You know something is up when even the big companies begin to voluntarily remove artificial colours from their products (think of Aldi, and Sanitarium). These colours are really popular in products aimed at children, obviously to attract the child and engage them with the bright shades. By the end of this series of articles, you'll know what to avoid and why, and the products that are no longer welcome in our pantries.
Remember: Every purchase we make is a conscious decision to vote one way or the other. If we all stopped buying products with artificial colours in them tomorrow, companies would stop selling them. We actually do have the power.
Let's get one thing straight first - Artificial colours, in any quantity (no matter how seemingly insignificant), are completely and totally unacceptable, not to mention unnecessary and horrendously TOXIC.
The science of food coloring evolved from dodgy and primitive technology. Chemicals containing arsenic, lead, copper, and mercury were used to colour everything from lollies to bread. Realising, eventually, that those chemicals were probably a poor choice, scientists created a new kind of dye derived from coal tar, a waste product of coal gas and coke. The synthetic dyes came to be known as coal-tar colours and they are what we still use today. If they're not coal-tar, they're petroleum derivatives.
Lollies and sweets drenched in every colour of the chemical rainbow are NOT a treat for our kids, or us for that matter. To say they're even a "sometimes food" in an attempt to justify when we do buy them is only punishing them. We need to remember that the developing body of a child is far more susceptible to chemical exposure than that of an adult. The effect of anything on our body is measured by quantity vs weight; the amount of chemicals in relation to the size of the consumer. Sugar is a far less culprit in the behavioural issues arena when compared to the sea of artificial colours in the same packet of rubbish.
Many of the colours that we see everyday on our Australian shelves (there are 14 artificial colours allowed to be used in this country, plus one "natural" colour that's just as bad as a chemical), are banned or at least restricted in other countries for various reasons. Some are found to have an "adverse effect of activity and attention in children", and there are certain colours that "interact with other additives such as MSG (Monosodium Glutamate 621) to interfere with the development of the nervous system."
SAY WHAT?!?!??! You heard... when our precious children eat foods that contain both MSG (621, and let's be honest, all its cousins - 620, 622, 623, 624, 625, 627, 631, and 635, not to mention the countless derivatives like malt extract, yeast extract, hydrolysed vegetable protein, maltodextrin, etc) and artificial colours, it DISRUPTS THE DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR NERVOUS SYSTEM.
Foods with artificial colours must be removed from your house right this instant. Did you know that your favourite pack of Arnotts Tim Tams contains 5 different artificial colours (150c, 129, 110, 133, and 102)?? To make the colour brown?? 4 out of 5 of those colours are banned in other countries. The European version of Tim Tams are sold with a meagre 1 artificial colour in them. I say it again, if we all stopped buying these toxic foods, the company would be FORCED to create a safe option.
What you need to remember, is that food is our fuel. What we put into our body affects everything we do, every way we behave, the way we think, and our reactions to our experiences. If chemicals are put into our body, they will negatively affect all of these aspects. It's really important to understand and appreciate the absolute links between our bodies and our environment. Everything around us affects us, and if you want to make a positive and healthy change in yours and your family's life, this is a great way to start.
Hopper foods says "the effects of the consumption of food additives may not always be immediate and may manifest in many ways and parents or doctors may not always make the connection. It is the long-term cumulative, subtle effects of additives in our diets that we need to be concerned about." The EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), for example, have said about colouring number 127 (Erithrosine) that based on a 14 day experiment showing no adverse effects, there was no reason to revise the current level of allowed exposure to this colour. See the problem? Allowances made based on short experiments when the real issues occur mid to long term, and often when combined with other chemicals.
The numbers in Part 2 HAVE to go... Stay tuned, the next post will be up in the next couple of days...