High Angle View Of Colorful Liquids In Bottles On White Background

Source: Sergio Delle Vedove / EyeEm / Getty

Recently, there were two separate posts here about children’s health. Holly Haze discussed childhood obesity and also ADD/ADHD. Besides sugar, the added ingredients with food coloring are being linked to many behavioral issues with our kids. Here’s why.

Food dye was added into foods simply to make them LOOK more appealing. There is zero health benefit from any food coloring, quite the contrary. In fact, it is nothing but poison. It used to be added mainly to candy, but since 1955 the use of synthetic artificial colors in U.S. foods has risen a staggering 500%. It’s not just in junk food and crappy drinks anymore. Did you know that fruit, vegetables, and meats are now injected with food coloring to make them look vine-picked and “better“? If you’re buying farmed seafood like salmon, that is fake pink coloring. Key lime pie shouldn’t be green. Cheese shouldn’t be orange….milk isn’t.

Fun little fact: Coca-Cola was invented in 1885 by John Pemberton who was a pharmacist in Atlanta, Georgia. The original recipe contained cocaine in the form of an extract of the coca leaf. The name “cola” comes from the kola nut, which contains caffeine (yep, another stimulant). Obviously the version of Coca-Cola today does not contain cocaine, but it remained an ingredient until 1929. The caramel color in Coke and Pepsi used to contain a chemical called 4-methylimidazole,or 4-MEI, which is a known carcinogen. In 2011(yep, not that long ago!) both companies were urged to remove that ingredient. Holly adds, “If the food coloring isn’t bad enough, the sugar amount is nauseating. ONE 16 oz. bottle has 54 GRAMS of sugar”.

When Gatorade first came out in the 60’s, the ingredients were a simple mixture of water, sodium, minimal sugar, potassium, phosphate, and lemon juice. When PepsiCo bought the product in 2001, they added tons of sugar and food coloring. Holly says, “It is quite possibly the LAST thing a recovering athlete, or otherwise, should drink. For electrolyte replenishing, you can simply add a pinch of Himalayan or sea salt to a bottle of water, but good quality water already has natural occurring electrolytes”.

(note to self….maybe do a post about sugar in bevvies)

Holly Haze adds, “We seriously ruin everything in the states. The government makes no money off the healthy, so it seems everything out there makes us sicker! From ‘fast’ foods to ‘convenience stores’ and vending machines, the choices are rarely healthy. When did we become so lazy and unaware of basic nutrition? You simply DON’T see this in other countries! I was completely ignorant to this until I started traveling overseas. It was eye-opening and life-changing”.

One Nutri-Grain strawberry cereal bar in the US, which by the way has a label of approval from the American Heart Association, is colored with red 40, yellow 6 and blue 1. The same EXACT bar in the United Kingdom contains all natural colorings from beet root, annatto and paprika.

A McDonald’s strawberry shake or sundae in the United States is colored with red 40. Yet in Britain it is solely colored by strawberries. What a concept.

Kraft Mac and Cheese in the United States uses yellow dye 5 and 6. In England, no dye at all. Again, MILK IS NOT ORANGE!

So let’s dig deeper in to what food dye actually does to us. Studies are fairly recent on food coloring since it wasn’t really a thing 50 years ago. Not enough studies have been done yet, but with the growing concern over side-effects, they are surfacing more and more. The main health concerns are hyperactivity, ADHD, learning impairments, irritability, aggressiveness in some hypersensitive children. Food coloring has also been connected to cancer, reproductive issues, kidney disease and the obvious…obesity. Holly says “Food coloring is basically an additive to target kids to make food look more “fun”, I don’t know many grown adults who need primary colors injected into their diet to eat food!”

Holly concludes, “You know, if studies have to be done because there is a concern around the SAFETY of food dye (or ANY thing going into or onto your body), then to me it’s a no-brainer to simply avoid it”.