Monday, May 11, 2015

The artificial dyes in our food

    So for this post I'd like to talk to you about another group of food additives that are widely considered very dangerous, and yet are still legal in America despite being banned in many other countries worldwide. They are artificial dyes, including Yellow 5, Red 40, and Blue 2, among many others. Yellow 5, arguably the most well know of these dyes, is an artificial food coloring that is used in a wide variety of food products. Even more dangerous, Yellow 5 has also been used in various medications, including aspirin. Yellow 5 is proven to cause hypersensitivity reactions in certain groups of people as well as childhood behavioral effects such as hyperactivity and impulsiveness. However Yellow 5, despite its mild infamy, is far from the most dangerous of these dyes.

   Blue 2, another legal dye, is proven to cause a significant increase in tumor growth and brain cancer in lab rats. This dye is used almost solely in candy, ice cream, and baked goods. You may notice that the biggest consumers of these goods are in fact children. The FDA asserts that the drug is safe for human consumption, but the CSPI, or Center for Science in the Public Interest, says otherwise. Additionally, this dye is also linked to behavioral problems is children.



Image courtesy of healthychild.org

   Finally, Red 40 is the most widely used artificial dye. By now unsurprisingly, it also causes a significant increase in tumor growth. This dye is used in just about all categories of artificial food as well as in cosmetics. This brings up the question, why can companies not switch to natural food dyes, such as beet juice, carrot juice, or turmeric? But I suppose profit is far more important than health in the end.


Sources:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/24/are-you-or-your-family-eating-toxic-food-dyes.aspx
http://www.livestrong.com/article/370945-health-effects-of-yellow-5-food-coloring/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/402118-the-health-dangers-of-food-coloring-blue-no-2/
http://nourishingjoy.com/homemade-natural-food-dyes/

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Death by Pepsi Cola

There's nothing like sipping a refreshing, ice cold soda on a hot summer day, am I right? Being a lover of every kind of soda, I never really thought to look at the chart hidden in fine print on any of my soda cans. As it turns out, my 12 oz. can of Coca-Cola had a heart-stopping 39g of sugar hiding within it's aluminum confines.

I had become a victim of the beverage companies. Fooled by a marketing ruse that led to my sugary addiction, I had become a sugar Junkie-- and I'm not alone. Beverage companies spend billions of dollars marketing carbonated beverages, with their main audience targeted towards children between the years 2-17, and as a repercussion, sugar-filled drinks are now the top calorie source in a teen's diet. Unfortunately, sugar is not the only unhealthy ingredient packed into sugary drinks like Coca-cola or Fanta. Other harmful ingredients include:
source

- Phosphoric Acid: Weakens the bones and rots teeth
- Artificial sweeteners
- Formaldehyde (produced when the body breaks down aspartame): Carcinogen
- Food dyes: impaired brain function, hyperactive behavior, difficulty focusing, lack of impulse control

Proving to be a major contributor to the rise in obesity rates, beverage companies have cleverly slipped their products into the hands of America's future: The children. From years 1989 to 2008, calories consumed from sugar-filled drinks increased 60% in children from the ages 6-11. Should we continue to give in to this absurdity?

Sources:

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/sugary-drinks/#ref33