Ever thought about questioning why things are colored the way they are? Ever seen orange cow’s milk? Or blue flour to make your child’s breakfast cereal? These colors seem harmless and fun, and create visually pleasurable foods, but they are anything but safe to eat.

Farm Raised Salmon is pink by different means than Atlantic Salmon. They both look similar, but farm raised salmon does not get its pink colored flesh from the healthy astaxanthin created by the water they swim in and their natural diets. Instead they get it from the additive canthaxanthin added to man-made astaxanthin pellets. This compound may cause eye defects and retinal damage in humans. WHAT? So that explains the big reduction in cost for Farm Raised vs. Atlantic!

Food Dyes – what you eat could hurt you

Food Dyes… common and potentially dangerous on many levels.. Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 comprise over 90% of the dye useage…

Blue 2 aka Indigotine, Indigotin, Indigo Carmine: 

A dye derived from coal tar, Blue 2. This chemical compound is created by fusing sodium phenylgycinate and indoxyl. Banned in Norway, Belgium, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Germany and Great Britain, Blue 2 has been linked to brain cancer in lab rats by some studies. Other reported symptoms include asthma, skin rash and hives.

Red 3 aka Erythrosine: 

A coal tar and fluorone-based dye, Red 3 isred-cupcake known for its cherry-pink color. In 1990, it was banned from cosmetics and topical drugs due to studies linking its external use with breast cancer in humans.

However, it is still widely used in food to this day. Aside from Red 3’s link to thyroid cancer and to hyperactivity in children, other studies on lab rats linked high levels to general behavioral changes, sperm abnormalities and DNA damage. While Red 3 is still commonly used, it has been replaced in part by Red 40.

Red 40 aka Allura Red: 

Often known as a ‘safer replacement’ for Red 3, Red 40 often contains aluminum and other metals. Some studies indicate that this coloring is carcinogenic, and also link it to general organ toxicity. Developmental and reproductive changes in lab rats have also been noticed.

Children have been found to be especially sensitive to Red 40, with some exhibiting symptoms aggressive behavior, temper tantrums, and uncontrollable crying. Some parents have stated that they noticed drastic changes in their children’s behavior after discontinuing foods containing this dye. Adults and children alike have reported migraines, upset stomach, nervousness, jitteriness and inability to concentrate after a high intake of Red 40.

A truly disgusting note on red dyes: both Red 3 and Red 40, along with other red dyes, contain cochineal beetles. According to, the average middle-aged American has likely consumed at least one pound of red dye in his or her life, equaling approximately 70,000 cochineal beetles. Delicious!

Yellow 5 aka Tartrazine aka Y4: tartrazine

Yellow 5 is a dye based in both coal tar and crude oil runoff containing benzene, a known carcinogenic. While benzene has been banned from gasoline, it is still prominent in our food, largely thanks to this artificial coloring. One of the most commonly used food dyes in existence, Yellow 5 is one of the main dyes under scrutiny by studies linking its use to hyperactivity in children and severe allergic reactions to those sensitive to aspirin.

Also, one study performed in Algeria in 2009, and another performed in India the following year, linked Yellow 5 to decreases in sperm production in mice. Some people have also reported asthma, headaches, hives and skin rashes associated with Yellow 5.

Yellow 6 aka Monoazo aka Sunset Yellow aka Orange Yellow S: monoazo

Banned in Norway and Finland, Yellow 6 is another coal tar-based dye, created when benzenesulphonic acid is treated with hydrochloric acid and sodium nitrite. This dye is similar in structure to Yellow 5, and is associated with cancers of the adrenal glands and kidneys.

Along with the hyperactivity and allergic reactions associated with Yellow 5, Yellow 6 has been linked to digestive problems such as diarrhea and vomiting. Others have reported nettle rash, swelling of the skin, migraines and worsening of asthma symptoms.

Cheese….Ever think about why it is yellow? Cow’s milk is white…guess what? It is colored with a natural coloring agent from the Annatto seed…but natural doesn’t mean no side effects. Annatto can cause headaches, difficulty sleeping, and skin, gastrointestinal, airways and central nervous system reactions

Want to learn more about what’s added to your foods? Check out the information on the FedUp Factsheet at

or from the Food Matters website at

The Question…given the choice…would we really want to eat any of this?

While many studies exist, there is much conflicting information concerning the extent of the effects of artificial food colorings. The results of studies that have been performed, however, show that significant harm, and definitely no good, can come from using these chemically-based food dyes.

For us? No food coloring allowed! Our cheese is natural and white. If we don’t like the color of something, we just close our eyes and eat it! Haha..joking.

But seriously…don’t we have the right to say what we want to go into our food?jello

Cauliflower Moment…Jello is too colorful to be good to eat.

Read this article by the Food Babe and you won’t ever make Jello for your family again!