Safe Food Coloring and Other Stuff (like natural lip tint)

Of all the places to find a natural resource, Glamour's Health & Diet page has an article on the topic, though I have had a terrible time tracking down the original source for this image. Terrible as in failed. I was hoping for detailed instructions on how to get all of the above colors. Are they infusions? Is it just the vegetable/plant/spice blended up? I did find this post over at Our Regularly Scheduled Program, which happened to be my favorite of all the uses of the above image. Reading about Red 40 reminded me that my youngest brother, who is now a strapping 19-years, was tragically allergic to synthetic red dyes when he was younger. It took my mom quite a long time to figure out what was causing his symptoms (which if I remember right housed themselves in his GI tract). Finally, relief came when they removed Swedish fish, red vines, froot loops, cap'n crunch berries, watermelon sour strings, and the like from his diet. I know, right? Good riddance. Although, I wonder if those things have crept their way back to his snack regime.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who's interested in all this hippy talk (you know the voice? "oh that's hippie talk"? If you're not hearing it in your head, you can click on it for the entire commerical. AND as a side note, I just learned the difference between hippy and hippie. You learn something new every day).

from itsy bitsy foodies

I pinned this rainbow cake a few weeks ago. I happen to love the muted colors the natural dyes make in the cake. It's right up my aesthetic alley. And the peace of mind that comes from knowing there's no artificial colors in there has got to feel good.

This all started when I was looking for a natural way to tint my lips. I've found several resources and tips. One important thing to keep in mind is that anytime water is involved, you invite bacteria as well. So I'm not sure the above vegetable based dyes would work in cosmetics, unless you are planning to use up whatever you make in a couple days and make another batch. No thanks. We've got other things to do with our precious free time around here.

One solid option is Alkanet Root (as used here and here). I like this option because you can gauge how dark you want the tinting based on how much of powder to add to your concoction. [$11.55 (4.25+shipping) for 4oz]

Another option, though I don't know the shelf life of this product, is using natural food dyes from Natures Flavors (as used here). There are a lot of options for color here people, so don't get overwhelmed.

I saw more than a few recipes using beet juice, but where there's juice there's water and I kind of want to steer clear of that. So, I'm wondering if beetroot powder would work. You can find it in most healthfood and supplement stores (it's used for digestion and blood/liver support). I'd think that breaking open a capsule or two into your lip balm would give it a little color?? Maybe I'll have to try that one out. [about $5 for 50 grams/1.76 oz]

One of these days I'll actually put all this research to good use. I'll let you know when I do.

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