Ever wonder why that block of cheddar is bright orange?

Cheese isn’t the only thing artificial dyes are added to and often these additives found in Canada and the United States are banned in other countries around the world.

Katherine Engqvist 0
Grilled cheese sandwich on multigrain

Masterfile

Here’s a little food for thought today. . .

Have you ever wondered why cheddar cheese in North America is orange but in Europe and other places around the world it’s a whitish colour?

That’s because in North America some cheese is dyed to make it look more appealing. Cheese isn’t the only thing artificial dyes are added to and often these additives found in Canada and the United States are banned in other countries around the world.

Take tartrazine or more commonly known as Yellow No. 5. It’s banned in Norway and Austria but in North America it is often found in foods marketed towards children such as candy, ice cream, and soft drinks. But it’s not just found in food, tartrazine is also found in prescription drugs and cosmetics.

So why all the fuss?

A study published in The Lancet, a leading medical journal, found that artificial colours and/or a sodium benzoate preservative cause hyperactivity in children. As reported by CBC, it also contains more salt than the body can take as well as being linked to asthma, skin rashes and migraines.

Tartrazine isn’t the only additive that’s banned in other countries but can still be found in Canada. Colours like Allura Red (banned in Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria and Norway) and Sunset Yellow (banned in Norway and Finland) are among a list of additives that can be found in the Canadian food system (as reported by the CBC).

Tell us what you think. Do you care if your food is an attractive colour?

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