Artificial colors in food serve no functional purpose but aesthetic and are usually found in junk foods such as Gatorade, Pop-Tarts, Froot Loops and Yoplait Trix Yogurt, which, the more I think about it, are nothing more than extremely profitable adult arts and crafts projects.
These petroleum-based synthetic dyes—scientifically proven to cause Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and anecdotally linked to allergic reactions—are also employed in seemingly healthier packaged foods like Dannon’s Light & Fit yogurts and Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain cereal bars.
But I was absolutely shocked yesterday when I found out that red Cerignola olives, a bright addition to olive mixes, are colored with FD&C Red 3. I contemplate the ingredients and origins of almost everything I eat, yet I never, ever thought about these olives’ bright red glow.
A little research, though, helped make everything clear. Olives start out green and most mature to somewhere in the purple-black spectrum. A few remain green when ripe, while others turn brown. Some olives, during the maturation process, may be red for a day or two.
Click here to watch a quick video that explains olives’ (natural) coloring process.