to see what we can come up with and I can’t wait to share it with you.
This blog post is part of the Easy Organic Living program co-hosted by Baby Center and Healthy Child Healthy World and sponsored by Stonyfield.