Artificial Dyes – they are everywhere!

For a holiday celebration this summer, I was making hamburgers (using grass-fed beef) for the family.  The recipe requires a little bit of dill pickle relish in the meat before cooking.  My husband was very kind and ran to the store to get some because we didn’t have any in the fridge.  I added it to the burgers and put it on top of my burger in place of pickles.  The next day I decided to look at the ingredient list.  I was shocked to see that one of my forbidden ingredients was on it!  Check out the picture below and look at the last ingredient.  

YELLOW 5 !!!!  

The second and third last ingredients aren’t great either, but why in the world do they need to add a food coloring to pickle relish!   My own rule (rule #3) was broken!  A reminder to all…READ ALL LABELS!!!

These dyes are not good.  In David Zinczenko’s book, Eat This Not That!, he talks about Red 40 and Blue 1.  Here is the scoop:

  • Red 40 “is extracted from the dried eggs and bodies of the female Dactylopius cocus, a beetlelike insect that preys on cactus plants.”  Sounds yummy, doesn’t it?
  • Blue #1 and #2 is a chemical made from the same dye that turns your jeans blue.  These dyes have a possible link to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), asthma, and cancer.

Conclusion: Read labels and avoid any foods with these ingredients in them!  Here’s the list of what to avoid:

  • Blue 1
  • Blue 2
  • Green 3
  • Red 3
  • Red 40
  • Yellow 5
  • Yellow 6
  • “Artificial Color”

These ingredients are in many, many of the processed foods including “healthy” items like Crystal Light, yogurt, and flavored oatmeal.  It’s even found in children’s medicine like Motrin and Tylenol (buy dye-free!).

For more information about dyes, check out my previous post titled Bye M&Ms.

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