They look great: round, colorful and bright. But this is EXACTLY what should be a warning sign for everyone, parents in particular. Artificial colors bring no nutritional value to you. They are added only to attract your and your children’s attention so you spend your money. Let’s see what you pay your money for.
Remember, food = nutrients. What is not a nutrient is not food. Green segments in the risk diagram are nutrients:
- Maltitol is a carbohydrate claimed as a lower calorie substitute for table sugar. It does not promote tooth decay because is not broken down by oral bacteria. However its benefits are questionable
- Dextrin is another carbohydrate derived from starch
- Tapioca is also starch, naturally occurred.
The rest is a variety of artificial colors (red segments) that may slowly undermine your immune system and damage your genetic material over the years (see the Feingold Association’s document: Behavior, Learning and Health: The Dietary Connection) and confectioner’s glaze (yellow segment):
- One of the dyes is Red 3 (Erythrosine) a substance bearing ~ 60% of iodine by weight which may lead to elevated concentrations of iodine in the blood. Some time ago Erythrosine was suspected to be animal carcinogen but because of “not enough proof of harm” the dye is still in our food (see page 25 of the CSPI document Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks).
- Confectioner’s glaze includes shellac a resin secreted by lac bug and wax.
However Chocolate Sunflower Seed Drops which you can buy for only $2.99 at Trader Joe’s stores (if you are lucky to have them around!) is a healthier and less risky alternative (more of green segments):
This product is a clear message to us that if we, the consumers, stop buying food surrogates dyed with artificial colors food industry will follow and find natural solutions. And the freedom of choice is YOURS!