Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Word on Food Dyes

Below is an article that gives me hope.   It’s been about 3-4 years since we figured out that our teen had issues with food dyes.  Red #40 was the one we discovered to be a problem at first, but now we believe they all are.  Actually we are now dye free in our household.  That really isn’t a totally easy thing to do as food dyes are in things that you would not expect. 

While watching children at gymnastics or some other organized event, I see kids that remind me of my daughter when she was the same age and I want to warn the parents to get rid of food dyes in their child’s diet.  Dyes are made of petroleum.  I think how different my child’s life might have been without them.  Behavior problems at school, unable to go to sleep at night, etc.   The teachers complained that she was highly distractible.  The only thing they knew to do was move her desk to different places until she was sitting completely isolated from everyone else.  She would act so silly on the playground that other kids would egg her on and try to get her to do stupid stuff.  She was totally out of control. 

Today, with red #40 out of her system, when she does accidentally digest it (which happens most often in prescription meds or when she eats at a pitch-in), we can all tell.  And so can she.  It’s horrible.  She acts intoxicated and it causes her anxiety to go high. 

Not all reactions to food dyes are the same.   Other reactions could include skin issues, inability to concentrate, bed wetting, mood problems, and the list goes on. 

But, red #40 is not the only culprit.  Remember, they are all made from petroleum.  Our same daughter with the red #40 issue was having breathing issues….   from any activity.  Unable to catch her breath.  An inhaler did not work.  She had an echocardiogram done to rule out heart issues.  We started on the Feingold diet soon after and the main thing eliminated from what she ate/drank was Powerade Zero the mixed berry flavor (the only one without red #40).  Instead, it has blue dye.  After cutting out the dyes, her breathing went back to normal and she has resumed regular activities, like walking.  Anywhere. 

Anyway, if you haven’t begun to do so, begin reading the labels of your foods, especially those targeted at children.  Look for Red #40, blue 1, yellow 5 and 6, and others with color names.   I get angry when I see how much this junk is being used in our foods.  

Good news from Australia

The Australian branch of the Aldi supermarket chain has announced
they are ditching food dyes.

This is important to consumers
world-wide for several reasons:
First, it brings awareness to the fact
that petroleum-based food dyes are
harmful. Second, it shows that food
can be colorful and delicious without
the need for fake dyes. This makes it
harder for markets in other countries
(and for the US FDA) to continue to
turn a blind eye to the enormous
amount of research showing the damage
they cause. Finally, it puts pressure
on governmental agencies to take
action to protect consumers, especially
In 2007, following the landmark
study from the University of
Southampton (showing that food dyes
cause harm to all children), the major
British chains announced they would
be getting rid of the dyes.

The effort that started in England
with Jamie Oliver, and the 2004
and 2007 Southampton studies,
resulted in the removal of most of
the synthetic dyes from the food in
Europe! Let's hope this trend
makes its way to North America!

Leading the charge were Marks &
Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury's and
ASDA (which is owned by
Wal-Mart.) ASDA was especially vocal,
promising their customers a "no
nasties guarantee."
The chain's "no nasties" policy did
not sit well with Ajinomoto, who currently
makes the synthetic sweetener
aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet). The
Japanese company initiated a law suit
against ASDA that has gone on for
several years.
Ajinomoto seeks to defend the integrity
of its controversial sweetener,
which has generated more health complaints
to the US FDA than any other
additive in history.
In addition to aspartame, Ajinomoto
is the major manufacturer of MSG
(monosodium glutamate), which has
an even longer history of reported
health problems.

Reprinted from Pure Facts, the newsletter
of the Feingold Association of
the United States,


LucisMomma said...

That's hopeful about Aldi's! I've found lots at ours that reads clean (may be stage 1 or stage 2).

Good post about your DD. I'm so glad that we found FG.

Susan W from the FG BB.

cynder11 said...

That's hopeful for me also. I hope that Aldi's in America follows suit. I wanted to comment that we follow the FG program for 4 years so if they were contributing to my breathing difficulties, I wouldn't know now. BUT, I do have breathing issues with petro based CLEANERS like Formula 409 or Lysol, so I use plant based cleaners from 7th Generation. Once I switched my asthma symptoms disappeared except when triggered by my dust allergy.