Eating colorful fruits and vegetables has lots of health benefits. These plant-based foods have high levels of antioxidants that help to protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of disease. On the other hand, most people don’t realize that some colorful fruits are artificially colored before they reach store shelves – to make them look more appealing and hide color variations. Are you eating colorful fruits dyed with synthetic chemicals – without even knowing it?
Food Dyes Increase Sales
Some colorful fruits at the grocery store have been enhanced with a little something extra to make them more appealing to consumers. Color plays a big role in whether a shopper is attracted to a food, and consumers often perceive colorful foods as fresher and more flavorful. Salmon farmers take advantage of this by dyeing pale salmon an orange color to make them look more vibrant and appetizing. Consumers frequently fall for this trick believing that the brightly colored fish is fresher. Little do they know that the salmon has had a “dye job”.
When you pick a piece of fruit off of the produce stand these days, you not only have to worry about pesticides but whether or not it’s been artificially dyed. Oranges are one of the more common fruits that are artificially colored to make them more appealing.
The Dangers of Food Dyes and Artificially Colored Food
Unfortunately, artificial food dyes are usually made from coal tar, and some are suspected of causing cancer. Over the years, at least seven food dyes have been banned because of concerns about safety. Some experts claim that food dyes increase the symptoms of ADHD in kids -although this hasn’t been proven. Food dyes are commonly used to make processed foods look more appealing, but most people don’t expect to get a mouthful of food coloring when they bite into a piece of fruit.
Colorful Fruit and Food Dyes: The Bottom Line?
Buy organic fruit whenever possible. It will reduce your exposure to pesticides, and you won’t have to worry about food dyes. Instead you’ll get the naturally healthy antioxidants – just like Mother Nature intended.
Food Quality and Preference. 15: 137-146.
Medical News Today website. “Food Dye Ban Implemented Or Considered By Some Health Authorities After Cancer And Hyperactivity Link Found”