Many of the popular snacks kids love contain artificial food coloring to make the food look more appealing to children – allowing them to “taste the rainbow” and have fun with their food.
Yellow 5 (tartrazine) and Red 40 are just two of the commonly used food dyes made from petroleum, which is used to enhance products such as Fruit Loops, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, macaroni and cheese, popsicles, fruit roll-ups and Nutri-Grain cereal bars, just to name a few. These dyes have been linked to serious health problems, including cancer, hyperactivity, and allergic reactions.
Yellow 5 and Red 40 are two out of six food colorings that are banned in the UK, but U.S. companies still use them freely in their products. So much so, it is estimated that manufacturers in the U.S. put about 15 million pounds of eight different synthetic dyes into our foods each year. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration acknowledges that food dyes can impair the behavior of some children, it has done nothing to remove them from our food supply.
Your child is ingesting estrogen without realizing it from these everyday snacks. Petroleum-based products are classified as xenoestrogens, even the refined varieties.
The snack foods that are marketed for children can have anything from cancer causing artificial coloring to the unbelievable, petroleum products!
Petroleum is the same ingredient that is used to make up oil and gas. Commonly used food dyes, such as Yellow 5, and Red 40 are made from petroleum and pose serious health problems. The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that ingestion is typically under the “concern threshold.”
Those health problems can include hyperactivity in children, cancer (in animal studies), and allergic reactions. Artificial food coloring has been linked to bed-wetting, ear infections, headaches, hypersensitivity, obesity, asthma,diabetes,eczema, mood swings, hyperactivity, sleep disturbances, increased risky behavior, ADD/ADHD, chromosomal damage, hives, and possibly hypoglycemia.
In fact, these substances are so toxic that the British government and European Union have ended the use of dyes throughout Europe.
Here are the top 5 popular children’s snacks made with petroleum-based ingredients:
1. Pop tarts
These toaster pastries were first introduced in 1964. The Frosted Strawberry flavor has corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose and sugar within the first 6 ingredients! These are all forms of harmful sugar. The other alarming ingredients are TBHQ which comes from petroleum and is related to butane, partially hydrogenated soybean oil that causes cellular dysfunction, and cancer causing artificial colors.
2. Fruit Snacks
These come in so many “fruit” flavors and characters they maybe hard to resist, until you realize they are made mostly is artificial additives and colors. Red 3 is a commonly used food coloring, also known as E127 or Erythrosine, a petroleum product.
They are fun colorful chocolate candies that melt in your mouth and not in your hands… These colors are artificial and are harmful when ingested. The colors utilized are, Blue #2: Is a petroleum based product that increases hyperactivity in children, increases brain tumors in lab rats and other abnormal cell development. Blue #1: Produces malignant tumors. Red #40: Damages DNA. Yellow #6: Can cause cancer and Yellow #5: All of these artificial colors are made from petroleum and can cause, in addition, allergic reactions, hyperactivity, and cancer.
Those orange, cheesy snacks. The artificial color that creates the “cheese” color is made from Yellow 6, which we know is derived from petroleum. As is the “cheese” flavoring, including, methyl benzoate and ethyl methylphenidate.
5. Teddy Grams
They have been around since 1988 and are available in 5 different flavors. These tiny bears are a great size for even small fingers but they are laced with the dreaded TBHQ. TBHQ can be toxic and also cause nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ear, delirium and collapse. It is shown to cause stomach cancer in lab rats, fragment DNA and cause damage to humane lung and umbilical cells. In children it can cause anxiety, restlessness, and intensify the symptoms of ADHD.
There are many quick and easy healthy snacks to grab and go. Organic fruit, pre portioned bags of organic carrots and celery and when I have a few minutes I make a large batch of granola bars with chia and flax seeds. These bars freeze well, can be made with fruit or nuts, are filling and nutritious.