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I’m sure you’ve read something, somewhere, at some point about artificial dyes.

They’re bad news folks!

One of the things I think is grossest about dyes is that they are made from PETROLEUM!  You know, that crude oil product which is also used in tar, asphalt, gasoline and diesel fuel.

The post popular dyes used in food are Blue 1, Blue 2, Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Green 3

ALL of the dyes listed above have been linked to cancer (in numerous studies) and have also been linked allergic reactions and hyperactivity in children.

(scroll to the bottom of the post for links to LOTS of studies!)

A Little History of Artificial Dyes

  • In 1950, the government banned Orange #1 when many children became ill after consumption.
  • In the 1970s, scientific testing showed Red #2 was found to cause intestinal tumors in rats
  • Yellows #1, #2, #3, and #4 have been banned from food because of their link to cancer, among other health risks.
  • Yellow #5 is currently undergoing further testing for links to hyperactivity, anxiety, migraines and cancer.
  • In 1985, testing of Red #3 led to its ban in cosmetics. Those tests resulted in thyroid tumors and caused DNA damage. Although the FDA acknowledged the dye as a carcinogen, it was not banned in food!
  • in 2007, researchers at Southampton University did a groundbreaking study conclusively linking ADD/ADHD to food dyes.

You would think that the FDA would ban these from our food!

Well, they HAVE in the UK and EU!

These countries have banned all of the above mentioned dyes from their food.  Does that mean they are eating bland looking food?

No!  Companies have now switched to using natural dyes such as beet juice, beta-carotene, blueberry juice concentrate, carrot juice, grape skin extract, paprika, purple sweet potato or corn, red cabbage, and turmeric.

A few examples, that I found enlightening:

In the UK/EU, McDonald’s uses strawberries to color their strawberry Sundae.  (What a concept, RIGHT??!)

In the USA, they still use Red Dye #40.

In the UK/EU, Fanta orange soda gets its bright color from pumpkin and carrot extract.

In the United States the color comes from Red 40 and Yellow 6.

In the UK/EU, Kellogg’s Nutrigrain Bars are colored with beet juice, annatto, and paprika.

In the USA?  Red #40, Yellow #6, and Blue #1.

The other side effect mentioned above? 
Hyperactivity in Children.

This is one I have personal experience with!

I have read lots of things online about ADD/ADHD and food dyes.  They can trigger all kinds of nasty problems for your kiddos.

Miss J, bless her little heart, has some trouble “tuning in” to what’s going on sometimes.   She’s just lost in her own little make believe world!

Removing ALL dyes from her diet has made a HUGE difference in her attention span.  Can I say that again?  A HUGE difference!

She gets “lost” in her own thoughts less, has less emotional breakdowns, and pays attention better in general.

Same goes for Mr. A.
He doesn’t have the “attention” issues of Miss J, but his emotions are MUCH more in check when he hasn’t had any dyes.

Case in Point-about a month after we started eating clean, Miss J and Mr. A went to a fun filled birthday party.  There was cake, pizza, and juice.  All with a healthy serving of DYES!

Can I just say that they were nightmares for the next two days?  Crying over evvvvvvverthing, litterally running in circles around the house, and just miserable.

That experience CEMENTED my resolve to eliminate all dyes from our diet.  It’s not just a “healthy” choice but an absolute necessity for us!

So there ya go.  MANY reasons to remove those nasty dyes from your diet!



CSPI Rainbow of Risks
Serving up Food Dyes, UK Style
Southhampton Food Dye Study
The Food Dye Problem
100 Days of Real Food
Living in Color

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