Seeing Red Dye

Safety is a relative thing. Standing on the ground is safe compared to jumping from a plane, and laying in bed can be safer than standing on the ground. Eating all natural real foods is safer than eating processed foods, mainly because of the chemicals that are added to processed foods to make them stay edible for months at a time, sometimes indefinitely.

Artificial colors are a necessary part of processed foods. Lots of the foods you expect to be a color would be a bland gray or brown without the uses of food colorings. Unfortunately, food colors are chemical concoctions. The FDA maintains that they are all safe when eaten in reasonable quantities.

When the FDA maintains that a food additive is safe, what that generally means is that it will not kill you. Food dyes cause hyperactivity and ADHD in children. Hyperactivity and ADHD are not fatal, so food dyes are ‘safe’.

Today in the news, over at Mother Jones, I Read that “Making Blue Skittles is About to get Way More Complicated.”

Mars Inc., the company behind many popular candies, chewing gum flavors, and food products, announced earlier this month that it will begin phasing out artificial food dyes.

Naturally, they are going to take their time doing it, the plan is to phase them out over the next five years. I predict that the FDA will take action to ban artificial food colors about the same time that all of the US food makers have voluntarily quit using them. This is the exact same strategy that they are using to ‘ban’ TransFats from the American diet. Currently they are not banned, even though there is no known safe level of trans fats in your diet. Food makers are down to ‘less than 1%’ in most of their foods now, and when they get us all converted over then the FDA will ban them. BPA plastic ingredient is not banned, but no plastic maker wants to use it, since it is banned in most of the other industrial nations. As soon as nobody here uses it any more then it will be safe to use this dangerous additive.

The decision came as a response to growing customer demand, said Mars Inc.’s president and CEO, Grant F. Reid, in a statement, estimating that it will take five years to phase out all artificial colors. Nestlé, General Mills, Kraft, and Kellogg‘s have also started eliminating artificial dyes from their products in response to demand for more natural ingredients.

If you think that your food is ‘safe’ then I am not here to worry you. If you think that the FDA is testing every additive as rigorously as it tests every new medical device then I am here to tell you that your faith is misplaced. The only protection you have against side effects of artificial ingredients is to not buy them. Eat real food, cook for yourself, add your own additives–like natural fats, natural colors, natural ingredients. As a side benefit you can also cook love into your meals, and you can care more about eating than profit. All the corporations care about is the profit.

The cartoon Kool Aid Man is not the most artificial thing contained in this package.

About dcarmack

I am an instrument technician at the electric utility servicing the Kansas City Missouri metropolitan area. I am in the IBEW, Local 412. I was trained to be a nuclear power plant operator in the USN and served on submarines. I am a Democrat, even more so than those serving in Congress or the White House.
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