I’ve been on a bit of a “make your own food coloring” kick since discovering how to make green food dye. I have been educating myself about food dyes and their dangers, and wanted to pass along some of the information.
Red Dye 40, as well as Red Dye 3, are the big no-no’s, and should be especially avoided in children. This post offers information about these red dyes, and tomorrow I will teach you how to very easily make your own red and pink food dye and how to store it for later uses.
Red Dye 40 and 3 have been linked to hyperactivity, ADHD, temper tantrums, aggressive behavior, nervousness, are KNOWN CARCINOGENS, and banned in other countries. In adults, it can trigger migraines, jittery feelings and upset stomach.
Products do not necessarily have to be red to contain Red Dye 40 or 3. Often colors are mixed to form other colors such as brown or orange, but contain Red Dye 40 or 3. Be sure to take a good look at labels. Sometimes they are not clearly listed and will just say “red coloring” on them, but if the product is red, and does not contain red berries or beet juice, a natural food coloring, then it is safe to assume it is a chemically created color.
Do you think you or your children are eating foods with Red Dye? Here is an incomplete list of products containing Red Dye 40:
- Dannon Yogurt (many varieties)
- Yoplait Trix Yogurt, certain brands of chocolate puddings
- Sunkist Orange, Gatorade (many varieties), Mountain Dew Code Red, Kool-Aid, and other red beverages
- Hamburger Helper Lasagna
- Many salad dressings and sauces, including Open Pit, Kraft Barbecue Sauce, Del Monte Fruit Salads
- Cereals including Trix, Lucky Charms, Post Fruity Pebbles, Cap’n Crunchberries, Fruit Loops and many others
- Many Duncan Hines and Pillsbury cake mixes are mixed with Yellow 5 to produce a golden cake color
- Snacks such as Cheetos and Doritos, and Strawberry Pop-Tarts
- Many candies such as Skittles, Red M&Ms, certain chewing gums
- Children’s vitamins, pain relievers, and cold medicines
By avoiding convenience foods and making your own food dyes, you will reduce your exposure to this harmful dye. Stay tuned tomorrow for how to make your own red food dye!
An outstanding food blogger wrote this article Real Food Tips: 7 Reasons I Hate Artificial Food Dyes. It is a great read for more information about the reality of food dyes.