Food coloring: Is it worth “Dying” for? Food dyes are known carcinogens! Artificial dyes are chemicals added to many foods to enhance the looks of the food and increase sales. They do not enhance the foods nutritionally they are added to increase sales only. Then why do you ask, when cancer rates are sky-rocketing, is a known carcinogen allowed in the food supply without a known health-related benefit? Food is our body’s fuel to live on right? Shouldn’t the food we eat be pro-health? Having a food coloring in something you are eating just to enhance the looks of the food is not worth the risk.
Food coloring also leads to hyperactivity, behavior problems, headaches, rashes, allergic reactions, bladder irritation, sleep problems, and attention difficulty. According to Dr. Oz:
“ …avoid these products altogether. This involves avoiding foods that have unnecessary preservatives, additives or chemicals, like artificial dyes. If there is a mysterious ingredient you can’t pronounce or if it evokes images of scientists in white lab coats, you probably shouldn’t be eating it. “ http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/food-dyes-are-they-safe
A petroleum product called aniline was used to make artificial colorings starting in the early 1900’s. These chemically synthesized colors are used in our foods even today – that’s right a petroleum product is in our food supply! Before the 1900’s natural food sources (like saffron, beets, paprika) were used to make foods look nicer and more appealing. However, it’s cheaper to produce the colors synthetically using petroleum products, so that’s what the food industry uses. In the U.S. artificial colors are widely used. Other countries have banned them and require food companies to use natural food sources. It’s a crime that the U.S. FDA does not ban these ingredients.
On a food label you’ll want to look at the ingredients list and avoid the following:
- FD&C Blue No. 1 – Brilliant Blue FCF, E133 (blue shade)
- FD&C Blue No. 2 – Indigotine, E132 (indigo shade)
- FD&C Green No. 3 – Fast Green FCF, E143 (turquoise shade)
- FD&C Red No. 3 – Erythrosine, E127 (pink shade, commonly used in glacé cherries)
- FD&C Red No. 40 – Allura Red AC, E129 (red shade)
- FD&C Yellow No. 5 – Tartrazine, E102 (yellow shade)
- FD&C Yellow No. 6 – Sunset Yellow FCF, E110 (orange shade)
- Citrus Red 2 (orange shade) – allowed only for use to color orange peels.
- Orange B (red shade) – allowed only for use in hot dog and sausage casings
According to a publication by the Center for Science in the Public Interest dated 6/29/10:
The three most widely used dyes, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, are contaminated with known carcinogens, says CSPI. Another dye, Red 3, has been acknowledged for years by the Food and Drug Administration to be a carcinogen, yet is still in the food supply. Despite those concerns, each year manufacturers pour about 15 million pounds of eight synthetic dyes into our foods. Per capita consumption of dyes has increased five-fold since 1955, thanks in part to the proliferation of brightly colored breakfast cereals, fruit drinks, and candies pitched to children.
The medical journal The Lancet in 2007 published a conclusion that “artificial colours or a sodium benzoate preservative (or both) in the diet result in increased hyperactivity in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the general population”. This was a carefully designed, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
Food coloring –something to “dye” for because they are carcinogens! Read labels and keep them out of your family’s food supply. Use natural food coloring to brighten up your foods instead.