The Secrets of Your Everyday Food Ingredient-Food Dye

You find food dyes in almost all of your foods- cereal, gelatin, candy, beverages, ice cream, sausage, drugs, baked goods/ desserts, pharmaceuticals, maraschino cherries, Florida oranges, and even cosmetics, soap, and hair products. You will see that the most healthy choices for you, (the fruits and veggies) don’t include any artificial flavors, and these are the foods you should be eating the most.

Surprisingly, there are insects in most of your food choices. You might have been eating these bugs in your breakfast, lunches, and dinner for years without knowing. Dactylopius coccus is the beetle that you will find in cochineal/ carmine extract. Cochineal extract is mainly found in lipstick. This beetle has been a source for dyeing fabric-including the British red coats in the Revolutionary War, but is mostly used for dying foods. 70,000 beetles dried and ground make up 1 pound. Even though Dactylopius coccus doesn’t smell or have any flavor whatsoever, do we really want to be eating bugs?

It has been claimed by the CSPI, (The Center for Science in the Public Interest), that artificial food colorings have zero percent nutritional value at all. 15 million tons of dye are produced every year. Why should we keep on producing these artificial colors that do not help in any way whatsoever? It’s because that artificial colorings are a lot cheaper than organic dyes that we should be using.

Sadly, kids are attracted to brightly colored foods. Every time they eat anything colored, they’re one step closer to allergies, learning problems, hyperactivity, mood disorders, and even cancer. So, why do we keep eating this stuff? It’s because most manufactured food products include dyes. To resolve this problem, read the labels!

There are many different colors of dye. They ALL cause some kind of disorder to your body:

Red 2- carcinogenic; may cause bladder tumor risk

Red 3- thyroid carcinogen, outlawed for outward manufactured products

Red 40- most common artificial coloring, increases allergies and ADHD in children

Yellow 5- may cause behavioral problems

Yellow 6- increases adrenal tumors and hypersensitivity

Blue 1-increases kidney tumors

Blue 2- increases brain tumors

Green 3- increases risk of bladder and testes tumors

To DEcrease the amount of dyes you take in, read the labels and try to substitute food colorings for some natural ingredients the next time you’re baking. In my Red Velvet Cake, I boiled some beets and used their special color to tint my cake. Even though the color wasn’t exactly how I wanted it, you still had the hint of pink/red when you cut into it. Saffron, beets, turmeric, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, blueberries/black berries,  are some good substitutes to try also… I hope this post helped you to understand the concept of artificial colors and what they really do to you. Remember, always think natural colors and your treats will be “just as tasty and twice as healthy”!


, . “The Real Truth on Red Food Dye”. Underground Health Reporter. 2016. 2016. 5 March 2017

Smith, Leanna. “4 Natural Food Alternatives to Food Coloring”. Spoon University. October 30, 2013. October 30, 2013. 5 March 2017

, . “The Scary Truth About Red Dye No. 40”. Groovy Green Livin’. January 12, 2015. January 12, 2015. 5 March 2017





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