Crushed bugs as food coloring agent!!
Carmine - a food coloring agent or remains of crushed bug?
Beware! Carmine a food coloring agent used in many food products and cosmetics is actually derived from the crushed remains of the female Cochineal bug! I am not kidding! As these come from insects the FDA considers it as a “Natural”food coloring agent!!
Many people are allergic to carmine. The allergic reaction may lead to blisters, headaches, eczema and very rarely anaphylactic shock and even asthma attacks. They usually occur from imbibing food that has carmine food coloring agent to cosmetics that use carmine.
Recently the FDA came out with a ruling that said that, all products that use this food coloring agent derived from these crushed bugs should indicate on the product wrapping the usage of Carmine in it! Now how many of you would have realized that carmine is actually from bugs by just reading the name of the food coloring agent?!
These bugs have been used as coloring agents for years. The practise can be traced back to the Aztecs who cought the cochineal bugs, breifly submerged them in hot water and then dried and powdered them. Today, this food coloring agent can be found in juices, marinades, alcoholic drinks, bakery products and toppings, cookies, desserts, icings, pie fillings, jams, preserves, gelatin desserts, juice beverages, varieties of cheddar cheese and other dairy products, sauces, and sweets.
I am quiet sure my vegan friends wouldn’t want to consume food that has the remnants of crushed bugs! So if you want to avoid food that has the remnants of a crushed bug in them look for "carmine," "cochineal," or "confectioner's glaze" under "Ingredients". Carmine is also labelled as E120. If you think you might be allergic to carmine, avoid using pink or red food that uses artificial coloring agents.
If you don’t mind having crushed bugs remnants in your food and you are not allergic to carmine, then this food coloring agent shouldn’t be a problem for you. In fact it is far better than other artificial coloring agents. many of which have even proved to be carcinogenic!