Is that spring I feel?
Easter is a holiday that is rooted in religion. In addition, it’s taken on the symbolism of rebirth, fertility, freshness, spring. The egg is a symbol of fertility which goes hand in hand with spring.
There isn’t much information on why we became to stuff a chocolate bunny into a basket, run around the yard for hidden eggs or dye our eggs vibrant colors with those tablets you drop into the water. Though they’re all common traditions that most partake in.
Dying eggs for Easter is a tradition that my family has been implementing for as long as I can remember. Sitting at the table with a multi-colored sheet from the spilled dye of years prior. Eggs that are too hot to touch but we did anyway. My mother’s ‘look’ every time we’d throw an egg into our cup just a little too hard ending in spilt dye and cracked eggs- I never saw any problem, just a snack.
Children throughout the world enjoy dying eggs, decorating them, seeing who can make the prettiest egg- but have you taken the time to read the ingredient label?
Most conventional egg dying kits all contains the same or most of the same artificial colors.
Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Red 40, Red 3, Blue 2…
Many of these dyes are created by burning coal tar. Others, with petroleum, produced from crude oil- can be found in things such as gasoline, tar, diesel fuel, kerosene… None of which I would ever consider ingesting or allowing my children to snack on- though artificial food colors can be found in over 90% of foods.
Maltodextrin, derived from corn. Though it is found in natural food is unbelievably processed. With the mass amounts of artificial colors and dyes created today it’s more than likely that it’s GMO. In case you didn’t know, the FDA isn’t required to do any sort of safety testing on GMO products. Genetically modified foods have been linked to Alzheimers disease, kidney problems, digestive issues, cancer- just to name a few.
What are the side effects?
We live in a society that is at an all time food sensitivity and allergy high. We’ll get into my reasons for why I believe the reason is another time.
Some of the many known side effects of artificial colors have been linked to ADHD, hypersensitivity, aggressiveness, learning impairment, irritability, allergies, the list goes on.
Though it may appear that there is no harm by simply dying the outer shell of the egg, there are still dangers. Have you ever peeled a dyed egg and noticed the white was colored as well?
I can’t recall an evening of egg dying where we hadn’t gotten plenty of it on our hands. Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs what we put on it.
So what are some safer options?
Use whole foods- some of my favorite raw, real foods have the prettiest and natural colors.
Turmeric makes a brilliant golden orange
Beets- pinkish red
Coffee- a natural brown
Red onion skins- burnt red
Blueberries- of course blue
Red cabbage- a light blue/purple
Spirulina- a seriously earthy green
Experiment! You can’t go wrong with real food.
Keep in mind that these ‘food colorings’ take more time than the store bought artificial kits.
The next best
If you’re looking for an easier and still safe option- consider using a natural dye kit.
My family’s ultimate favorite egg dying kit is the Eco-Egg coloring kit. This kit contains not only natural dye derived from plants, fruits and vegetable extracts but it also has a super fun grass growing kit.
ColorKitchen also makes a natural coloring kit made from plants and herbs.
Whichever option you choose- choose natural.