Friday, January 25, 2013

Good Bye Food Dye

If you look back through my posts, it is clear that I used food coloring on occasion and bought food with ingredients like red #40 or blue #1 here and there.  Admittedly, I have known for quite a while that artificial food dyes are junk and that I probably should avoid them.  Unfortunately, I figured it was just another ingredient that was okay in small amounts once in a while.  How much damage can a few drops of something do?  The more I examined ingredients, however, the more I realized how prevalent food dyes are in the grocery store.  AND, the more I read about food dyes, the more I realized that I have to put my foot down and stop buying this junk.  Would I consider feeding my children food with a few drops of petroleum added to them?  NO WAY!  Well, guess what, food dye is derived from petroleum.

This is what I removed from my cabinets in an effort to rid our kitchen of artificial food dyes.  I did keep liquid food coloring, a few boxes of Jello, and packets of Kool Aid but those will be used for art projects not for consumption!

This was hard for me.  I like to make fun food for the kids and for years these nasty things have helped, BUT I know that I can still make fun food without any of this and my kids will be much better off.

I do want to note that I have no intention of denying my kids treats at birthday parties or school functions.  I am trying to get it out of our house to minimize the amount they consume, but I will not stand over them and tell them they can't enjoy an OCCASIONAL treat on special occasions.  I will tell them why I don't like artificial food dyes and encourage them to make wise choices.

If you need a reason or two to cut it out of your diet, check out this post over at 100 Days of Real Food.


  1. You know, I've been looking into food dyes recently as well. They are in everything! I'm proud of you for putting your foot down and getting rid of them. Unfortunately, I like some of those foods so much. :(

  2. Good for you for doing this! I'd love to see what ideas you come up with for substitutes. I probably have that same pile of stuff in my cabinets that you just tossed. I try to limit the amount of artificial dyes and processed foods in the house, but boy, it's not easy. It seems like they are in everything. I'm fortunate that my kids like fruit, so I can usually do something fun with them. What I haven't done is go to places like Whole Foods to see what the alternatives are for colorings.

  3. Good for you. This can be so hard to do, but there are substitutes out there. You can find natural food colorings and decorations at some specialty grocers. I use India Tree (from Whole Foods) but there are other brands too that use vegetables to make liquid food colors or other decorations to make the occasional treat fun! I am great about watching what I give my youngest two because of allergies, but terrible when it comes to what my older son, husband and I consume. You have reminded me I need to be better.

  4. I"m getting tempted to do this, but I don't know if I'm quite ready to make that jump. One of my good friends is really into the natural foods, so I'd have a lot of help, but it's a HUGE step.