A couple of my friends have kids who are very sensitive to Red #40. It causes them to have more tantrums and have shorter tempers and become more violent. Because of this, I don't let Margaret have Red #40. While I don't know if she is senstive to Red #40, the reactions I saw in these other girls was strong enough for me to not even risk it with Margaret.
Essentially, we cut Red #40 out of all our diets. Then last week I bought a fruit punch. I knew it had Red #40 in it, but it didn't have HFCS, so I let it slide. I was not going to let Margaret have it- just us. We're adults, right? We can handle it. So last night at dinner I thought I'd try it. As I was drinking it I wondered, "Hmm. Will this affect me?" Then I forgot about that thought.
We spent the night pitting the 13 pounds of cherries we bought from the farmer's market last week so we could can them. As the night progressed, I got increasingly impatient with McKay. He's very "by the book" with recipes and directions and his "we have to check the directions for canning these every 2 seconds" was really getting to me. Really. Like I threw myself on the bed in exasperation and frustration with him.
Now while that usually does bug me, I don't normally get physical about my frustrations like that. I was on the bed thinking, "What the heck is WRONG with me? My cycle chart is not anywhere near my period! Why is this bugging me so much?"
Then in my mind, I was reminded of the 2 cups of fruit punch I had for dinner. It was like a light bulb went off in my head. It all fit. Red #40.
I still was fighting the effects of the dye for the rest of the evening- and I'll probably have some more effects today. Last night before going to bed I was thinking about this and I remembered a blessing McKay gave me about a month ago. I had been having a rough day and I asked for a blessing of comfort because I felt like the day was just going on around me and I had no grasp on it whatsoever. It was a very comforting blessing, but in it was a line that seemed out of place, "Put in your body only that which is good" I originally thought it was reference to the candy bars McKay kept asking me to buy at the dollar store. If I didn't feel like making up a lunch, I'd eat a candy bar: it had peanuts. That's protein, right?
Perhaps that counsel is a bit more broad for me. Perhaps it wasn't just candy bars. Maybe it means dyes, perservatives, pesticides, maybe even things like the flu shot, which still contains mercury.
Well, you could say that Red #40 won't physically kill me, but it's not particularly "good" for me either. The only benefit to Red #40 is that it makes food look red- it doesn't add anything to my diet or attribute to my well-being. If it's not dietarily beneficial and it might cause problems, why continue to use it?
Some things I found last night when I was thinking about this topic:
After warning parents of the effects of dyes in their children's food, the UK is phasing out Red #40 with other dyes this year because of emotional and behavioral effects.
Many European countries have banned Red #40.