halloween candy

If you do not regularly read the labels on the food you buy, here is yet another reason to start!  Food Dyes:  are they actually safe?  The majority of studies will say NO!  So why are they still being widely used in our food?  Marketing of course!  Bright, bold colors sell and unfortunately that is what many food companies deem as most important.

Not all food dyes are created equal but there are a top 5 that top the list as the most toxic.  These would be Blue #1, Blue #2, Red #40, Yellow #5, Yellow #6.  One of the biggest problems is that our bodies were not designed to break down and rid of these dyes.  They can build up in your system and cause issues throughout.  Many people (kids especially) are sensitive to certain dyes.  If you think your child may be sensitive to food dyes (ADD, ADHD are typical children with these sensitivities) than these 5 dyes would be a good place to start eliminating.  One food that has them all?  M&M’s!!  (darn)

The most frustrating part is that there are natural food dyes that are perfectly safe (many organic companies use these) that could be used instead (they just are not quite as bright as chemical dyes).  Europe bans many food dyes and plans to ban all food dyes because they are not healthy or safe.  Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in Europe has always used natural food dyes while Kraft Mac and Cheese here in the USA – used Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 for many many years!  We must demand safer foods in our country!

In the meantime, you may be surprised to find places where food dyes are!  Take some time this week and read labels and see what is in your food (or in your personal care products!).  One thing is for sure, you definitely won’t be finding any food dyes in raw fruits and veggies!  When possible, switch to a different brand of food that uses natural food coloring.  Your body will thank you!