Food colors: How healthy are they?

The summer season brings many opportunities for cooking, grilling, baking, and sharing recipes. With the Independence Day holiday approaching, many of us might like to create a patriotic cupcake, cake, cookie, or other dessert.

But how can we pay homage to the red, white, and blue and still be assured that the end result is vegan and as natural as possible? I did a little research awhile back on food colors, and I wasn’t thrilled with what I learned. Most food colors are vegan, but are clambered together from sketchy chemical-based sources… not the sort of thing I want to eat or serve others. So, what to do?

Here are some helpful links for learning more about food colors, making your own, or purchasing naturally-derived colors at the store. Happy baking!

Are food colors vegan? 


The facts about traditional food colors

How to make natural food colors

Where to buy ready-made natural food colors

Rebecca at DieFoodDye.com recently let us know that “Petroleum food coloring is NEVER vegan, because they’re tested on animals. I write about our own problems with artificial food coloring and flavorings at DieFoodDye.com, and have a Facebook page where anyone can post questions for help from our growing community of dye-free folks. Make your own food colors or buy from Seelect, Chocolate Craft, India Tree, ChefMaster, and Maggie’s naturals.”

EDIT: On June 15, I had my own wake-up call about food dyes. My pet rats’ have yogurt-covered fruit and nuts which are heavily dyed. (They were the only kind available at the time.)

I recently offered them a huge red-coated almond, and the next day found a surprising end result (pun intended!) Their leavings had turned a dull red instead of the usual brown.

I can’t think that these dyes are any good for them at all, and it seems strange to feed them something that includes an ingredient which was probably forcefully tested on other rats and rabbits. Also, it’s pointless, since rats have terrible eyesight! ;)

I will be switching them to all-natural fruit, nuts, and yogurt ASAP!

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2 responses to “Food colors: How healthy are they?

  1. Petroleum food coloring is NEVER vegan, because they're tested on animals. I write about our own problems with artificial food coloring and flavorings at http://www.DieFoodDye.com, and have a Facebook page where anyone can post questions for help from our growing community of dye-free folks. Make your own food colors or buy from Seelect, Chocolate Craft, India Tree, ChefMaster, and Maggie's naturals. ~ Rebecca, “Die, Food Dye!”

  2. Rebecca,

    Thank you so much for the information! I'm glad you happened upon my blog. I'd like to add your comments to the body of this post. :)

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