When it comes to what I eat and what I allow my children to eat, I tend towards the natural side of the road. I avoid pesticides whenever possible, antibiotics in my meat, hormones, HFCS, artificial sweeteners, MSG, and food dyes. My reasons are many, and I try to keep a relatively sane yet stern approach to the matter.
I want to teach my children how to eat real food, and I’ve been successful so far. They are apt to try new foods and eat a variety of them. I don’t play hardball when we’re at parties, but they usually know what to choose because we practice it at home.
The reasons why I avoid food dye are plentiful. First of all, I just don’t think there’s enough research done on long-term side effects. They have been linked to hyperactivity, cancer, and allergic reactions in a study done by The Center for Science in the Public Interest, and yet we still give them to our kids. Studies done on test scores after removing them from school lunch programs show that kids not getting them do better in school. The European Union has banned them, and yet, we still put them in our food. American companies put them in U.S. sold products and use natural food coloring for food sold in the EU.
We should be angry. We should be outraged. Yet we buy the products and feed them to our still developing children.
Yoplait recently removed all the artificial dyes from their Trix yogurt line. When my kids heard that I would let them eat one for the first time in their lives after spying them on the shelves for years, they nearly cried from joy. My 7-year-old asked me no less than four times if I was sure he could put it in the cart.
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