Thursday, September 13, 2012

The impossible color

Or, if you prefer a more sinister title... "The Color out of Space", ala: Howard Lovecraft.

Here is the thing, I have a 4 year old and a 5 year old son.  This means that there is already a lot of energy flowing their our house.  As you probably well know, or are slightly aware of, children for the past couple of years have been branded as ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder, if they show any signs of being hyper or unable to focus in school.  This is a made up disorder which didn't exist when I was young and didn't exist until the 80's, most likely.  From what I have seen, the best ways to help treat for ADD is medication, or that is what the medical field wants you to believe.

We have been doing some research and we have found out that there have been some research links between additives, preservatives and artificial colorings and hyper-activity in children.  (I know this may sound strange to you but it was really done.  This is easy to debunk though, just like when experts suggest that perhaps High Fructose Corn Syrup is the cause of obesity in children in America.  Parents all agree that it is something else.  Then you find out that some children get fed cereal with HFCS in it for breakfast, then eat lunch with HFCS in the bread, drink, cheese, meat, jam or peanut butter.  Then the parents are too busy to prepare dinner so they drive through the Golden Arches for dinner and get a nugget happy meal.  The nuggets have HFCS in the batter, and then have you seen their sauces?  HFCS is the first ingredient in the BBQ sauce.)

So, speaking of how hard it is to avoid things, have you any idea how hard it is to avoid artificial coloring in foods?

I bet you, that if you went to your local grocery store, not counting any health food location or Whole Foods, I bet that you would have a difficult time finding something that did not have a fake color.  Quick difference: if it says that it has carrot juice or beet juice, for color, then it is a natural color.  If it has something like "Red#5 or Yellow#3, then it is fake.  The issue is that the food colorings that you can buy in any baking aisle at any store, are far cheaper than getting the real thing.  I always love when you look at some jams or jellies and there is an artificial color listed in the ingredients.  Really?  Strawberries are already red, why would you have to add red food coloring to anything with strawberries???

So, it is hard finding real coloring in food?  I would say so.  Even harder finding things for kids without it.  Ever find candy without lab-made colors?  No, didn't think so.

So, as I suggest up there and leave you with the thought of how nearly impossible it is to find food without fake colors, I want you to look at what is in front of you.  Is it a soda, a candy bar or even a whole meal?  Is there anything like "yellow#5" or "red#30" in it?  Or does have it have something listed and then has "(for color)" in parentheses?     

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