We all know that artificial food coloring makes food look more fun and inviting, but will using it cost us our health? Food coloring is used in everything from candy to dog food! What I don't get is that products that say they're "natural" sometimes contain food coloring (watch out for companies that call themselves natural, they may not be what you think they are). Because artificial is anything but natural. After all, it's artificial! So, read on if you would like to find out why artificial food coloring is a "no, no".
The History of Food Coloring-
People have been using food coloring to dye foods since 1500 BC. But food coloring they used were natural. One of the things they used to give foods a better appearance was wine. Yep, you heard that right! As time went on, people began to look to other things to dye food. Things that weren't healthy. Such as red lead and mercury! Of course, they had no idea at of their poisonous effects. Often times this resulted in death. Eventually people became more cautious with what they used in food. Even though dye today isn't deadly, it isn't necessarily healthy.
Should Children with ADHD Steer Away From Food Dye?-
Now that you know how food coloring started out, lets get down to business. First of all, some countries have food manufacturers that choose to use plant-based extracts in certain foods. Though, the U.S. usually doesn't. A strawberry drink at McDonald's is only strawberries in Britain while here in the U.S. it's Red 40. Seems like the U.S. doesn't always make very good health choices.
In fact, some say that cutting ADHD children out of food coloring may help hyperactivity and behavioral problems. There is actually a list for certain food dyes that causes health problems in ADHD children. It's Yellow 5, Red 40 (two most popular colors), Blue 1, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3 and Yellow 6.
Does It Cause Health Problems?-
Yes, it does cause health problems! Here are a few certain colors that cause various types of health problems. Green 3 in 1981 was linked to bladder cancer, Red 3 was considered a possible link to thyroid tumors in 1983 and Yellow 5 has been linked to migraine headaches. These are just to name a few. Maybe it's time to check for food coloring when you shop?
Is There a Healthier Alternative?-
Since you just read about food coloring not being healthy, I'm sure you're wondering if there's a healthier alternative. Don't worry, there is. I've only found one though (it is a little pricey). You can find it at Whole Foods Market. I found one at my local co-op. It's called India Tree. This link will send you to a website that sells it.
But if you don't want to pay more money for natural food coloring, you can make it! This will be featured in my next post, so until next time!
What did you think of this article? Let me know by leaving me a comment below!
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NOTE: A while after I wrote the blog post Homemade Play-Dough I realized since this is a website that contains natural ideas, I should've made it with natural food coloring. And I will be doing a post next on natural DIY food coloring ideas, so that will somewhat revise the play dough post.