One of the books I’m reading right now is Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs. I can’t remember where I first heard about the author, but apparently he frequently goes on yearly challenges. This book, though, is about his quest to become the healthiest person on the planet. Quite lofty, but an interesting challenge none the less. While it’s extremely entertaining, and educational, I’m more interested in why he started his journey than how he’s accomplishing it.
I think with most major life changes there’s a specific moment where we finally say “Enough is enough, it’s time to get healthy.” Maybe it’s the birth of a child, scary medical results, the death of a loved one, or just a too long naked glimpse in the mirror. Somehow there’s a realization that I can’t keep putting this much garbage in my body.
My turning point was my son. He was around three when I watched him, one afternoon, morph into a wild, aggressive, uncontrollable kid. He had drunk his first (and last) Hawaiian Punch and turned into a different kid. As my neighbor and I watched in awe, we discussed artificial food colorings. Of course googling anything, you’ll find both sides of the coin; much like Mr. Jacobs found in his book “I know that you should eat a lot of the Indian spice turmeric, as it fights cancer. Also that you should avoid the Indian spice turmeric, as it might contain dangerous levels of lead.” While one site would claim food dyes were safe for kids, another would state that red 40 (allura red) or yellow 5 (tartrazine) can cause hyperactivity, aggression, and inability to focus. After watching my son, I went with the later results. The problem, red 40 and yellow 5 were in everything: yogurt, toothpaste, even vitamins. That was my “ah ha” overhaul moment.
That’s why Favor the Earth will only sell treats with no artificial colors. Don’t get me wrong, I love Cheetos and Twizzlers as much as the next person, but those are a rarity. Our candy fix comes from Yummy Earth, who I swear, has the best lollipops you’ll ever eat in your life. This isn’t a soapbox telling you to throw away everything in your home with fake colors. But it is an interesting experiment to see what products they’re in and how they affect behavior. Maybe a summer project?! And then a follow-up lesson in why they’re completely banned in Europe.
Daily Green Special: Purchase a bag of Yummy Earth Organic lollipops and receive a free bag of Yummy Earth pomegranate or root beer drops. Just write “dye-free” and we’ll add the free bag to your order. Offer valid until tomorrow’s post. Happy Tuesday!