This post is Day 5 for National Blog Posting Month on Blogher.
Does anyone remember green ketchup? I think it was Heinz that made it and I don’t remember the reason other than just for fun. I believe they had a purple version too. There was absolutely no taste difference. Green ketchup was simply regular tomato based ketchup with high levels of blue and yellow dyes added after the natural red color of the tomatoes had been striped. I was a kid when it was out. And it failed. Miserably. It tasted exactly the same but people couldn’t get their minds around eating it because it was green.
Now I understand that all our senses work together to create taste enabling us to enjoy our food but why on earth does it matter what color things are? People actually convinced themselves that the green ketchup wouldn’t taste the same. Some wouldn’t even give it a chance. Others tried it and immediately gave it bad reviews. I know very little people who actually miss it.
If I told you that food coloring is actually made out of petroleum (as in the same stuff that fuels your car!) what would you think? Kind of disgusting, right? Guess what? It’s true. Every time you eat something that’s been made brighter or bolder or a color it doesn’t belong, you are consuming petroleum. If you drank a big gulp of gasoline, you’d call position control, yes? Maybe need your stomach pumped? You’d be quite sick. But yet, the FDA is completely fine with allowing these dyes in our foods (everything from cakes to cookies to sauces to spice packets to juices to sodas to breads to crackers, literally there are no bounds.)
A huge number of foreign companies have already banned the use of these dyes. Companies like Pepsi and Kraft even create a different version of their products just to be able to sell them overseas. But in America, they keep giving us the bad stuff. Um? What? This makes me livid!
How many children do you think are taking prescription medication for ADD and/or ADHD? How many of those do you think consume (likely unknowingly) these high amounts of dyes on a daily basis?
How can you make a difference? Take a stand for yourself! Vote with your dollars and say, “NO!” to these dyes. Is there more to our food crisis and obesity and health issues in the United States? Absolutely! But if we don’t start somewhere, our voices will never be heard. Read labels. Get familiar with checking for anything that reads “artificial color” or specifically describes the color as red, blue, yellow or caramel (any #. Some are worse than others but they play tricks on us and try to say, “this number has been banned but this one is safe.” I assure you that “safe” in their book and “safe” in my book are two very different things.)
How does your food measure up? Did you know about the harm dyes can cause?