Almost everyone knows that petroleum is mined from the earth as a yellow liquid which is then used for making the motor oil and gasoline that we use everyday. What most people don’t know is that petroleum is also refined and then used in different food products which are available at American grocery shelves. What is even more concerning is that most of these food products are marketed to kids.
So you or your children could already be consuming these by-products as bright food coloring, preservatives or flavoring in processed snacks. This also includes popular variations like red dye #40 and yellow dye #5.
Many petroleum products are outlawed from being used in food in other countries, as they mean serious health risks. Unfortunately, the FDA hasn’t shown any concerns about the use of these products in American food.
According to recent studies, artificial food dyes have been found to cause these effects:
– Organ damage
– Chromosomal damage
– Allergic reactions
– Birth defects
Another thing about food dyes is that they can also have unidentified and unforeseen impurities. You can determine how toxic the substances can be from the fact that the European Union and the British government have stopped any kind of application of dyes in food in Europe. The British government stopped its use in 2009 and the European Union followed in 2010.
Around 90 percent of the food dyes are Yellow #5, Red #40 and Yellow #6.
According to Michael Jacobson of CSPI, you cannot even trust the fresh oranges. In some cases, dye is used to dip fresh organs so that they look bright and the color is uniform.
Red #40 has been found in mice-based studies to cause immune-system tumors. In children it has been found to cause hyperactive and allergic reactions.
Yellow #5 has also been found to cause same effects. It has multiple carcinogenic substances and studies show connection to organ damage.
Yellow #6 has been studied in animals for causing adrenal tumors. It has also been linked to hypersensitivity in children.
These foods are quite popular with children, but you should not allow your child to consume them:
1. Pop Tarts
Frosted strawberry is a widely popular flavor. The Kellogg website offers nutritional information that shows that it has various harmful ingredients.
The very first 7 ingredients in the snacks show corn syrup, dextrose, sugar and high fructose corn syrup. The sugary products have been found to cause sugar addiction, liver problems and childhood diabetes.
These treats also have TBHQ. This is a petroleum-based product that can cause cellular dysfunction and damage to the human DNA.
Studies on laboratory animals show that they also cause vision loss, tumors, liver enlargement, convulsions, neurotoxic effects, and paralysis.
2. Fruit Snacks
There are many fruit-based snacks which are marketed as the healthy options out there. But many of these jam-filled cereal bars are found to have lots of food coloring just to increase the appeal.
Red #3 is a widely used color despite the fact that its use has been banned in cosmetic products because it causes thyroid tumors.
3. M & Ms
These chocolates not only contain red #40, yellow #5 and yellow #6, they also have blue #2. The Blue #2 color has been associated with brain and bladder tumors. It also has blue #1 that inhibits nerve cell development.
Cheetos are orange snacks which are widely popular, not only in America but also in other parts of the world. They contain yellow #6 and artificial flavoring containing a mixture of different highly toxic substances.
Its “Flamin’ Hot” type has also been found to cause problems like gastritis, abdominal distress, and addiction-dependency in adults and children.
5. Teddy Grams
Teddy Grams may seem to be harmless snacks, but they are many times laced with TBHQ. It is bad for your health for the above-mentioned reasons. It also causes stomach cancer, delirium, vomiting, anxiety.
Fortunately, these snacks could be replaced with organic and all-natural products which can be homemade or purchased from store. You can also replace them with fresh fruits and veggies in the right size portions.
All these alternatives are not only nutritious, they are also more filling compared to the above-mentioned products.
You must check the labels on all the household products to ensure that your child doesn’t get exposed to the dyes. You should check the label on even the cough syrup, hand cream, toothpaste, vitamins, shampoo, and laundry detergent. The products have been found to have comparable toxic dyes.