When it Comes to Our Kid's Food, Are We Dyeing to Please?

As we all know, fluorescent food doesn’t come from the ground (unless you purchased your food from Chernobyl). It comes from a laboratory. And cows don’t produce day-glo cheese, Kraft does. And it’s not even cheese, it’s “cheese product”. And if you’re really lucky, a box of mac n’ cheese will contain some metal shards to offset the already metallic aftertaste of the brightly colored cheese product dinner. (Can someone please define “cheese product” for me? How much cheese is actually in the product to be called a cheese product!?)

I came across this article and I felt it was my duty, as a member of the anti-dye movement (just made that up, but I think it has some potential) to share it with you. It’s about food coloring and how it’s bad for us. Duh! You know, I say duh, but I still see kids sucking on dyed candies. Maybe it’s not a “duh” to everyone. But it should be.

In middle school I remember learning that if you eat red M&M’s you would get cancer. In fact, anything that was dyed red caused cancer. My mom had banned Hawaiian Punch from our house – which was a travesty because I really did love that punch and the commercials. (By the way, I’ve been to Hawaii and their version of “Hawaiian Punch” is 1 part guava juice, 1 part pineapple juice. And it’s awesome!)

What I find so disturbing is that apparently the only way to get food into Americans, especially the young ones whose minds we are forming with every move we make, is to make it glow. The brighter, the better! And the only way to get the same food into the mouths of people in the U.K. is to well, keep it real. The more it looks like a real strawberry that was removed from a vine, the more the Europeans can sell.

My fellow Americans: Why can’t we all think that? Why does it have to glow? Here’s your answer:

“Because the FDA hasn’t required U.S. food manufacturers to switch to safer natural colorings,” the CSPI says, “Many American companies sell artificially dyed food in the United States but not in Europe. For example, the topping in McDonald’s Strawberry Sundae sold in the United States contains Red 40, while in the United Kingdom, the topping’s color comes from strawberries.”

People, this is unacceptable. Please write the FDA and say your strawberry sundae does not need Red 40 in it. It’s sad (and scary) that there’s no requirement to have the color of the fruit come from the actual fruit. Are the companies afraid that we won’t buy it if it doesn’t turn our tongue a funky color?

“At this point, American food manufacturers and regulators alike should be embarrassed that we’re feeding kids foods with chemicals that have such a powerfully disruptive impact on children’s behavior,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson in a statement. “European officials are taking the issue much more seriously and are moving toward a safer food supply as a result.”

As a parent, and um… human being, I would really love it if our government cared about what went into our kid’s mouths. After all, our kids will be running this country when the present government officials are in nursing homes. Let’s take care of our future leaders, because one day, they’ll be taking care of us. (Is anyone else humming, “I believe the children are our future…”?)

What’s your stance on food dyes?

Tags : health   safety   

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