How Food Coloring Is Made & Is It Bad For You?

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Let me ask you a question – Where do you expect to find food coloring?

Brightly colored, almost neon candy, soda, cereal, ice cream etc right?

Absolutely. But how about some flavoured yoghurts, processed meats, canned frosting, boxed macaroni cheese, medications, vitamins, dog food…

More surprising right?

What about the skin of some oranges.

I hate to say it, but yes.

Food dyes are creeping in all over the place, and in the last 60 years since 1955, the use of synthetic artificial colors in our foods in the US has risen 500%.

Why Are Artificial Food Dyes Used?

The only reason for using artificial food dyes is to make processed junk food more appealing.

It is for purely cosmetic reasons, colored junk food looks more attractive and vibrant thank the colorless gloop we would be faced with otherwise. We wouldn’t want to buy it.

Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest comments thus, “Food dyes are added simply for their color to make foods fun. They serve no health purpose whatsoever.”

So it has no nutritional value, and it manipulates us into eating something we would otherwise reject.

Oh, and it is especially tempting for children, who are targeted by the fun, completely unnatural colors.

Is There Any Harm In Making Food Fun?

The FDA thinks not, and as this quote shows, they seem to think that dye is an important ingredient that makes food more enjoyable.

“Without color additives, colas wouldn’t be brown, margarine wouldn’t be yellow and mint ice cream wouldn’t be green. Color additives are now recognized as an important part of practically all processed foods we eat.”

The FDA has actually approved 9 artificial colors for use in the States, most of which are derived from petroleum.

But the FDA is not infallable, as we saw after the Halloween of 1950, when Orange 1 was banned after many children fell ill.

Bernard Weiss, PhD, University of Rochester, N.Y., professor of environmental medicine has a strong opinion about the FDA’s stance:

“The precautionary principle should govern every environmental chemical. It applies to drugs: The FDA grants approval for a new drug only after exhaustive screening for adverse effects. That is how the precautionary principle works. With food dyes, to which vastly more individuals are exposed, no such rule applies, which I think is scandalous.”

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