A few weeks ago I got these cute candies packages from a close friend. They look cute and appealing at the same time due to its flashy colors combination.
It's very obvious that these snacks use a lot of food coloring since their main ingredients are only sugar and egg. This fact stroked a curiosity in my mind and I did a quick looking in the nearby supermarket to see whether all the packaged products use food coloring.
Although this might not be surprising for all of you but this fact surprised me. I always expect that many packaged foods use food coloring but I do not expect all of them to use food coloring.
From the flaming red can of coke to the pink salmon in the 'fresh' seafood corner. Why do we need to have food coloring? What are the suspected food additives? Can we do something about it?
All the food coloring additives in developed countries has passed the strict safety checks imposed by their respective governments, therefore there should be no harm done by having food coloring in our food. However my primary concern is, do we need it that badly? What's the matter with murkier cola?
Even some juice brands contain food coloring in their ingredients box. Yet they still tag their products as natural fruit juice. While most fruit's skin are colored, it also surprises me that some packaged meat and vegetables are also colored.
If the companies in the food industry did not put food coloring in their products at the first place, I personally think that right now we would not need nor get used to food coloring. The competition is tough and all the companies want to get the winning edge, and right now it's usual for our apples to be colored red, our lemon colored yellow and our salmon colored pink or orange.
While the food additives passed the safety test, they were only tested at individual basis. They have not been tested for combined use. Many products use more than one coloring to create another color. According to The Guardian, there's a leak in the upcoming research which hints that certain food additives could damage DNA and cause several health problems later.
According to BBC, these particular food coloring also have been linked with health problems. Food coloring such as Tartrazine (E102) which is commonly found in fizzy drinks, black (E151) commonly used in our barbecue or hickory sauce, and green coloring used in packaged vegetables are amongst the suspected additives.
Of course one of the leading packaged drink industry, Coca Cola snapped this opportunity and created their "healthy coca cola". This new coca cola will be manufactured without food coloring and preservative and will be tested in Israel.
Can we do something about it?
Sadly we can only do something about ourselves. I always make it a habit to peel fruit's skin before consuming it as the skin is laden with coloring. So this means I won't be able to chew apple while strolling in the campus, no problem.
I also do not buy packaged food often, as they are laden with preservatives and coloring. The sad fact is I rely on packaged sauce heavily, it's too much hasle to prepare the sauce myself although many of them are laden with coloring. Yogurt is my another area of concern, I stop consuming those fresh looking fruit yogurt as they are artificially colored to match the fruit taste. Plain, ivory color yogurt (not white) is my choice now.
I have no idea whether packaged food actually makes our life easier with their long lasting attribute or more difficult with more and more health problems arising from packaged foods.
Labels: diet issues