Beetle Juice, Dannon Yogurt, and the Right to Know What’s In Your Food
A couple weeks ago my friend Heather posted on Facebook about how brands use crushed insects aka “beetle juice” as red food dye in certain foods like Halloween Candy (red skittles, anyone?). As someone who is gluten-free and scrutinizes the nutrition labels of every single food item I consider putting into my mouth, I found this news pretty disturbing. Not only that, but some people have an allergy to this type of ingredient and they aren’t able to properly recognize it when it is in their food. If companies are using an insect as artificial dye for their food, then shouldn’t they be required to disclose this information?
There are a lot of different places this food dye can hide, such as:
- Ice Cream
Yuck. It’s not so much the bugs that bother me (it does) but the fact that companies cover up the name with terms like this in the ingredient list:
So basically, you’re eating red dye derived from insects and you don’t even know it. The counter argument here is that the use of these insects is better than artificial dyes that contain petroleum. Okay well, I would just like to be informed so I can make that choice myself. And I’m sure others would too.
So, What Can You Do?
One brand that uses these cochineal insects as food dye is Dannon. Their raspberry and strawberry yogurt and the color for the fruit on the bottom of their yogurt is from these insects. There is currently a petition going around to get Dannon to stop using these bugs as red food dye in their yogurt. If you would like to sign it, please sign here:
A couple years ago Starbucks used these same insects to color their Strawberry Frappuccino. They changed their practices after a similar petition and this is an opportunity to ask Dannon to do the same. Hopefully other brands will follow from there.
Here are some links to more articles on this subject if you’d like to research them more:
I encourage you to take a look at the above information and make an educated decision for yourself on the use of this ingredient as red coloring in food.
What about you? Were you aware of this product in food? Would you like it to be better labeled? Post in the comments and let me know
*Disclosure: This is a Sponsored Post in partnership with Citizens for Health. As you all know I am a huge advocate for healthy living and wanted to share this information.