First the good news: my home made pickles are incredibly tasty! Several of my patients and trusty office assistant Caroline said they were awesome! I thought they were a little strong, but mighty fine. Why would I want to make my own pickles? Yellow No. 5, also known as Tartrazine. As I encourage you to avoid processed foods in general, since many of them contain synthetic chemicals like Yellow No. 5, I also offer a simple solution, the perfect Dill Pickles !
Now the bad news: “Food dyes, synthesized originally from coal tar and now petroleum, have long been controversial. Many dyes have been banned because of their adverse effects on laboratory animals. This report finds that many of the nine currently approved dyes raise health concerns”. If that isn’t enough to sway you, read on.
That was the first paragraph in a report titled “Rainbow of Risks” from The Center for Science in the Public Interest. Studies have linked food dyes to increased risk of hyperactivity and other behavior problems, cancer, allergies and liver toxicity. Tartrazine (Yellow No. 5) has been associated with behavioral changes including irritability, restlessness, depression and difficulty sleeping.
Most of these studies were performed by the chemical industry and academic consultants and did not include combinations with other synthetic additives commonly found in processed foods which may synergistically compound the negative effects. Imagine what might be discovered when these studies are designed, tested and analyzed by independent researchers.
Just a partial list of foods that contain Tartrazine include: cake, pudding, biscuits, cookies, muffins, bread, pie crusts, frosting, candy, gums, ice cream, sodas, cereals, chips, crackers, salad dressing, cheeses, fast foods and PICKLES! Many of these products are targeted to appeal to our kids.
Preservatives, food dyes, salt and sugar are added to many processed foods. When the majority of one’s diet comes from packages and fast food restaurants, the intake of chemicals can be enormous. It’s no wonder there are so many chronic digestive, neurologic and metabolic disorders in the US.
Most of these synthetic food additives are now banned in the UK, Norway, Finland and Austria.
It took decades for consumers to believe that smoking was really bad for health. Let’s not wait for the food and chemical industries or the FDA to confirm what our bodies already know. For long term health, reproductive health and the health of our children, eat real food.