While the CSPI urges a ban on some food colorings in the US, other researchers claim that artificial food dyes are safe and that no real correlation with behavior has been demonstrated. Food colorings are used to give processed foods the colors we expect to see. A cheesie snack puff wouldn't be neon orange without the right food dyes and those multicolor sugary snacks and children's cereals all contain various dyes as well.
According to the CSPI, daily food dye consumption has increased five-fold since the 1950s. Food colorings add no nutritional value to the foods we eat so there really is no need for them other than for the visual effect - which is powerful - it is difficult to imagine eating a bowl of beige Froot Loops for breakfast.
Like my thirteen-year-old daughter told me, "those kids' cereals really don't have any fruit in them, they just use bright colors to make kids think there is fruit in them."
Poll:Tell me what you think about artificial food colorings.
- I avoid them and only buy food products with natural colorings or no colors added.
- I don't like them, but sometimes I buy foods with artificial colorings anyway.
- I never really thought about it, but now I have something new to worry about when I shop.
- I really don't care - I want my cheesie puffs to be neon orange - no matter what!
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