Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Petroleum in Our Food?

We know that many household products we use day to day contain oil or petroleum by-products. We know that it’s lurking in places that we may not even realize. But do we know that it’s also in our foods? Artificial food dyes are used to attract your attention. The bright colored cereals, candy, snacks, and beverages are all targeting you as a consumer. Here’s a fun fact, even fresh oranges can be dipped in dye to make them brighter and more uniform in color. There’s also a lot of foods that would be virtually colorless if we didn’t add dye to everything. Although products will be tested over and over again to make sure they contain no trace of its original petroleum, artificial food dyes are still petroleum based with the exception of Blue No. 2 which is plant based and used to color blue jeans.

So what can we do? Natural isn’t always better. People seem to think that natural dyes are the way to go but people can adverse reactions to some. For example, saffron or annatto used in yellow dye can cause severe allergic reactions even though they’re natural base products.

We could ban food coloring. It makes sense that maybe we should just eat food the way that’s it’s supposed to be. Some would argue otherwise, what about the full sensory experience from eating? Not only do taste and smell matter but so does the look of our food. There’s an experience from eating a chip that stains your tongue a fiery red.

What do you all think? Should we remove artificial dyes from our food? Is it right for us to lose the experience of eating neon candy? Should we test out natural plant based dyes first and look at their toxicity?

There’s many things that can happen looking towards the future of artificial dyes in regards to our diet and nutrition. There’s only one thing that’s for sure. It wouldn’t hurt to move away from the artificial dyes and decrease our reliance on petroleum especially when we’re putting it into our bodies.


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