When you see beautiful, colorfully decorated cakes and cookies, it’s hard to believe that it may be one of the worst things that you could eat, causing severe health problems. It’s just too pretty to be harmful! But artificial food colorings top the charts for one of the most harmful “foods.”
Why? Artificial food colorings are derived from tar and petroleum. We would never knowingly consume even a small amount of either of these products themselves, but daily we are innocently affecting our health by eating foods made with food coloring. It’s so harmful, that the US is one of the few countries that allows artificial food coloring in food. Consumption has been linked to cancers, ADHD, hyperactivity, neurological disorders, hormonal disorders, infertility and mood disorders. Unfortunately, many foods that contain this are foods targeted toward children. We mistakenly think that sugar causes hyperactivity in children, but it’s actually the food colorings and chemicals that do. Sugar actually causes a release of serotonin, which has a calming effect. I believe food colorings play a large role in the recent increase of ADHD, autism and other disorders in children.
Swapping frugally: You don’t have to give up decorating cakes and cookies, there are other options. I buy India Tree Natural Decorating Colors from Amazon (you can also buy at Whole Foods, but Amazon is usually priced cheaper). They work great and are made from real food. The price, however, is more than their artificial counterpart. To me, the benefits far outweigh the risks. I don’t use food coloring often, so my set has lasted me two years and counting.
Stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s sell many foods that have natural food colorings in them. Be sure to check the label. Natural food coloring is okay, FD&C red 40, yellow 5 & 6, blue 1 & 2, red 3 and green 3 are synthetic and not okay. Lastly, you can make your own food coloring. Go to this article here for instructions.