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Not So Bright Colors

August 6, 2015

Did I mention that I was on vacation? Perhaps it seems like I’m always on vacation. Actually, there is typically at least a little bit of work that needs to get done, but that’s besides the point. Vacation is a state of mind. And ideally, that state of mind is a more relaxed version of yourself.

It may not look like it from the outside, but in this rental house, I’m learning to let go of a whole bunch of hangups. The kids are eating sugar cereals for breakfast. I haven’t looked at the ingredients on any of the foodstuffs that have been brought into the kitchen. Most notably, the scratched up nonstick cookware hasn’t been thrown in the trash and replaced with something less toxic.

But those are things I’m not doing. Yesterday, I bought something of my own volition that I never thought I would purchase. Ever.

At the supermarket I picked up a 24 piece sack of Frootee Ice Freezer Pops. Little Miss Fussy had these first at some elementary school function. Naturally, because they are called “Frootee Ice” LMF assumed they were made from fruit juice.

Shattering the innocence of youth would appear to be a hobby of mine.

Nope. These are made from water, HFCS, apple and pear juice from concentrate, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives), red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6, blue 1.

Frankly, I’m amazed there is any juice at all. Sure, these weigh in at less than 2% juice, but you can’t say they are totally devoid of fruit.

Anyway, I mention this because I hate pretty much everything about these. I hate the deception. I hate the artificial flavors. I hate the plastic waste. I hate the high fructose corn syrup. I hate the preservatives. And I hate the artificial colors.

I’ve been against artificial colors and flavors in food for a long, long time.

You know who is starting to agree with me? Everyone. Starbucks took the artificial color out of its strawberry frappuccino. Kraft is taking out the yellow 5 from its macaroni & cheese. Martin’s potato rolls have already abandoned yellow 5 to my great joy. Nestle USA is taking the artificial flavors and colors out of its chocolate candy. General Mills is cleaning up its cereals. And just recently Campbell Soup Co. announced it will remove the artificial colors and flavors from its products too.

This is the slow march of progress. It’s based on rising consumer demand for more transparency about our food.

We want to know what it actually looks and tastes like before we put it into our bodies. Using colors and flavors is cheating. The conspicuous use of colors and flavors feels less deceptive to me. There is no blue raspberry. If it stains your tongue, teeth and lips, it’s probably not a health food. Or perhaps I should say, it’s really not food at all.

I’m glad the big food companies are finally figuring that out. Bravo! It’s one small step towards better food in America.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 6, 2015 5:17 pm

    I’m still pissed Kraft is changing the macaroni and cheese.

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