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7 Ways to Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day Without Food Coloring

7 Ways to Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day Without Food Coloring
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For the past 50 years, the Chicago River has been dyed “radioactive looking Kelly green” for St. Patrick’s Day, as one commentator puts it. The practice began when it was noticed that orange fluorescein dye used by plumbers to trace illegal sewage discharges turned the water green. After the EPA ruled that fluorescein was harmful to the river, other substances — currently, 40 pounds of powdered vegetable dye — are used.

Green is everywhere for St. Patrick’s Day, though blue was actually the first color to be associated with it, according to some accounts. The “wearing of the green” became traditional after the 17th century, with many Irish revolutionary groups using the color in their flags.

If you’d rather forego chemical-based dyes, green food coloring and the health risks of FD&C Green #3 (which has been linked to tumors and, in its undiluted form, can cause irritation of the eyes, skin, digestive tract and respiratory tract), here are some other ways to go green:

1) Spinach

Boil a bunch with some water and squeeze out a few drops of the result.


2) Avocado

Mash up a ripe one for a soft pale green.

3) Green apple peels

Steeped in some water, these will produce a more yellow-green hue.

4) Matcha

A pinch of this powdered green tea can turn many white foods (potatoes? — maybe stick to frosting!) into the desired hue.

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Photos from Thinkstock

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10:31AM PDT on Mar 19, 2013

perhaps go irish once a week, with a pocket full of greens!!
better yet, a daily dose of greens
along w/ b6/b12/ b complex/ iron !!

5:41AM PDT on Mar 19, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

7:20PM PDT on Mar 18, 2013


9:52AM PDT on Mar 18, 2013


9:52PM PDT on Mar 17, 2013

Interesting, Chicago River glad it's Veg color!
Thank You

5:49PM PDT on Mar 17, 2013


1:27PM PDT on Mar 17, 2013

great article, artifical food colorings can be so bad for you

10:04AM PDT on Mar 17, 2013


7:34AM PDT on Mar 17, 2013

great! thanks!

5:08AM PDT on Mar 17, 2013


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