Toxic Thursday: Red 40 (allura red) & Red # 3

Food is medicine, and plain and simple, if our food is sick (filled with chemicals, additives, artificial ingredients, and/or carcinogens), collectively we as a country are going to continue to be sick. Today's Toxic Thursday takes a look at one of the most common food additives in America.  Here is what you need to know... 

W H A T  I S  I T:  Red 40 is one of the most widely used artificial coloring found in candy, food, and drinks to produce red, pink, purple, and orange colors

H E A L T H   R I S K S : The FDA has proposed a ban on Red #3 in the past, but so far the agency has been unsuccessful in implementing it. After the dye was inextricably linked to thyroid tumors in rat studies, the FDA managed to have the liquid form of the dye removed from external drugs and cosmetics. Risks are said to include hyperactivity in children, cancer (in animal studies), and allergic reactions.  

W H Y  A R E  F O O D  D Y E S  U S E D : Food dyes serve to deceive consumers: they are often used to simulate the presence of healthful, colorful fruits and vegetables.

W H E R E  Y O U  C A N  F I N D  I T:  If you eat processed food, you likely consume Red 40.  Red 40 can be found in some Frito-Lay products; some Yoplait products; JELL-O Gelatin desserts; Quaker Instant Oatmeal; Trix; Froot-Loops; Apple Jacks; some Pop-Tart products; Kid Cuisine Kung Fu Panda products; Oscar Mayer Lunchables products; Hostess Twinkies; some Pillsbury rolls and frostings; some Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines frostings; and more. 

W A K E  U P  A M E R I C A:  The European Union (EU) requires that food color additives must have a warning label when added to food, since they may cause adverse effects on activity and attention in children. You’ll currently find the following warning on the label:

“May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children”

Here is a list of ingredients that are banned across the globe but still allowed for use here in the American food supply. ( UGH! )

H O W  T O  A V O I DThe easiest way to avoid food color additives is to eat whole, unprocessed foods. If you buy a processed food, check the ingredients. When you check the ingredients, if you see any of the following words, set it down and just say NO! 

  • Artificial color
  • Red 40
  • Red Lake 
  • Red Dye # 3
  • Allura Red