Hey Food Manufacturers – Want More Customers? Read on…

Food Revolution Day is on May 19th, but let’s face it:  It’s every day for those of us who hold the purse strings.

I encourage consumers to watch manufacturers closely, and use Twitter and Facebook to let their needs be known.  And we are voting with our dollars.

Listen up, American food manufacturers!  You have a choice to make:  Adapt to your customers’ needs or get left behind.

What’s in it for you?

Don’t forget:  The market for all-natural and organics is still growing every year, despite the recession.  When you #DitchTheDyes you get more loyal customers, more profits, more jobs, fewer public relations nightmares, and more positive word of mouth.  You get to be called a “pioneer”, “leader”, “innovator”, and “consumer-friendly.”

Here are a few examples of your competition – companies that offer fantastic dye-free foods and drinks – without losing profits.  I encourage concerned consumers to thank them for their wise removal of food colorings. 

Below this list you’ll find several research studies, linking synthetic food coloring and other additives to serious health and behavioral problems. 

Some Good Guys

@Whole Foods and @Earth Fare make shopping easy and make their food philosophy clear:  No funny stuff.

@Yoplait removed food coloring from their Trix yogurts.

@Nestle UK announced that they are removing all artificial additives from their entire line of sweets and beverages across the pond. 

@Starbucks removed carmine coloring after customers reacted to the fact that it’s made from insects.  Starbucks listened and acted, much as they did a couple of years ago when they phased out all petroleum food coloring in their products.  Kudos to them.

China.  Now, I don’t have a Twitter handle for their country, but oh if I did!  If reports are true, their government is ditching over a dozen synthetic food dyes.  This is embarrassing for American food manufacturers that don’t offer dye-free products.   I mean, China.  If they can catch on to what the entire European Union has known and done for years, so can we.

Scientific Research

Here’s a statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics from 2008, confirming what moms all over the world already know:

“Despite increasing data supporting the efficacy of stimulants in preschoolers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) parents and providers understandably seek safe and effective interventions that require no prescription. A recent meta-analysis of 15 trials concludes that there is “accumulating evidence that neurobehavioral toxicity may characterize a variety of widely distributed chemicals.” [Schab DW, et al. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2004;25:423–434] Some children may be more sensitive to the effects of these chemicals, and the authors suggest there is a need to better identify responders. In real life, practitioners faced with hyperactive preschoolers have a reasonable option to offer parents. For the child without a medical, emotional, or environmental etiology of ADHD behaviors, a trial of a preservative-free, food coloring–free diet is a reasonable intervention.” – Alison Schonwald, MD, FAAP, of the Developmental Medicine Center at Children’s Hospital in Boston (published in the February 2008 issue of the AAP Grand Rounds).

And the Editors’ Note which follows states:
“Although quite complicated, this was a carefully conducted study in which the investigators went to great lengths to eliminate bias and to rigorously measure outcomes. The results are hard to follow and somewhat inconsistent. For many of the assessments there were small but statistically significant differences of measured behaviors in children who consumed the food additives compared with those who did not. In each case increased hyperactive behaviors were associated with consuming the additives. For those comparisons in which no statistically significant differences were found, there was a trend for more hyperactive behaviors associated with the food additive drink in virtually every assessment. Thus, the overall findings of the study are clear and require that even we skeptics, who have long doubted parental claims of the effects of various foods on the behavior of their children, admit we might have been wrong.

The Feingold Association has a link to many studies dating back to the 1970s here

You can search more studies at PubMed with the following study names, journals, and dates:

McCann (The Lancet), 2007
Swanson and Kinsbourne (Science), 1980
Egger (The Lancet), 1985
Kaplan (Pediatrics), 1989
Carter (Archives of Diseases in Childhood), 1993
Boris (Annals of Allergy), 1994
Rowe and Rowe (Journal of Pediatrics), 1994
Lancaster, 1999
Tanaka 1993, 1996, 2001, 2005; Vorhees 1983
Rosenkranz 1990; Sweeney 1994; Tsuda 2001; Sasaki 2002
Aboel-Zahab 1997

So, there you go.  The choice is yours, Big Food.  Or, actually, it’s ours.

Copyright © 2011 - Rebecca Evans and Die, Food Dye! All rights reserved.
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