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Artificial Food Coloring: Why You Should Avoid It At All Costs

I have a funny story about food coloring. When I was a kid there wasn’t as much information about food coloring being bad, though it was known that it’s wasn’t good for you. So when I was able to eat M&Ms, I was only allowed to eat the brown ones, because that was the color of chocolate so, obviously, there must not be any added colors in that. Right?!?! Of course, we know now that that’s definitely not true, and, to be honest, there is probably more food coloring in the brown ones. Think about it — remember painting as a kid and you added too many colors it turned that icky brown color? See, that logic makes sense!

Food coloring is used in processed, artificial junk foods to make them look brighter and more enticing. They use food coloring in things you wouldn’t even think of, like chips and savory snacks to give it a nice bright color. Think Cheetos. They even put food coloring in sodas, drinks, pickles, gelatin desserts, peanut butter, cereals and vitamins. It’s hard to escape it if you are eating the SAD DIET (standard American diet).

Yes, it’s true artificial food coloring does make food look very pretty and more appealing to kids, for sure. It can also make for fabulous looking Instagram photo. But just because it has pretty colors doesn’t mean that it’s good for your body. It’s used to make food look more appealing, appetizing and even used to correct color, add variations of color and give certain foods a more “fun” look.

It’s always funny to think that some kids won’t touch avocado or spinach because it’s GREEN, but they will gladly eat a green candy that has artificial colors in it.

In the United States, there is approximately 120 million pounds of food coloring that is consumed every year (Healing Foods - Michael Murray N.D., page 41). When you consider that there is food dye in things like pickles, chips and cereal, perhaps you aren’t even going a day without added synthetic food coloring that causes damage to your body.

The FDA is currently investigating certain colors and their safety for consumption, and I know that there will be some people who will be totally “devastated” that their kids will not be able to eat these chemicals, not even thinking that there is something much healthier out there.

Does it concern you that many of the food dyes that are used in the USA are banned in other countries because of their health concerns? There aren’t many that are banned in America! That freaks me out! It’s terrible that the stupid FDA doesn’t really care about us. They care about kids not missing out on “tasting the rainbow” with colors made from chemicals that cause health problems. BITE ME! It makes me so mad that companies continue to not care about the ingredients that they use in their products!

One of my friends, Leah Segedie (author of GREEN ENOUGH) wrote an article about food additives and the 5 ingredients that are in Kid Cereals that are totally toxic. In her article, she talks about the three most widely used dyes (Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6), which are all contaminated with known carcinogens. And, on top of that, Red 3 (another dye) approved to be in our foods, yet the FDA has also acknowledged it to be a carcinogen for years. That should piss you off!

Carcinogens are cancer-causing. They are substances that are capable of causing cancer in living tissue. Red 3 is a known carcinogen, and it’s in your cereals, baked goods, red candies, sodas, snacks and more. Did you know that you are unknowingly feeding your family cancer causing substances? Do you also know that there are alternatives? More on that at the end of this blog.

Check this out!

Blue #1 - banned in France & Finland

Health Concerns: Chromosomal Damage

Blue #2 - banned in Norway

Health Concerns: brain tumors

Red #2 - banned in US food processing

Health Concerns: bladder tumors

Green #3 - banned in European Economic Communites

Health Concerns: bladder tumors


Health Concerns: chromosomal damage, hyperactivity, lymphomas

Red #3 -

Health Concerns: thyroid tumors, neurochemical and behavioral effects, chromosomal damage

Yellow #5 - banned in Norway

Health Concerns: chromosomal damage, lymphomas, thyroid tumors, aggression, violent behavior, allergies, insomnia, asthma, neurochemical & behavioral effects

Yellow #6 - banned in Norway

Health Concerns: asthma, eczema, chromosomal damage, hyperactivity, allergies, thyroid tumors

That is all scary! That makes me never want to touch foods with food coloring ever again! Have I had a bite of food coloring in the past 10 years? Well, yes… maybe like 3 times. I think they were all wedding or birthday cakes but that's it.

Interestingly enough, Kellogg’s and Kraft Foods removed artificial dyes in their products sold in the United Kingdom. So it’s doable, and the children in the UK don’t miss Yellow #5!

This is a lot of information, and you’re probably thinking that I am taking the fun out of eating now. And you’re probably also thinking that I think you should throw away all of the stuff in your kitchen that contains food coloring. Well, to be honest, I think you should do that right now! But, that’s on you! That’s up to you and what you want to feed your family. If you want to feed your family poison and cancer causing chemicals, then that’s your decision. I am not telling you to do anything. As Verbena in The Parent Trap (1961) says, “I’m not saying a single word!”

But I do have great news for you! You can find alternatives to all that stuff you’re about to throw out! AND — there are some great companies making NATURAL FOOD COLORS from real foods! You can read more about that in my next blog. Click here to read more. See how I made this beautiful stack of rainbow pancakes!

About Me

Hey! Welcome to Krysten's Kitchen... I guess I can say, "my kitchen." I am all about creating delicious recipes that are made with yummy, real ingredientsI love recreating old family favorites, sweets and everything in between. You'll find a touch of Disney, lots of amazing products and laughter along the way. I launched Krysten's Kitchen with the mission to share my years of research on healthy alternatives to everyday foods that most people can no longer eat due to dietary restrictions, food allergies or special eating lifestyles. 


In 2018, I received the Rising Star Award at ShiftCon & in May 2019 I lobbied on Capitol Hill with the Organic Trade Association and in October 2019 I received the Best Healthy Recipes Blogger at ShiftCon. You can learn more about me, my family and my story, here.

Welcome to Krysten's Kitchen. I hope you'll stay and eat awhile.

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