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(The New York Times)   First they came for Green 3, and I didn't speak out as I did not eat Jello. They came for Red 40, and I didn't speak out as I did not eat Froot Loops. When they came for Yellow Number 6, Cheetos, there was no one left to speak out   (nytimes.com) divider line
    More: Asinine  
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2011-04-04 11:21:24 AM  
i280.photobucket.comView Full Size


Standing by:
 
2011-04-04 11:22:18 AM  

count chocula: The placebo effect is measurable and real.


it's 30% effective!

Medications only have to be 33% effective to get approved.

Your anti-depressant is almost no better then sugarpill.
 
2011-04-04 11:23:15 AM  

nobodyUwannaknow: I thought they used to color some stuff with the blood of virgins.

Why can't they do that anymo - oh wait. nevermind


Virgins are too rare and valuable a resource nowdays.
 
2011-04-04 11:24:20 AM  
nndb.comView Full Size


Red Skelton standing by!

/HOT!
 
2011-04-04 11:24:31 AM  
We'll always have Paris Hilton's Yellow Pages ad.

Yeah, I know it's far-fetched. But I have a back-up gag:

Crome Yellow standing by
upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size
 
2011-04-04 11:26:30 AM  

hailin: The exact same thing can be said about caffeine, but no one seems to be ready to cut that.


They don't generally pump caffeine into anywhere near as many things.


If you don't want to feed it to your kids, guess what? THEN DON'T BUY IT!

So label it, clearly, in bold. What are you afraid of?


Food is already getting expensive with gas prices going up. Legislating to make food even more expensive right now is stupid.

Most of the foods mentioned don't really count as food, as you point out yourself.

Either way, there's no benefit to these things being around, as has been pointed out many times in this thread. Natural additives without the associated downsides are available and used in other countries.
 
2011-04-04 11:27:41 AM  
People who liked Crome Yellow also liked:

upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size

Chrome Yellow Standing By
 
2011-04-04 11:30:23 AM  
A couple of years ago at a coworker's reception he and his new wife smeared red icing all over each other's faces. My coworker said, "I'm allergic to red food coloring," and ran into the men's room to wash it off. Five minutes later he came back out with the icing washed off and huge angry hives all over his face and neck. The best man had to run out and procure benadryl for the groom.

/css
 
2011-04-04 11:33:05 AM  
thank the gods.
 
2011-04-04 11:33:54 AM  
I can't believe that anyone actually defends the use of even semi-questionable dyes in processed foods. These are a completely unnecessary additive...as in, they exist only to make the food LOOK more appealing. Why do food manufacturers feel that that is necessary? Because your body is hardwired to feel revulsion at things that have an unappealing look, and a lot of their "food" products would look pretty bad without the dyes. Bright colors are a subconscious indicator of freshness and nutrition, and so these dyes are a way to short-circuit the natural instinct we would otherwise have to avoid things that aren't good for us.

Furthermore, there are alternatives for most of these dyes that don't require putting non-food ingredients made in a chemical plant into food. It's just that a lot of those alternatives aren't as brightly colored, or cost more money, or aren't quite as durable and shelf-stable, and we can't cut into corporate profits, now can we?

Finally, I REALLY don't understand the people who claim that places like CSPI are infringing on their "right" to eat what they want. No one is taking away your Cheetos, fatty. Instead, they just want corporations to stop putting unnecessary things that are bad for you (or even just possibly bad for you: why not err on the side of safety, when we're talking about a totally substitutable and unnecessary ingredient?) in them. It isn't about regulating your food choices; it's about regulating corporations to get them to stop putting poisons into our food supply. Would the people who are against this sort of regulation also support allowing food companies to put lead in food as a sweetener? Or arsenic as a preservative? The only difference between that and these dyes is a matter of degree of harm.

I also think a differentiation needs to be made between harmful substances in food that are an intrinsic part of the food and things that are optional additives. It's impossible to remove carcinogens from grilled meat, as it's an intrinsic part of the cooking process, so it would be stupid to try to force steakhouses to stop serving it. It's easy, by contrast, to remove a red dye from a processed food product. They can easily just replace it with something else, or leave it out entirely.
 
2011-04-04 11:35:47 AM  

ox45tallboy: How do you know there were no other effects? Did you ask her about her poo?


Did not. :)

But, no one actually DIED or got obviously sick, is all I meant. I'm certain there HAD to be interesting poop later that evening, considering just how much dye was in there!
 
2011-04-04 11:41:14 AM  

Gothnet: So wait, because they weren't specifically developed as stimulants, they couldn't possibly have that effect?

FAIL.


OK, you got me there. But, judging from the structural activity relationships of all known stimulant drugs, it seems very unlikely that these dyes would act as stimulants. And specifically, here is an abstract of a study using rodents and red no. 40 that is actually trying to find a causational link between red no. 40 adverse behavioral effects:

Abstract

The color additive, Allura Red AC, was given in the diet to provide levels of 0.42, 0.84, and 1.68% (control, 0%), from 5 weeks of age of the F0 generation to 9 weeks of age of the F1 generation in mice, and selected reproductive and neurobehavioral parameters were measured. There were few adverse effects of Allura Red AC on either litter size or weight, and ratio of male to female was significantly reduced in the lowest dosed group. Average body weight of offspring during the lactation period was significantly increased in the lower dosed groups of each sex. As regards the neurobehavioral parameters, no adverse effect was observed in the behavioral development during lactation period. There were few adverse effects of Allura Red AC on either movement activity or maze learning in F1 generation mice, compared with controls in each sex. The dose levels of Allura Red AC in the present study (approximately 86-1430 times greater than human ADI) produced few adverse effects in reproductive and neurobehavioral parameters in mice.


source
 
2011-04-04 11:47:15 AM  

TheStag: Is it just me, or has a large part of medical (specifically dietary) science turned into crap? No self-respecting scientist should go around saying "dyes that are used in some foods might worsen hyperactivity in some children". I don't think there's any other branch of science that sets the bar low enough that you don't actually have to prove anything.


It's because doing the science is complicated. To get results you can actually trust, you have to do a clinical study, which requires a large number of participants. On top of that, if you're looking at the effects on children you have to jump through even more hoops regarding safety, and participation is likely to be difficult to drum up ("Hey, we'd like to inject your kid with random chemicals to see if his brain explodes. Sound good?").

That aside, you end up with smaller studies or statistical analyses, where you either gather up incidences reported by physicians, which are not ideal since the only way to control the variables is to exclude cases, or to perform studies using non-ideal participants in smaller numbers. Both put out science that is highly qualified, as per your description.

For example, someone up the thread mentioned Tartazine. This study (pops) found that for adults with a specified set of conditions, tartazine was not found to exacerbate their symptoms more than placebo.

What does that mean? Well, not much. Their sample size was 26, which is not exactly something to hang your hat on. They also looked at adults, which wouldn't say anything about the effects on children (if any).

So, yeah . . . science is hard. But I prefer the scientists being responsible about their findings, qualifying them as appropriate, to the people who take said findings and let their imaginations run wild ("BAN EVERYTHING TO SAVE THE SNOWFLAKES!").
 
2011-04-04 11:48:04 AM  

TheStag: Is it just me, or has a large part of medical (specifically dietary) science turned into crap? No self-respecting scientist should go around saying "dyes that are used in some foods might worsen hyperactivity in some children". I don't think there's any other branch of science that sets the bar low enough that you don't actually have to prove anything.


Well here's the deal with that. If you think yellow #6 causes damage to a developing fetus,you don't get to take fifty pregnant chicks and have yourself an experiment. At best you can track what some eat. You can't, in good ethical conscious, have these women take in extra so that they prove causality beyond all doubt.

Humanity as a whole if all medical studies picked twins and destroyed one or both of them to advance science, but we've kinda decided we wont allow it.
 
2011-04-04 11:48:47 AM  
Why are we putting a petroleum derivative in our food?

Freedom.
 
2011-04-04 11:48:58 AM  
Cheesus checking in
i55.photobucket.comView Full Size

 
2011-04-04 11:56:39 AM  

Gothnet: "The study found increased levels of hyperactivity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and lower IQs were observed in children consuming the chemicals."

So it's bad for kids, it's not 'good' for anyone and there are replacements available. Seems a cut and dried positive for society to get rid of them, IMHO.


Correlation does not indicate causation.
CORRELATION DOES NOT INDICATE CAUSATION!
CORRELATION DOES NOT farkING INDICATE CAUSATION!!

Did you know that EVERY person that ever drank water died?! Put that on your ban list, too.

The willful and aggressive ignorance on what statistical studies do and do not indicate is one of my pet peeves, regardless of what the study "shows".

Being ignorant isn't your fault. Staying ignorant is.
 
2011-04-04 12:01:36 PM  

Damian: Gothnet: "The study found increased levels of hyperactivity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and lower IQs were observed in children consuming the chemicals."

So it's bad for kids, it's not 'good' for anyone and there are replacements available. Seems a cut and dried positive for society to get rid of them, IMHO.

Correlation does not indicate causation.
CORRELATION DOES NOT INDICATE CAUSATION!
CORRELATION DOES NOT farkING INDICATE CAUSATION!!

Did you know that EVERY person that ever drank water died?! Put that on your ban list, too.

The willful and aggressive ignorance on what statistical studies do and do not indicate is one of my pet peeves, regardless of what the study "shows".

Being ignorant isn't your fault. Staying ignorant is.


So you think ingesting petro chemicals is fine? Statistical studies aside, oil is not meant to be eaten, if you are relying on studies to tell you whether it is, or isn't "food" you're a farking moron.
 
2011-04-04 12:06:22 PM  

hstein3: It's because doing the science is complicated. To get results you can actually trust, you have to do a clinical study, which requires a large number of participants. On top of that, if you're looking at the effects on children you have to jump through even more hoops regarding safety, and participation is likely to be difficult to drum up ("Hey, we'd like to inject your kid with random chemicals to see if his brain explodes. Sound good?").

That aside, you end up with smaller studies or statistical analyses, where you either gather up incidences reported by physicians, which are not ideal since the only way to control the variables is to exclude cases, or to perform studies using non-ideal participants in smaller numbers. Both put out science that is highly qualified, as per your description.


Don't a lot of the studies from CSPI rely on some cohort of nurses that they started following and observing for just general trends a while ago?

I remember reading somewhere about that, that a reason so many studies either seem inconclusive from the beginning or else seem to "flip" every few years was just because the sample size was fairly small and there are pretty much infinite variables involved, since they're just observing a general group of people without any specific controls.

...which is useful, I guess, but definitely requires the grain of salt be taken (which the original studies do mention, despite what the eventual media puff articles end up saying).
 
2011-04-04 12:07:03 PM  

Damian: Correlation does not indicate causation.
CORRELATION DOES NOT INDICATE CAUSATION!
CORRELATION DOES NOT farkING INDICATE CAUSATION!!

Did you know that EVERY person that ever drank water died?! Put that on your ban list, too.

The willful and aggressive ignorance on what statistical studies do and do not indicate is one of my pet peeves, regardless of what the study "shows".

Being ignorant isn't your fault. Staying ignorant is.


Ever heard of the so-called "precautionary principle"?

Basically, many people believe that when we're talking about widespread food additives, with unknown potential for harm, then you should err on the side of NOT including them. Or, to put it another way, the burden of proof in this case should be on the processed food manufacturers to provide very strong evidence that their additives do NOT cause harm, rather than the other way around. It's true that a correlation does not demonstrate, by itself, that these dyes are harmful. It's also true that many possible kinds of problems caused by them have not been studied enough to rule them out. And again, since this is a totally unnecessary and optional thing to put in food, and something that could be added to a huge amount of different things people eat, there should be very strong evidence required that this isn't doing any harm. Since they could just take it out of their products without changing anything other than appearance, what we're talking about is weighing processed food marketing vs. human health. I'm not convinced that these dyes DO cause problems, at all, but I do feel that the burden of proving that they're safe should lie with the companies using them, not with people who are urging caution. I feel that it makes sense to regulate food additives (simply because they are ADDITIVES, and therefore optional) much more heavily than we regulate food, in general.

This is a major philosophical difference between the general approach taken in the U.S. vs. Europe. In Europe, the precautionary principle is a much stronger influence. In the U.S., we allow a lot of things that are "generally recognized as safe" simply because we've been using them for a long time, even without strong scientific evidence of safety.
 
2011-04-04 12:08:36 PM  
Just a random addition (or additive, if you prefer):

I have a small custom cookie bakery. When people ask about natural food dyes I show them the difference between regular dyes and natural ones.
I live in a very crunchy-granola, organic hippie kind of community, but every customer eventually picks the regular dyes, because they look better.

I would love for this issue to get more attention so less disgusting alternatives could be developed. I can't help but think some of the vibrant colors people ask for are bad for them. And yes, some of the dyes are petroleum-based- when one of them goes bad it smells like a vinyl shower curtain. Blecch.
 
2011-04-04 12:12:01 PM  

gnumoon: Just a random addition (or additive, if you prefer):

I have a small custom cookie bakery. When people ask about natural food dyes I show them the difference between regular dyes and natural ones.
I live in a very crunchy-granola, organic hippie kind of community, but every customer eventually picks the regular dyes, because they look better.

I would love for this issue to get more attention so less disgusting alternatives could be developed. I can't help but think some of the vibrant colors people ask for are bad for them. And yes, some of the dyes are petroleum-based- when one of them goes bad it smells like a vinyl shower curtain. Blecch.


I'm genuinely curious, do you have a preference for which dyes you eat?
 
2011-04-04 12:12:51 PM  

Mnemia: Damian: Correlation does not indicate causation.
CORRELATION DOES NOT INDICATE CAUSATION!
CORRELATION DOES NOT farkING INDICATE CAUSATION!!

Did you know that EVERY person that ever drank water died?! Put that on your ban list, too.

The willful and aggressive ignorance on what statistical studies do and do not indicate is one of my pet peeves, regardless of what the study "shows".

Being ignorant isn't your fault. Staying ignorant is.

Ever heard of the so-called "precautionary principle"?

Basically, many people believe that when we're talking about widespread food additives, with unknown potential for harm, then you should err on the side of NOT including them. Or, to put it another way, the burden of proof in this case should be on the processed food manufacturers to provide very strong evidence that their additives do NOT cause harm, rather than the other way around. It's true that a correlation does not demonstrate, by itself, that these dyes are harmful. It's also true that many possible kinds of problems caused by them have not been studied enough to rule them out. And again, since this is a totally unnecessary and optional thing to put in food, and something that could be added to a huge amount of different things people eat, there should be very strong evidence required that this isn't doing any harm. Since they could just take it out of their products without changing anything other than appearance, what we're talking about is weighing processed food marketing vs. human health. I'm not convinced that these dyes DO cause problems, at all, but I do feel that the burden of proving that they're safe should lie with the companies using them, not with people who are urging caution. I feel that it makes sense to regulate food additives (simply because they are ADDITIVES, and therefore optional) much more heavily than we regulate food, in general.

This is a major philosophical difference between the general approach taken in the U.S. vs. Europe. In Europe, the precautionary principle is a much stronger influence. In the U.S., we allow a lot of things that are "generally recognized as safe" simply because we've been using them for a long time, even without strong scientific evidence of safety.


Food dyes have been around for well over 50 years.

If they actually did anything, we'd know about it, because every single baby boomer would be functionally retarded. All of their kids would be too.

Poisons don't effect only 1% of the population. They effect the entire population. We have all been exposed to these chemicals and you know what? 99% have absolutely no problem with them.

Go back to eating things that don't cast shadows.
 
2011-04-04 12:15:03 PM  
Petroleum-based means nothing.

Vaseline is a petroleum byproduct. It was discovered by roughnecks when this white grease would end up on the drilling pipes. Someone discovered it gave the roughnecks really nice soft skin and started selling it.

All your lip glosses probably contain petroleum too.
 
2011-04-04 12:15:39 PM  
... but if..if..if they change the color of Cheetos, that old joke about your orange fapping hand won't work....
 
2011-04-04 12:18:40 PM  

kapaso: gnumoon: Just a random addition (or additive, if you prefer):

I have a small custom cookie bakery. When people ask about natural food dyes I show them the difference between regular dyes and natural ones.
I live in a very crunchy-granola, organic hippie kind of community, but every customer eventually picks the regular dyes, because they look better.

I would love for this issue to get more attention so less disgusting alternatives could be developed. I can't help but think some of the vibrant colors people ask for are bad for them. And yes, some of the dyes are petroleum-based- when one of them goes bad it smells like a vinyl shower curtain. Blecch.

I'm genuinely curious, do you have a preference for which dyes you eat?


In my everyday life, I avoid the dyes. But for the occasional treat (like a cookie at a birthday party), I'm not going to sweat it. I just wish a viable alternative were available.

No natural dye will be able to produce specific, vibrant color like this, though:
gnumoon.smugmug.comView Full Size
 
2011-04-04 12:19:38 PM  

fluffy2097: Petroleum-based means nothing.

Vaseline is a petroleum byproduct. It was discovered by roughnecks when this white grease would end up on the drilling pipes. Someone discovered it gave the roughnecks really nice soft skin and started selling it.

All your lip glosses probably contain petroleum too.


Petroleum based actually does mean something, it means the product was derived from petroleum. If you want to ingest oil based products be my guest, the world is your oyster.

I would at least like to know if the food I'm eating has oil in it, or do have problem with letting people know what they are eating?
 
2011-04-04 12:19:47 PM  
i191.photobucket.comView Full Size


BETTY WHITE STANDING BY
 
2011-04-04 12:20:00 PM  

quizybuck: Sim Tree: It's not just me, but a whole class of people, and possibly most of the children on the entire planet, but the side effects are subtle, and slow to onset, so are mostly ignored. Nevermind that several other industrialized nations have banned red 40 outright, and we can't even get an allergy warning in the corner.

Why would there be an allergy warning when people don't suffer allergic reactions? Allergies are life threatening, sensitivities are apparently "subtle," "slow to onset," and "mostly ignored."


It doesn't make people swell up and die, but it makes many children and some adults completely unable to focus on anything for any length of time, making any task, even one as simple as watching TV, completely impossible. Every time I accidentally get some, I know I'm going to lose two whole days or so.

I would just appreciate it if they were set to the same requirements as every other food on the planet, and list it on the label, instead of posting "with colors added" on every single food in the universe, so that I frequently have to fast all day if I want to live my life that day.

hailin: Honestly, quit trying to legislate what the rest of us eat to suit your need. If you can't eat Red 40, then deal with it and choose foods that don't have it. Don't eat processed food that has even the possibility of having the chemical in it.


I'm not trying to have it banned, see per above; I just want it to be on the label, same as everything else, instead of having it deliberately hidden from me. Especially when it's only hidden so that parents cannot determine which foods have it and make responsible health choices.

And the group is large indeed when other countries have already banned the substances. That's not just busybody posturing when the FDAs of several other countries have deemed the substance so outrageously dangerous it can't even be used. And one country can't even get a warning on the box, allowing us to make our own descend on what we want to purchase or not, completely unlike every other chemical on the plant used in foods.

I cannot avoid foods that "might have it"; EVERY food might have it. I've found it in farking bread. I've found it in farking yogurt. I've found it in farking milk (which at least had the decency to list it on the back). It's getting increasingly pervasive, and I would sincerely appreciate it if they would at least tell me what I am buying.
 
2011-04-04 12:20:51 PM  
[image from tidewater.net too old to be available]

Red Auerbach standing by
 
2011-04-04 12:21:01 PM  

gnumoon: Just a random addition (or additive, if you prefer):

I have a small custom cookie bakery. When people ask about natural food dyes I show them the difference between regular dyes and natural ones.
I live in a very crunchy-granola, organic hippie kind of community, but every customer eventually picks the regular dyes, because they look better.

I would love for this issue to get more attention so less disgusting alternatives could be developed. I can't help but think some of the vibrant colors people ask for are bad for them. And yes, some of the dyes are petroleum-based- when one of them goes bad it smells like a vinyl shower curtain. Blecch.


Again, as I said, it's completely natural for people to prefer vibrant colors. We are pretty much evolutionarily programmed to prefer brightly colored foods, because it's an indication of freshness, ripeness, and nutrition. That's why brightly colored fruit is appealing to people, and why fruit is naturally brightly colored: the plants evolved these colors in order to attract animals to them at precisely the optimal time for their seeds to be spread. Same for flowers and attracting pollinators: the bright colors are a signal that there's something good to eat there. So it totally makes sense that people are going to prefer foods that are dyed with more vibrant artificial dyes. That's why people who market foods use them: it stimulates people to find the foods appealing, and buy more of them.

But, there is a dark side to this idea when we're talking about processed foods. By adding these brightly colored dyes, they are actually "cheating" our natural instincts about what is good for us and what isn't. (Same thing is also true of adding lots of sugar or fat to things.) This is why people like processed foods, even when they know that they aren't good for them: it's because the foods are carefully designed to push our nutritional "buttons" and keep us buying more. So these dyes are a primary mechanism by which food marketers get people to eat crap that they otherwise wouldn't.

And, of course, there is the fact that there's a difference between whether something looks appealing and whether it's a good idea to eat it. In fact, because of what I just said, we should actually downplay the "appeal" factor as a consideration in whether we should be using these kinds of dyes. People will find lots of things they wouldn't otherwise want to eat appealing if it's dressed up the right away.
 
2011-04-04 12:21:46 PM  
This thread took a turn for the lulz.

Gentlemen,

:\

am proud.
 
2011-04-04 12:22:39 PM  
You want to dye something red? Use beet juice.

Eating two servings of beets will turn your piss blood red in about an hour.

I've had leftover mashed potatoes dyed magenta because I put them in in the fridge with some leftover pickled beets.
 
2011-04-04 12:27:02 PM  
Seems some of you have missed my point, but I'm not surprised. I don't give a shiat if you want to eat only nuts and roots that you picked yourself or if you want to eat nothing but rat poison. I do give a shiat when people cite studies that show correlation only as a reason to quit doing something.

Don't wanna do it? Fine. Don't use a statistical study you don't understand that doesn't say what you think it does to back your point though. It just makes you look ignorant, regardless of what your position is.

Again, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of people who've died have ingested water. Ban it now.

/Here, have some rat poison.
 
2011-04-04 12:31:33 PM  

fluffy2097: Food dyes have been around for well over 50 years.

If they actually did anything, we'd know about it, because every single baby boomer would be functionally retarded. All of their kids would be too.


There's a joke in there about Baby Boomers being retarded...

Anyway, that's only true if the effect is obvious and widespread. It could easily be something more subtle or only affect some susceptible portion of the population. There isn't any way to know without doing large studies. And in case you haven't noticed, a lot of Americans aren't exactly healthy. We suffer from different health problems from people in poor countries (where other things, like infectious disease, are a bigger issue). We don't know what all the contributing factors to all our health problems are (for example, we don't know what causes all the cancers we get). You can't just dismiss that simply because we've been using it a long time.


Poisons don't effect only 1% of the population. They effect the entire population. We have all been exposed to these chemicals and you know what? 99% have absolutely no problem with them.


You don't actually know that, and many things will affect some subpopulations more than others. Your 99% "statistic" needs some support other than just your assumption that there are no problems because you don't personally see any obvious issues.

Go back to eating things that don't cast shadows.

All I'm saying is that we need to actually be careful when allow corporations to put additives and dyes in our food supply. In case you are unaware, food additives have quite the sordid history over the last few millennia.
 
2011-04-04 12:31:38 PM  

gnumoon: kapaso: gnumoon: Just a random addition (or additive, if you prefer):

I have a small custom cookie bakery. When people ask about natural food dyes I show them the difference between regular dyes and natural ones.
I live in a very crunchy-granola, organic hippie kind of community, but every customer eventually picks the regular dyes, because they look better.

I would love for this issue to get more attention so less disgusting alternatives could be developed. I can't help but think some of the vibrant colors people ask for are bad for them. And yes, some of the dyes are petroleum-based- when one of them goes bad it smells like a vinyl shower curtain. Blecch.

I'm genuinely curious, do you have a preference for which dyes you eat?

In my everyday life, I avoid the dyes. But for the occasional treat (like a cookie at a birthday party), I'm not going to sweat it. I just wish a viable alternative were available.

No natural dye will be able to produce specific, vibrant color like this, though:


Could you teach my girlfriend how to make those? That would be super.

/Nice cookies
 
2011-04-04 12:31:45 PM  
cthulhufiles.comView Full Size


H.P. Lovecraft standing by!
 
2011-04-04 12:39:07 PM  

Damian: Seems some of you have missed my point, but I'm not surprised. I don't give a shiat if you want to eat only nuts and roots that you picked yourself or if you want to eat nothing but rat poison. I do give a shiat when people cite studies that show correlation only as a reason to quit doing something.

Don't wanna do it? Fine. Don't use a statistical study you don't understand that doesn't say what you think it does to back your point though. It just makes you look ignorant, regardless of what your position is.

Again, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of people who've died have ingested water. Ban it now.

/Here, have some rat poison.


Again, why should the burden of proof be on the people arguing that something could be harmful? Why shouldn't the obligation of proving its safety be on the people who want to put it in everything and feed it to little kids? I agree that a small correlation in a study does not imply, by itself, that something causes harm. I still don't think food corporations should be putting synthetic dyes in everything unless and until they can provide very strong evidence that it's safe.
 
2011-04-04 12:53:06 PM  

Mnemia: fluffy2097: Food dyes have been around for well over 50 years.

If they actually did anything, we'd know about it, because every single baby boomer would be functionally retarded. All of their kids would be too.


There's a joke in there about Baby Boomers being retarded...

Anyway, that's only true if the effect is obvious and widespread. It could easily be something more subtle or only affect some susceptible portion of the population. There isn't any way to know without doing large studies. And in case you haven't noticed, a lot of Americans aren't exactly healthy. We suffer from different health problems from people in poor countries (where other things, like infectious disease, are a bigger issue). We don't know what all the contributing factors to all our health problems are (for example, we don't know what causes all the cancers we get). You can't just dismiss that simply because we've been using it a long time.


Poisons don't effect only 1% of the population. They effect the entire population. We have all been exposed to these chemicals and you know what? 99% have absolutely no problem with them.

You don't actually know that, and many things will affect some subpopulations more than others. Your 99% "statistic" needs some support other than just your assumption that there are no problems because you don't personally see any obvious issues.

Go back to eating things that don't cast shadows.

All I'm saying is that we need to actually be careful when allow corporations to put additives and dyes in our food supply. In case you are unaware, food additives have quite the sordid history over the last few millennia.


I would respect Damian's argument a lot more if he didn't make up numbers and grossly exaggerate every reaction to an ingested product as obvious and immediate or else it doesn't exist at all.

If we use his logic even phenalketonuria (so) doesn't exist because we never deliberately turned a baby with markers for it into a retard.
 
2011-04-04 12:54:19 PM  

Mnemia: Again, why should the burden of proof be on the people arguing that something could be harmful? Why shouldn't the obligation of proving its safety be on the people who want to put it in everything and feed it to little kids? I agree that a small correlation in a study does not imply, by itself, that something causes harm. I still don't think food corporations should be putting synthetic dyes in everything unless and until they can provide very strong evidence that it's safe.


To be fair, science doesn't work that way. You can't prove something is safe, you can only prove that something causes harm, which usually consists of shoving increasing amounts of something into an animal until it gets sick.

Food safety is generally a big deal; any new compound added to food would have to have minimal studies showing that it isn't toxic. The effects being discussed here are much more subtle, so they wouldn't necessarily come out in those sorts of basic safety studies.

/Not a food scientist, so have some brightly colored grains of salt with that
 
2011-04-04 12:57:05 PM  
2.bp.blogspot.comView Full Size

RED ADAIR STANDING BY

 
2011-04-04 01:01:42 PM  
What's the reason real sugar was replaced with HFCS? Profits.

HFCS increased profits, it was not a result of consumer demand to replace sugar. The result? Greatly increased occurrence of obesity and Type II diabetes for which the costs of dealing with the problem will be paid by others outside the food industry.
 
2011-04-04 01:10:26 PM  
I've been reading this entire thread and I have to wonder what people are buying if they can't seem to avoid artificial colors. I've just checked my pantry and fridge for ingredients that I could swear had color additives, and none of them had them. Then again, I don't buy brightly colored fruity things or neon colored snacks but once in a blue moon, and those are usually for nostalgic reasons (after tasting these things, I end up reminding myself why I stopped eating them in the first place). But even food that was yellow in my cupboard were colored with annatto (a natural additive). One thing that gets me is that if you're buying something like milk that has color added to it, maybe you're buying the wrong brand.

And I don't shop anywhere special. I only go to Whole Foods once every 3 or 4 months and I hardly buy anything there anyway. I just prefer to eat foods that are not brightly colored, not very processed, or if they are, then colored with naturally derived additives. And it doesn't cost me all that much extra (considering I'm a student, I try to be cheap), because I avoid a lot of the artificial colors by avoiding processed prepared meals as much as possible and make my food from scratch.

/After rechecking, I did find one thing that had Red 40 (salad dressing) but I can easily avoid it in the future by buying the vinegar and making my own.
//Diagnosed ADHD as a child, but can cope very well with it as an adult.
 
2011-04-04 01:20:27 PM  

Pippi Longstalker: I've had leftover mashed potatoes dyed magenta because I put them in in the fridge with some leftover pickled beets.


Oh yeah. I remember eating those really really really pink/red pickled beets as a kid, the juice from them would run into the other food and make it all pink.

Various Japanese pickles are similar, pickled eggplant (the thin Japanese kind) turns blue and will dye your rice blue.

In fact in the days of homemade lunches when lots of people couldn't afford so much fancy food, it was a given that a good healthy lunch was a colorful lunch, because the only place the color was coming from would be either pickles or regular vegetables and fruit (carrots, seaweed, peppers, etc) which are all good for you. So it was sort of a "you don't need to know so much about nutrition but make your kids' lunches colorful and it's a good start" thing.
 
2011-04-04 01:26:22 PM  

hstein3: To be fair, science doesn't work that way. You can't prove something is safe, you can only prove that something causes harm, which usually consists of shoving increasing amounts of something into an animal until it gets sick.

Food safety is generally a big deal; any new compound added to food would have to have minimal studies showing that it isn't toxic. The effects being discussed here are much more subtle, so they wouldn't necessarily come out in those sorts of basic safety studies.

/Not a food scientist, so have some brightly colored grains of salt with that


But what I'm talking about isn't scientific standards of proof; it's what constitutes proper public policy on the subject of food safety. I realize that it's impossible to prove something is 100% safe, obviously, in a scientific sense. There could always be some unknown effect that is overlooked because your experiment wasn't looking for it. All I'm saying is that even given that fact, it's still preferable to have your public policy require strong evidence of safety for optional food additives like dyes. You can't "prove" they're safe, but you can provide strong evidence that they are by doing extensive testing and experiments. But "we've been using it for 50 years" is not strong evidence of safety, by itself.

Public policy is not science, nor should it be. Public policy in food safety regulation is designed to protect the public. Given that we can't know all the effects of everything, I think it's reasonable to be very cautious about what new things we allow in food (again, especially given the history of what people have been willing to put into food and sell in the past). I'm not saying this sort of thing should be absolutely banned, but I am saying that we should require some pretty rigorous testing and science before we allow it as an additive, and that the burden should fall on the food companies to demonstrate that they've investigated every possible health harm they reasonably could before marketing it. That's more along the lines of typical European public policy rather than American.
 
2011-04-04 01:26:22 PM  
Amazing thing is modern technology really can color pretty much anything. Back in the late 80's someone experimented with colored soy sauce - yep, they managed to REMOVE the dark brown natural color (I guess similar to how they can make clear Pepsi?) and then added regular bright candy dye in it, so there was a photo of a rainbow of soy sauce bottles.

It did not go over well at all, which doesn't surprise me. Candy colors you think should taste sweet, and blue soy sauce is just... not.

Here in the US for a while they were selling blue ketchup, did that ever sell well? 'Cuz it seems pretty bizarre to me..

Wollffeey: I've been reading this entire thread and I have to wonder what people are buying if they can't seem to avoid artificial colors.


I'm assuming processed food, particularly anything sweet. The red probably comes from various sauces and whatnot, though.

Also someone upthread posted about tumeric, that will definitely stain anything yellow but it's not flavorless, lots of recipes need it as an actual spice (thereby ruining most of my tupperware). The chemical yellow dyes maybe go for sweet things, again? TFA mentions pudding. Savory stuff yeah you can probably just put tumeric in it?
 
2011-04-04 01:35:02 PM  
After reading Wollffeey's post, I'm starting to consider if maybe I'm just shopping in the wrong supermarket. I'm going to try a different one this week. Thank you for the idea!
 
2011-04-04 01:35:06 PM  

Smackledorfer: I would respect Damian's argument a lot more if he didn't make up numbers and grossly exaggerate every reaction to an ingested product as obvious and immediate or else it doesn't exist at all.


I HAVE NO ARGUMENT IN THIS MATTER. I do not care about the substance of anyone's argument here. It just pisses me off when a study showing correlation is used as if it indicates a direct link between A and B in an effort to further one's position. Doing this indicates either ignorance or an intentional attempt to mislead.

Hence, my repeated statements that 100% of people who have died have inhaled nitrogen/drank water in an attempt to show the fallacy of conflating correlation and causation.

My down and dirty study shows a MASSIVE correlation between people dying and people breathing/drinking water.

People die.
In order to die, people must be alive.
In order to be alive, people must drink water.
In order to be alive, people must inhale nitrogen.
Therefore, everyone who has died has drank water and inhaled nitrogen.
Therefore, my study shows a 100% correlation between drinking water/inhaling nitrogen and dying.

Does this mean that the water and nitrogen killed all of those people and that we should stop drinking water and breathing? No, it merely shows a correlation between events (dying/drinking water/breathing) each linked to another event (being alive) but not linked to each other.

Hence, a 100% correlation, but absolutely no causation.

Now replace water/air with the bogeyman of the day and replace dying with a detrimental effect and I can show correlation between almost any two things and some people will believe that there is a causal link between the two.
 
2011-04-04 01:49:12 PM  

cptjeff: LincolnLogolas: Nothing wrong with red 40, unless you're Jewish. They tend to now call it "carmine extract" on labels now, to get Away from the synthetic sounding name. It's just bug juice. There's another red food dye, forget what they call it in food, I know it as lac. Also a bug extract. I'd trust the bug extracts more than some of the crazy synthetics.

Red 40 is the synthetic stuff, formerly made from coal tar and now made from petroleum. Carmine is labeled simply as carmine, or as natural red 40, and it's a fair bit safer then most of the crap we pump into things.

It also has a long, illustrious, and fascinating history. Pick up the book "A Perfect Red".


Done quite a bit of research into organic pigments and dyes, actually. I'll have to pick up that book, though. I was one of those crazy graduate student painters that thought "Why don't I just make my own paint?"

At the time, it was the only way to paint with egg tempera (nowadays you can get the stuff in tubes loaded with preservatives). Carmine is a bit difficult to grind into a binder, but lac... Oh, I love lac. Transparent blood red, but pH sensitive, so it'll turn purple in a slightly acidic environment.

/geek
 
2011-04-04 01:51:51 PM  
tumeric

GranoblasticMan: I prefer tumeric, parsley, and paprika as my coloring agents.

/ Seriously... Tumeric will turn you and everything you love yellow.


I like saffron for that. Though apallingly expensive, one ground up filament will dye a whole lot of stuff yellow. Works great when dying Easter eggs.
 
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