you're not my boy, blue.

Have you had a marshmallow lately? Me either, but not just because s'more season ended months ago. Why then? Blue No. 1. {Go check; it's right there on the ingredients list... blue dye in white food.} Since I started my ongoing effort to avoid preservatives, chemicals, dyes, and unnecessary additives, I've tried to figure out what needs to be cut out immediately. Blue No. 1 definitely makes that list.

Blue No. 1, aka "Brilliant Blue" (and a host of other acronyms), is a synthetic dye made using aromatic hydrocarbons from petroleum. So what exactly is Blue No. 1 doing in those lovely white puffs of deliciousness? Good question.

The FDA maintains Brilliant Blue is perfectly safe, so you'll find it in more places than just your marshmallows:

• Apple Jacks
• Eclipse Gum
• Fanta Grape
• Pretty much every kind of Gatorade
• Blue Powerade
• Kiehl's Facial Fuel {was surprised by this one}
• Edy's Mint Cookie Crunch and Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {includes Yellow No. 5, another not-so-safe food dye}
• Some Oscar Mayer Lunchables {which should not be purchased for reasons beyond food dye}

... just to name a few.

About six months ago {yes, this is old news} the results of a study about Blue were published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. The potential health consequences stemming from this lovely synthetic food dye are fascinating: it may be seeping into our bloodstream and causing gastrointestinal problems; it could also inhibit cell respiration, which can lead to ADHD, allergies, and asthma. However, it is unlikely the FDA will do anything with these results, because the Association of Color Manufacturers disagrees.

There is an easy way to elude Brilliant Blue: avoid blue drinks, candies, toothpaste, shampoo, or other blue products. For the trickier items containing Blue No. 1 {like marshmallows}, we have to be more food label conscious {and I can attest to the fact that being food label conscious significantly increases grocery shopping time}. If you don't feel like reading food labels, just avoid processed foods. It's really the best way to go.

I really love marshmallows {and all the treats that go with them!}, so I'll be trying out this homemade marshmallow recipe soon.

image via pinterest

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