Carmine Coloring in Yoplait: Why I Don’t Mind Bugs in My Yogurt
I heard something shocking on the internet recently. I heard that Yoplait yogurt stopped coloring their strawberry yogurt with nasty chemicals and started coloring it with a more natural substance derived from bugs. BUGS! In our food!
Now, it seems that some pretty nasty chemicals can be used in the process of removing this natural coloring from the bugs, and in addition, some people have allergic reactions to this coloring. But that’s not what people are all worked up about. As far as I can tell, everyone is upset, because eating bugs is gross.
People out there who are concerned about healthy eating are taking up valuable time and using up what short attention spans the public has for health concerns in order to announce ‘don’t eat this, it’s gross’.
There are plenty of healthy foods that most people are grossed out by. Fermented cod liver oil. Liver. Brussel sprouts. And when it comes to those things we say things like, ‘you should try it, you’ll get used to it, it’s not so bad, it’s all in how you fix it’.
I think one of the really important things about eating healthy is being willing to have a spirit of adventure in trying new foods and new ways of eating foods and especially new ways of cooking those foods, since cooking more foods at home makes eating healthy simpler and less expensive.
So why are we going around undermining that spirit of adventure by telling people not to eat food that we think is gross?
And honestly, if you don’t want to eat bugs, I’m okay with that. Sometimes, on a personal level, there are certain kinds of grossness that it’s very hard to get past, and it may not be worth the energy to even try. That was how I felt about trying frog’s legs. I ate one, it tasted fine, but it was just too weird looking for me to really be able to enjoy it.
If you don’t want to eat bugs, don’t eat them. Just save the public outcry for real problems that actually matter.
So, Yoplait, I really appreciate the effort that you’re putting into revising your products to fit better into a natural and healthy lifestyle. I don’t think the carmine coloring is as much of an improvement as I would like it to be, but please don’t go back to the nasty chemical colors. Speaking for myself, I’m perfectly fine with eating yogurt that’s colored with bugs, I just want some way of knowing that your new bug coloring is actually eliminating the nasty chemicals instead of just introducing a new form of nasty chemicals.
For everyone else, I have a thought: try something new today. Make a new recipe, or buy a new ingredient you’ve never cooked with before, or at least order that dish at the restaurant that looks interesting but you’re always afraid won’t be as good as your regular order. Maybe it’s not that great, but it might just be spectacular, and it’s time to find out.