Are Your Christmas Cookies Poisoning You?

Planning to bake and decorate cookies for the holidays? Be careful: those colorful icings and edible accessories could be poisoning your friends and children.

The artificial dyes used to make these decoratively-colored products and candies are made from petrochemicals and coal tar, and have been shown to result in negative side effects such as hyperactivity, especially in children.

In a recent study conducted commissioned by the United Kingdom’s Food Safety Agency (FSA), more than 300 children between the ages of three and nine were given fruit drinks spiked with either a mix of sunset yellow coloring (E110), tartrazine (E102), carmoisine (E122), ponceau 4R (E124) and sodium benzoate (E211) or a mix of sunset yellow, quinoline yellow (E104), allura red (E129) and sodium benzoate.

Natural News writes: “The children were monitored closely after drinking the cocktails. Among older children, hyperactivity significantly increased in both groups. Among younger children, the researchers said, hyperactivity increased more significantly among those who had the cocktail containing the more common combination of flavors and preservatives.”

When combined with the other refined sugars and wheat ingredients typically used in holiday treats and sweets, artificial colors can cause both children and adults to become hyperactive, moody and highly emotional (Natural News).

Because red is one of the most popular colors for the holiday, it also pays to know that colors like Cochineal, Cochineal Extract, Carmine, Crimson Lake, Natural Red 4, C.I. 75470, E120, and even some ‘natural dyes’ involve a substance called carminic acid’, which is extracted from insect bodies and eggs and is mixed with aluminum or calcium salts to make carmine dye (read more about this disturbing fact…)

If you’re stumped when it comes to planning holiday treats that are delicious without altering your brain function, or just want to set a healthy eating example for your kids, Care2′s got you covered.

Check out:

Vegan Sugar Dream Cookies
12 Yummy Cookie Recipes
Vegan Banana Bread & Other Sweet Breads
Healthy Caramel Apples
5-Minute Dairy-Free Ice Cream
Quick and Healthy Chocolate Truffles

Got more ideas for healthy treats that will (literally) let you sleep at night? Share them in a comment!

Image Credit: Flickr - seelensturm

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Hope S.
Hope Sellers4 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Borg Drone NO MAIL
Borg Drone4 years ago

Thanks !

Sumit jamadar
Sumit jamadar4 years ago


Ashley J.
Ashley J.4 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Julie F.
Julie F.4 years ago

really great to know, i will keep this in mind for next year

Christine Askin
Christine Askin4 years ago


maria mariano
maria mariano4 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Bon L.
Bon L.4 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Bruno Moreira
Bruno Moreira4 years ago

quite frankely i didnt know it does this i'll avoid eating those type of cookies thats for sure

Anna A.
Anna A.4 years ago

It would be great if full, informative ingredients lists were available on labels. Also, if more food was additive free.