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Easter Eggs That Won’t Kill You: Dye Them With Plants

Easter Eggs That Won’t Kill You: Dye Them With Plants

February 28, 2018

I didn’t grow up with Easter as a religious holiday, but sometimes my mom would get the urge to dye eggs with the three of us kids. After all, eggs are really fun to decorate and they’re even more fun to eat as deviled eggs, egg salad, or simply “as is.” One Easter, when I was about 7, we dyed our eggs using a very popular coloring kit. After decorating, hiding and finding all of the eggs, my brothers and I cracked a few open to eat. It suddenly struck me that the egg—the edible part—had taken on some of the dye. Green, blue, and pink hardboiled eggs certainly tasted the same, but I remember thinking, “What is in that dye?” Have any of us every really considered what those cute little “dye pills” are made of, or how those ingredients might impact the health or safety of the eggs, and our children?

Artificial colorings are used in a lot of processed foods, but some studies have shown that these seemingly harmless dyes may actually be responsible for allergies, ADHD and some cancers. Ever wonder why you break out in hives after you eat a particular food? Well, according to the Food and Drug Administration, one in 10,000 people is allergic to Yellow No.5, which is commonly used in soda and candy. And according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, artificial food dyes have been shown to damage DNA in mice. These are the same dyes we are using on our Easter eggs.

If you’re thinking about dying eggs this weekend, why not skip the possible risks and dye your eggs with plants instead? These plant dyes are completely non-toxic and—best of all—you probably have most of the ingredients sitting in your kitchen cabinet or refrigerator...

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