Thursday, October 31

an open letter to food dye on food dye's most favoritist day

Here we are. October 31 - Halloween.  

This is the day each year that I turn to my dear husband and say, "We are so lucky to live far away from Target, Walmart, and all that flippin candy."  

Five young children ALL hopped-up on sugar and dye VS. two tired parents, that right there is an ugly equation. It is like David and Goliath if David drank ten Red-Bulls and had a Skittles IV running into his veins before he picked up the sling and Goliath was no strapping giant but rather an average sized, weary and overweight, pack-a-day smoking forty year old.

Sadly or joyfully, depending on whom you ask, we find ourselves smack in the middle of Halloween Central this year. 

Open letters seem to be the way people get things done on the Interweb. Ahem.
That said, here is mine.

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Dear Food Dye,  (that's you, Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5 & 6)

I suppose you are happy. How could you not be? Today is your day to reign supreme. 

Thousands of otherwise pleasant children will be yours today. You must feel so smug. 

Skittles, M&Ms, Dots, Licorice, and more ... Little brains will valiantly attempt to process your petroleum base. Many will fail.  My daughter will be among them.

My child, the one that is joyful, loving, kind and concerned about others, will be utterly enraged today. 

My child, the one that likes to encourage me with sweet words and strong hugs will turn instantly into an angry and unrecognizable being that screams loudly about how much she hates everything, and how she wishes she was not in our family.  

That is what you do to her, food dye.

I need no further evidence of your evils, but for those that do, the evidence is out there. Many children that react in anger easily are doing so because their brains are sensitive to all your synthetic colors.  

Somehow you have managed to finagle your way into all sorts of foods. We cannot even buy ice cream or yogurt without checking for you. We abhor the ways you have found to hurt our girl.

Today, your day, makes ten months of knowing what you do to our daughter.  For ten months we have avoided much pain and drama by watching to make sure our daughter doesn't ingest you.  

Last December when we first tried a dye-free diet - and within a week we saw huge changes in our child, and we literally cried in relief.  Our daughter wasn't terrible, unreasonable, or out of control after all.  It was all your fault. 

Go ahead and find your way into people's homes. Do your damage tonight.  But for all my friends that tell me they don't understand why their sons and daughters are so irritable and angry, I plan to tell tell them about you.  

In protest,

Tara Livesay

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Source: Wikipedia 

Current seven[edit]


In the US, the following seven artificial colorings are permitted in food (the most common in bold) as of 2007:



See this current article by the Executive Director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest - read it in its entirety here.

See this website that helped us with our child's food dye sensitivity. 

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While this adorable girl is clearly dressing up this year as a peace loving hippie-child, the jury is out until after this wretched holiday filled with artificially colorful candy is finished.  

We cannot be so sure she will give peace a chance. 


(In reality, high level negotiations regarding the candy are underway. All parties are meeting peaceably and plans are being made. Colorful candy will be traded for chocolate or dye-free treats, or carrots.)