Get Red 40 Out Of Food

Do food dyes make kids hyperactive? FDA to decide.
The FDA is examining the link between dyes found in everyday foods and hyperactivity in children.
I support the Starbucks commercial before the msnbc piece.  Starbucks, like Whole Foods and Trader Joes does not use artificial color in their products.

What do you think of the final comment in the article?  Do you think putting a warning label on products that contain dye in them will create unneccessary consequences?  That statement just makes me laugh. 

Today is Day 2 and the last day of the FDA hearings on artificial color in food.

FDA Food Coloring Hearings Begin Today

Foods such as Jell-O, Lucky Charms cereal, and Minute Maid Lemonade that use these artificial food colors may worsen the behavior in some children, particularly children with adhd tendancies.  The FDA is considering putting warning labels on the foods that contain the artificial food coloring suspected of doing this.  Will this warning label help you with your decisions?

It will for me.  For now, I read every ingredient list and have a pretty good knowledge of what has dye in it.  Dyes like red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6, and blue 1 are some of the dyes we stay away from due to sensitivities to it.  These dyes effect us in ways ranging from migraines, poor sleep, chewing on collar or shirt, behavioural impulsivity, cognitive abilities and more.  Removing the dye from my families diet has changed all of us.  I am so excited the FDA is hearing this issue this week.

Regardless of the outcome, I know, along with thousands of other parents the effect artificial colors can have on our children and can do something right now, warning label or no warning label and that is to simply refuse to buy the products with artificial color in them.

Support Healthier School Lunch

You can help support healthier school meals. I just took action on an issue that I consider very important. I urge you to take action yourself and spread the word!  Implementation of the new USDA school meal standards will result in more nutritious school meals.

To take action on this issue, click on the link below:

Washington Post Article on Food Dyes

I just read a great article the Washington Post will be running tomorrow, related to the FDA hearing on food dyes coming up in a few days.  I received this from the Feingold Association.

You can see it on line already here.

FDA Food Hearings

FDA will hold hearings to discuss food dyes and childrens behavior at the end of March!

Photo Credit: CSPI

Nutri-Grain bars sold in Britain contain natural colorings, like beetroot red, but the same product sold in the United States uses Red 40 and other synthetic dyes.

Europe has moved much more quickly to protect children from artificial dyes. The British government has urged companies to stop using most dyes, and the European Union requires a warning notice on most dyed foods.  As a consequence, Kellogg, Kraft, McDonald’s, and other American companies that do business in Europe use safe, natural colorings over there — but harmful, synthetic petrochemicals over here.

Let's hope this is the beginning of the end of petroleum laced foods in our country.

Save The Bees

Since 2006, U.S. honey bee populations have been in precipitous decline, with some estimates suggesting losses as high as 30% per year. While that's terrible, the problem is far greater than just the loss of a species. Without bees, our food supply is in serious danger. Pollination by honey bees is key in cultivating the crops that produce a full one-third of our food.
A recently leaked memo suggests the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ignored the science linking the pesticide clothianidin to the bee die-off.
Sign the petition to E.P.A. Administrator Lisa Jackson today demanding an immediate ban and full scientific review of this pesticide:

Friday Funnies

Mu husband sent this to me this morning.  I feel like it was written just for me!!!

Not Planting A Garden This Year - Join a CSA

It's Spring and you know what that means. Garden planning and farmers markets. Joining a CSA is another option. Supporting local farmers and reaping the benefits of healthier eating!

Advantages for farmers:

Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm's cash flow
Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow

Advantages for consumers:

Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season
Find that kids typically favor food from "their" farm – even veggies they've never been known to eat
Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown
Check out for opportunities near you.

Speak Up For Better School Food

This is a hugely important moment in time for us. We’ve got a brilliant opportunity RIGHT NOW to get better food into schools all over America, but we really need your help. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has drafted a new set of school meal standards as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

If these new standards are passed, schools will have to begin replacing junk and processed foods with lovely fresh, whole ingredients and it will be the first time in 15 years that nutrition standards in schools have really improved1. If they aren’t passed, children all over America will be facing more years of substandard, unhealthy food in their schools. To me, that’s unacceptable.

The USDA is taking public comments on these proposed standards as we speak, so PLEASE, PLEASE click on the link below and tell them you want these changes! There are plenty of powerful food companies and groups that won’t want these standards passed because they make big money from the current system. They’ll be sending in their comments too so it’s up to all of us to stand against them and make our voices count. Please join me in doing this. It will only take a minute or two out of your day, but it could mean better lives for kids all over America.

Millions of kids all over America eat at least one meal a day at school and giving them the best nutrition possible is critical. But from what we’ve seen, nearly everything they are currently being given to eat is processed food, and this is laying down the foundations for bad health, obesity and diabetes2.

Now is our opportunity to change that. If you join us in supporting the new standards proposed by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, this is what it will mean for your kid’s meals:

• more whole FRESH fruits (no more fruit snacks);
• a wider variety of veggies;
• more healthy whole grains;
• French fries limited to once a week;
• and a reduction in the sodium, saturated fats and calories of processed food items.

We need your help to get the Food Revolution started in America – make sure the USDA hears what you have to say by submitting a comment. Thank you for taking this important first step towards getting real food on school menus and giving our kids the promise of better health.

Jaime Oliver vs. Chocolate Milk

I recently started a food revolution and joined the hundreds already involved in Jaime Olivers Food Revolution. One of my goals is to remove chocolate milk from the lunch line. Sit back, relax, and take a look at the funny and informative video.

Advisory Committee Calendar March 30-31, 2011: Food Advisory Committee Meeting Announcement

This is so important.
The Food Advisory Committee will meet to discuss whether available relevant data demonstrate a link between children's consumption of synthetic color additives in food and adverse effects on behavior.

Advisory Committee Calendar March 30-31, 2011: Food Advisory Committee Meeting Announcement

Artificial Colors in Candy

Today I observed a child consuming "Skittles" (Mars, Inc.), which are brightly colored round candies. I wondered how many artificial colors were in these candies so I saved the wrapper, and I found that they contain Sugar, Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Apple Juice from Concentrate, Less than 2% Citric Acid, Dextrin, Modified Corn Starch, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Coloring (includes Yellow 6 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 2 Lake, Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 1 Lake, Blue 1)Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

Reading this ingredient list and knowing what consuming this candy could do to my kids is so scary.  All of my children have some degree of artificial color / dye sensitivity.  Holidays like Halloween, Valentines Day and Easter are when worries rise the most but even regular days at school could potentially mean a slip.  My kids have learned the hard way about red 40, yellow 5, blue 1, etc. and are aware of how ingesting these dyes make them feel....or not feel.  We have a trade in policy and that works the best for us.  Saying no is becoming easier and easier as the boys get older but I think if more teachers and parents were aware of the dangers of artificials, we would see less junk for birthday snacks, classroom awards and holiday treats.

Artificial colors are in everything. Do we really know all the health risks that may be associated with artificial colors? 
This will be an ongoing list....Please add to it!
Nerd's Rope . . . - 10 artificial colors (Nestle, Inc.)

Jelly Belly Beans - 9 artificial colors

M&M's Peanut . . - 9 artificial colors (Mars, Inc.)

Skittles . . . . . . .- 9 artificial colors (Mars, Inc.)

Friday Funnies

There is a pot at the end of the rainbow!!