Your packaged berry juice contains no real fruit, but looks natural, owing to its bright red color. It’s just one of the many food products in the market that has been using artificial dyes for years. And it’s only recently that there has been an increase in the awareness of the harmful effects of food color on the mind and body.

From damaging brain cells to causing hyperactivity in children, artificial coloring agents in food are responsible for all kinds of ill-effects. These petroleum-derived chemicals can be found in juices, salad dressing, bread and pickles, where they mimic the colors of nature and fool you into believing that something is fresher than it really is.

Kids are easy targets because they’re more likely to be attracted to brightly colored foods. But adults are not exempt from falling prey either. Fake caramel coloring is used to make bread appear darker, as though prepared from whole wheat. A dye called Yellow 5 is used to make pickles look greener, as though they’ve been freshly harvested. Betty Crocker Carrot Cake Mix is completely devoid of any carrot, using artificial colors Yellow 6 and Red 40 to make carrot flavored pieces look attractive. Even more alarming is the fact that Tropicana Twister Cherry Berry Blast contains neither berry, nor cherry juice, but the artificial dye, Red 40.

The Center For Science In The Public Interest (CSPI) has filed a regulatory petition urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require front-of-label disclosure of food coloring, something they hope will happen soon.

Read More:
Did You Know? Carrots Were Originally Purple In Color
Cooking Tips That Will Help Your Food Stay Healthy