Unnecesary Color (2/2)

Because of the belief that food should be pleasing to the eye, measures have been taken to make this happen. People want their food to be colorful, even though they are eating something that should not be colored or is falsely colored. Artificial dyes are replacing the healthier, more colorful options.

We see artificial colors in everything we eat, they are even sometimes in the foods we think are natural. For example there are dyes called FD&C No. 32 and 2, a red and an orange dye used to color Florida oranges. However, dyes do not add any flavor or texture whatsoever. Therefore, adding dyes to a food is unnecessary and pointless. Adding these dyes only serves as a mental illusion. For example, if a food is a red color you will expect it to taste more like a cherry or a strawberry, but if a food isn’t colored the consumer will be less likely to pick a colorless strawberry product.

This seems quite counter intuitive because with this level of artificial-ness comes many heath concerns. For example, studies have shown that food dyes can be aggravating factors in ADD and ADHD symptoms.  It was also shown that academic performance was improved when artificial color was cut out of student’s diets. This however does make quite a bit of sense. Sleep also helps academic performance, and the food we eat is just as important as the amount of sleep we get, so why not eat the best possible foods you can?

Food dyes also have no nutritional value to speak of, yet 15 million pounds of food coloring get used every year in the foods we eat most. These dyes impose many unnecessary threats to the consumers, especially small children. With all of these threats there is no reasonable reason why we should be using so many artificial colors in the food we eat, because it is very important to our heath and our future.

If you want to read more about the unnecessary use of artificial coloring you can go to http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20009228-10391704.html for more information.

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2 Responses to Unnecesary Color (2/2)

  1. Mr. Sturdy Knight says:

    An informative and very scary post, Bethany. I took the time to read through the study mentioned in your reference article. The results aren’t 100% convincing to me, but the take home message is clear: much more research needs to be done on the potential side-effects of food dyes, and not just by the food additives industry.
    The visual appeal of food is an important part of the eating process, and even more important to the pre-eating process of selling food. How can we use that element to become more conscious of what we eat? Sometimes it’s easy, like in the horrifying blue popsicles we talked about the other day. Other times it’s harder (I’m thinking of KFC here). A discerning gastronome can often detect artificial flavorings or other off notes in a dish once they taste it. Do you think that with practice we could learn to better identify artificially enhanced food preemptively, with just our eyes?

  2. bethanyhartley says:

    I do think that we should be able to recognize the artificially colored foods with practice. The thing is, we shouldn’t have to be able to.

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