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Family

The Food Dye Debate
April 25, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

A few weeks ago, artificial food colorings fell under scrutiny from the FDA. Parents around the country hoped the U.S. would come to its senses and realize our children don’t need the 15 million pounds of food dyes currently used in processed food annually. Yes—15 million, a staggering, and alarming, amount.

Less than a week after the inquiry, the FDA deemed the study was not conclusive enough to warrant changes to food production policies here in the U.S. It should be noted that this same study prompted the UK and other countries abroad to require changes to how their food is produced. Beet powder or juice is used in those products instead of artificial red dye. Turmeric is a natural stand-in for yellow. Edible flowers can be dried and ground to replace the popular blue food dye, so prevalent in everything from cereal to yogurt.

Parents, like Gina Rau, founder of the blog Feed Our Families, are leading the way, trying to mobilize moms and dads to have their voices heard. We all know change doesn’t happen quickly, though, so the best tool you can use to know exactly what you’re feeding your kids is your eyes. Reading labels is the only way to understand exactly what goes into your food.

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