Seeing Red

Did you know that until recently, red food dye was banned in the US? It is STILL banned in the UK for being a carcinogen and linked to ADD/ADHD and other diseases.
. I recently started trying to wean us off of food coloring because it has to be better for our health. DH is not going to well with it, he loves colorful candies and I can’t find many that are all natural and colored in blue and green and red and pink and yellow. We also love Red Velvet cake which contains…GULP-2 bottles of red food dye when I make it.
I am on the search for natural alternatives for the next time I make a RVC. I found many online shops that sell natural colorings, some do say they will deposit flavor into the cake. I don’t want a cherry flavored RVC and definately not a beet flavored one.
I came across a website that not only gave an alternative, but said it is being used in some foods as well and we may not even know it…
That red popcicle you are holding may be colored with bug guts!

“The way for you to know if you’re consuming red beetles is to check the label. Although it won’t read, red beetle, it can appear under several different names that unless you know what they are, you’d never suspect what it is.” http://organic.lovetoknow.com/Natural_Food_Coloring

Red Beetle Color:

  • Red 4
  • Natural Red
  • E120
  • Carminic Acid
  • Crimson Lake

They give them a clever name to disguise what it really is!
Now, I know that these bugs are, they live in cactus and if you squish them, which I have, they turn pretty purple red and you smear them on your face as war paint while you play cowboys and Indians, or you draw on your brother’s arms with them when he isn’t looking. But I never would have considered smooshing them up in my batter to make it red.

I have a feeling if I call it red bug blood, Corey will refuse a slice of Red Velvet, no matter what it looks like.

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One thought on “Seeing Red

  1. Ok, yeah, I'm totally grossed out right now. I used to love RVC…but not any more. Blech!!

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