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Posts Tagged ‘carmine’

A while back I did a post on carmine. It is an additive in processed foods and utilized as a red food coloring agent.

Yesterday I was at the dentist, and while waiting, I picked up a copy of Glamour Magazine and started to look through it. On page 144 of the January issue, they have a story about “The Health Truth of Your Favorite Foods.” There is a cover picture of pink yogurt and it discusses carmine, what it really is (ground beetle carcass) and alternatives to using it (i.e. buy plain yogurt and add honey).

Hopefully with all the press, food companies will seek alternatives…

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Herbal Essences None of Your Frizzness

I had house guests several weeks ago. They came and went and I happened to be showering in the guest bath the other day (painting extravaganza in the master bath) when I noticed they had left behind their shampoo and conditioner.

I- being the voracious label reader that I am- started to mull over the ingredient list. And viola… Veg Lawyer happens to run across the recently mentioned carmine. Carmine , also known as Red 4, is a coloring additive derived from beetle carcasses and is used in various foods. It is also apparently in shampoo and conditioner.

Clairol Herbal Essences “None of Your Frizzness Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner” both contain Red 4.

I guess you never know where these additives will show up.

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ground beetle

Unfortunately, I am not kidding. For the next several days I will post a series on deciphering food additives. It started when I read an article by Jonathan Hermann in VegNews this month. It was extremely well written, but one of those articles that would leave you queasy should you be sensitive. Not that I am by any means all knowing, but I do plenty of research regarding what I put in my body, and I learned a lot.

So for today and every day hereafter, please hold the beetle. By beetle I mean the additive carmine, a.k.a. cochineal. These additives refer to the ground-up carcasses of beetles. The additive is used as a red coloring agent in processed foods. Never-mind that beet juice would serve the same purpose, as I often see on product labels when shopping at Native Sun or Whole Foods.

I was surprised to learn some of the items “beetled”: pink lemonades, grapefruit juices, maraschino cherries, Yoplait Thick and Creamy Lowfat Strawberry Yogurt, and Tropicana Orange Strawberry Banana Juice. And it takes approximately 70,000 beetles (note: no typo) to produce a mere 1 lb. of carmine.

A little fresh squeezed OJ is looking pretty good right now.

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