Many of the popular snacks kids love contain artificial food coloring to make the food look more appealing to children – allowing them to “taste the rainbow” and have fun with their food. Yellow 5 (tartrazine) and Red 40 are just two of the commonly used food dyes made from petroleum, which is used to enhance products such as Fruit Loops, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, macaroni and cheese, popsicles, fruit roll-ups and Nutri-Grain cereal bars, just to name a few. These dyes have been linked to serious health problems, including cancer, hyperactivity, and allergic reactions.
The list of products containing these dyes is almost endless, but here are a few to watch out for:
Here are the top 5 popular children’s snacks made with petroleum-based ingredients:
The most popular flavor of Pop Tarts, Frosted Strawberry, includes ingredients such as corn syrup, dextrose, sugar and high fructose corn syrup, all of which have been linked to sugar addiction, diabetes and liver problems in children. These toaster pastries also include TBHQ, a petroleum-based product that causes cellular dysfunction. In laboratory animals, it’s been linked to tumors, loss of vision, liver enlargement, convulsions, and paralysis.
The food color most often used in these “fruit” flavored snacks is Red 3 or erythrosine, a petroleum product which has been banned for use in cosmetics due to its connection with thyroid tumors. It is unsafe to use on your skin, but eating it is no problem? Avoid the gummy section!
These popular candies contain a lot more than chocolate, including Blue 1, which can trigger the development of malignant tumors, Blue 2, which can increase hyperactivity and has been linked to brain tumors, Red 40 which can damage DNA, and Yellow 5 and 6 which have been linked to cancer.
The artificial coloring in this snack is made from Yellow 6, which is derived from petroleum, as is the “cheese” flavoring, which includes methyl benzoate and ethyl methylphenidate.
These tiny bears are laced with TBHQ, which has also been shown to cause stomach cancer in lab rats, fragment DNA and cause damage to the human lung and umbilical cells. In children, it can cause anxiety, restlessness, and intensify the symptoms of ADHD.