Food dyes have been used for many years. The dyes add no nutritional value to food, nor do they enhance their taste. They just make the food look more food more appealing to customers. Few people want to buy processed food that is bland in color. The dyes help these products fly off the shelves.
Many natural food dyes also exist in products, like beet juice for red and purple,carrot for orange, and many more. There are eight artificial food dyes that are allowed in the United States; some are which are banned in some European countries.
Here is the rainbow of colors commonly used in the United States:
- Red #3
- Red #40
- Yellow #5 (Tartrazine)
- Yellow #6
- Citrus Red #2
- Green #3
- Blue #1
- Blue #2
Some of these dyes are linked to cancer. Some can also cause behavioral problems in children. Many kids labeled ADHD could actually be reacting to food dyes. Yellow #5 can cause symptoms of IBS.
Many parents of hyperactive children who have taken Red #40 out of their children’s diets noticed a dramatic difference in their child’s behavior. Within minutes of accidentally giving their child something with Red #40 in it, the child may start throwing tantrums and is screaming and running around the place.
Why are these preservatives allowed in the United States and in some other countries? Easy. It’s money. Adding these dyes make the foods cheaper to make, and thus more profit for companies. Also, doctors make money off sick people. Drug companies make millions of dollars on Ritalin, Adderall, and other psychotic drugs given to kids.c
Yet, if these dyes can cause problems in children, why not adults? Many adults claim they have attention deficit disorder, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Millions get prescriptions for anxiety meds, especially benzodiazepines; sleeping pills like Ambien, and anti-depressants like Abilify and Zoloft. And maybe, just maybe, some of those people may not even need those pills if they would just give up certain dyes, most likely Red #40–but possibly also Yellow #5 and Yellow #6.
Here are some natural (and SAFE!) food dyes that can be used in foods, and are common in Europe and Asia:
- Annatto extract–yellow color from a tropical tree
- Dehydrated beets (beet powder)–red-pink color from beets
- Canthaxanthin–pink color from mushrooms, crustaceans, trout and salmon, and tropical birds
- Caramel–brown color made from burnt sugar
- Carotene–yellow color from carrots
- Carmine extract (aka Cochineal)–red color derived from a species of beetle that feeds on cacti
- Sodium copper chlorophyllin–green color from plants and copper
- Toasted partially defatted cooked cottonseed flour–yellow coloring from cottonseed (may cause allergic reactions)
- Ferrous gluconate (approved only for ripe olives)–yellowish-grey color from iron
- Ferrous lactate (approved only for ripe olives)–green color from iron
- Grape color extract (approved only for nonbeverage food)–purple color from the fruit
- Grape skin extract (approved only for still carbonated drinks & ades; beverage bases; alcoholic beverages) )–purple color from the fruit
- Synthetic iron oxide (approved only for sausage casings)–red-brown-black-yellow color from combining iron with oxygen
- Fruit juice–various colors from various fruits
- Vegetable juice–various colors from various vegetables
- Carrot oil–yellow color from carrots
- Paprika–orange color from the spice
- Paprika oleoresin–extracted from the spice using toxic solvents
- Riboflavin–yellow to orange color from plants
- Saffron –yellow color from the spice
- Titanium dioxide–white pigment from the mineral
- Turmeric–yellow color from the spice
- Turmeric oleoresin–extracted from the spice using toxic solvents