Artificial dyes are found in thousands of foods: Fruity Pebbles, Gummi Bears, soda, vitamins and millions more. The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has banned artificial colors in the past, but plenty remain approved and are still being sold. Is it safe to eat all those artificially bright foods just because they look pretty?

Here’s something else to think about: While food manufacturers in some countries stick to plant-based coloring for certain foods, some U.S. manufacturers often choose not to. One of the main concerns about food coloring is the possible link to negative behavior, especially hyperactivity in kids.

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If all this coloring business has got you feeling blue, take relief in this: There are natural versions. Brands like Maggies’ Naturals, India Tree, and Nature’s Flavors use plant, fruit, and vegetable extracts to color cupcake frosting. Real foods like turmeric, beets, purple cabbage, spinach and hibiscus flower can be used as food coloring.

We are very happy that we learned the truth behind food coloring, and we will be careful about eating foods with food coloring.