Big Food is ditching risky ingredients: Kraft removed Yellow Nos. 5 and 6 from some of its mac and cheeses, and Gatorade got rid of brominated vegetable oil.
But there's still a ways to go. We'd love to see more food folks quit the following chemicals.
|Artificial food dyes|
Petroleum-based dyes such as Blue No. 2 and Yellow No. 5 are banned elsewhere for their potential roles in hyperactivity and cancer. Pick foods naturally colored by beets and turmeric; organics are a safe bet.
|Brominated vegetable oil|
BVO contains bromine—a compound found in flame retardants—and is linked to memory problems. It's used as an emulsifier in some sodas, sports drinks, and juices, so check ingredient lists.
It's made by heating sugars, often with ammonia, and the state of California has labeled one of its compounds a carcinogen. Opt for natural brown dyes like annatto extract.
This petroleum-derived packaged-food preservative is a probable carcinogen. But some spices adequately replace BHA, so there may be hope for a preservative-free future.