What makes fruit punch red? Let me give you a hint...it's not fruit. That's right, food coloring! Red dye to be precise. What makes fruit snacks for kids all the colors of the rainbow? Again, not fruit. More food coloring. Medicines, cosmetics, and foods all contain colorings which are ingested into our bloodstreams daily.
Food coloring is in so much of the food Americans consume. Why? Because we create processed, unnatural, artificial foods that we want to see reflect the color of what it's imitating or just a fun array of color choices as in candy and snacks.
Here's the deal with food coloring: it's toxic to our bodies. Today, most colorings are made from petroleum (yes, the source for gasoline, kerosene and asphalt). Most people do not know this but even though a dye is prohibited from use in foods, it does not mean its banned from use in medicines or cosmetics. "If it's unsafe to swallow a dye in food, how can it be acceptable to apply it to the skin or swallow it in the form of medicine?" (Jane Hersey)
Red Dye No. 3
- Has been shown to cause thyroid tumors
- Represents 20% of the uses of dye
- Used to color maraschino cherries
- Is partially banned by the FDA but still found in some cosmetics and drugs applied to skin
- Three different FDA Commissioners tried - and failed - to have this chemical removed from the food supply
- Has high "lipid solubility" or its ability to dissolve in fatty tissue, including fatty tissues of the brain
- In combination with light, Red No. 3 interfered with the way nerve cells release neurotransmitters
- Registered by the Environmental Protection Agency as a pesticide
- "Consumption of Red No. 3, which has estrogen-like growth stimulatory properties...could be a significant risk factor in human breast carcinogenesis (cancer)." (Estrogenic and DNA-damaging activity of Red No. 3 in human breast cancer cells, Dees et al, Environ Health Perspect 1997 Apr; 105 Suppl 3:625-32)
- Red No. 3 was shown to cause abnormalities and reduced mobility of sperm in mice. (A study on the reproductive toxicity of erythrosine in male mice. Adbel et al, Pharmacol Res 1997 May; 35(5):457-62)
- Manufactured through a chemical process that includes: formaldehyde, aniline, several hydrozides under ammonia pressure, and heating in the presence of sulfuric acid.
- Contains lead, mercury, and arsenic
These are two examples of facts corresponding to food dyes. ALL food coloring is made up of similar ingredients and can lead to possible behavioral and learning difficulties, cancer, birth defects, etc.
Here is a sample of some dyes found in over-the-counter medicine:
- D&C Red 7, D&C Red 22, D&C Red 27, D&C Red 28 (red dye used to kill fruit flies), D&C Red 30, D&C Red 33
- FD&C Blue 1
- FD&C Yellow 6
- D&C Yellow 10
- FD&C Red 3
- FD&C Red 40
- FD&C Yellow 5
- FD&C Yellow 6
- FD&C Blue 1
- FD&C Blue 2
- FD&C Green 3
Chances are, if the food has artificial coloring/dyes, the nutritious content is low and you probably shouldn't be eating it.
Now, fruits and vegetables, those are the natural colors of life that provide a healthy life. They are colorful, natural, healthy and nutritious.
For natural ways to color food for baking, visit your local health food store.