Tuesday Tidbit: To Dye For?

cups of dye

Yowza.  Did you know that the average American is eating 5 times as much food dye as s/he did in 1955?  It's in flippin' everything - yogurts, cereal, ice cream, you name it.  Synthetic (man-made) dyes appear as the name of a color, followed by a number:

  • Blue 1 and 2
  • Citrus Red 2
  • Green 3
  • Red 3 and 40
  • Yellow 5 & 6

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has asked the FDA to ban these nasties . . . research may have dangerous health consequences, particularly for kids (blue yogurt with candy sprinkles, anyone?).

How to avoid?  If you see the USDA "organic" label, there won't be any synthetic dyes (they'll be using things like beets, carotenes, annatto and/or capsanthin (from paprika) instead).  Know that if you see "made with organic ingredients," there still might be artificial junk to contend with - look out for those colors with numbers in the ingredients list - all synthetic dyes must be listed by their names.