As a momma of two little boys, I am constantly looking for healthy alternatives to the foods we eat.My family recently made the decision to adopt a vegan and natural way of eating, which forced us to really take a look at the foods we were putting into our body. As a family, we were looking for foods and products that not only were natural, organic and vegan but also foods that would nourish our mind, body and soul. As an avid foodie, I wanted to create delicious healthy meals that my family would enjoy, but also fit into our new way of eating. This new way of eating forced my husband and I to do some research and we found out so much valuable information about the ingredients in the foods we should avoid and also ingredients that can help our bodies thrive.
Did you know that the ingredients in the foods we eat can affect our mood, development and health? My husband and I found out how important reading the labels are because even the products that are labeled as organic or all natural/dairy free and vegan can have many carcinogenic and toxic ingredients in them. One of the most important ingredients we look out and stay away from are artificial food coloring/dyes. Foods with artificial food coloring have been linked to many illnesses and behavioral issues that many kids and adults face today.
Food coloring in our foods are BAD, however, in the US, the FDA has chosen not to admit it. Whereas in the UK, companies are required to put labels on their foods to warn consumers of such additives in the foods they are purchasing. For example, dyes such as Red #40, Yellow #6, Yellow #5 and Blue #1 are all banned and illegal in the UK. Some of your favorites like Fanta in the UK are colored orange with natural ingredients from pumpkin and carrot extracts. However, in the U.S, Red 40 and Yellow 6 are used to give Fanta Orange soda that rich orange color.
Artificial food coloring is unnatural. Over the years, researchers and scientist have found out that dyes in our food are linked to:
- Hyperactivity and adverse behavior
- Food allergies
- Cancer and tumors
- Can affect children with ADD and ADHD
- Learning impairments
- Adverse behaviors like irritability and aggressiveness.
Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40 are commonly used in our foods and some of our everyday meals like cereal, salad dressing, ice cream, baked goods, yogurt, potato chips, and even mac and cheese contain these dyes. These dyes all have the same common ingredients: benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, which are cancer causing ingredients.
All this information we researched really forced us to reevaluate the decisions we made in the past concerning our eating habits. It also made us aware of the fact that the US government and the FDA really do not have our best interest at heart. There are so many natural alternatives to dyes such as beets, carrots, turmeric, spinach, strawberries, etc. that are so much safer and cheaper to use.
My challenge for you guys reading is to do further research on the foods and products you use. I also challenge you guys to educate your friends and family and use your voice to petition food manufacturers in the US to change their practices. This is your future and your health. You should have a say into what these companies put into the foods we’re buying.