A Quest for Dye Free Food

Recently, I have been trying to reduce my family’s exposure to artificial food coloring. This has been no easy task as many pantry ‘staples’ contain them. I’m not a dietician, nutritionist or a doctor so I will not go into too much detail about why artificial food coloring can be so detrimental to your health. However, I will state some facts.

Fact: Synthetic food colors are banned in Europe (Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Orange B, and Red 3)

Fact: There are ways to color food using natural ingredients instead of with chemicals.

Fact: The sole purpose of synthetic food colors is to make food more appealing.

If you’re interested in reading more about the harm artificial coloring can cause, you can do so here, here, here and here.

If you looked in your pantry or refrigerator right now, I guarantee you will find several items that contain one or more dye’s. If you know you have boxed macaroni and cheese, pickles, pudding, jello, candy, and children’s cereal then I’ll spare you a few seconds from getting up and looking because they are full of artificial color.

Since the FDA allows these artificial colors to be added to popular foods, it’s almost impossible to avoid them completely (unless you’re following Raw or Paleo diets). My husband and I have decided that we will slowly replace store-bought favorites with dye free versions. Boxed macaroni and cheese is full of Yellow 5. As a replacement, we have found Annie’s Homegrown. It’s organic, there are no artificial ingredients and it’s delicious!

Pudding is another staple in my husband’s lunch box. I craved them when I was pregnant with Babycakes and got him hooked. Unfortunately, they’re full of partially hydrogenated oils and artificial food color. Yes folks, you read that right. Your chocolate pudding isn’t brown from chocolate, it’s brown from chemicals.

So. Gross. And completely unnecessary. I prefer my pudding to be flavored and colored with real chocolate. We’ve stopped buying the pre-made pudding that comes in 4 ready to go packs. Instead, I make it myself and store it in single serving size containers. Perfect for lunches or afternoon snacks.

Those are just a few examples of how we are trying to consume less artificial food colors. Do you avoid artificial food colors in your food?


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