A post a few weeks back showed a photo of my sons drinking red Gatorade. The topic was whether or not a car is a homeschooling tool. The comments veered into the food debate, asking me, "What are you thinking feeding your kids red Gatorade?"
So I did some research. There is pretty strong support for the idea that the FDA should put warnings on food with artificial color. Which I understand as the FDA is horrified by artificial color but the lobby groups are well funded.
And then I asked a few friends, and it turns out that most of my friends do not buy foods with artificial colors or flavors.
This is, of course, revolutionary thinking for rural America, where there is little access to high quality food unless you grow it yourself. (Remember, the majority of farms are a far cry from organic, or anything approaching that. This is the corn belt: We are making the cornstarch that pollutes the rest of your food.)
But we drive to Madison three times a week, and Chicago once a week, so with all that, we can get to a Whole Foods on a regular basis.
So I announced to the kids that the people who read my blog made me realize that the food we are eating is not healthy, and we're changing our diet.
When I explained the changes, the kids went nuts. They wanted to know what we're doing about Halloween candy (I said I'd buy it from them on a per-pound basis). They wanted to know about sprinkles on cupcakes. (I said we could buy them at Whole Foods, although I confess to never having seen them there.) They wanted to know who the commenter was who mentioned red coloring. (They want to call her on the phone!)
Now the kids know I am serious. We took a picture of us eating our last sprinkle donuts, and now the kids read labels.
They did launch a campaign to show me that Red Dye Number 40 is safe because it's not Red Dye Number 2. (Don't worry, I'm not swayed.) But I know I'm making headway, because last week we were driving on unmarked rural roads from our house to Chicago. And in the car, surrounded by corn fields, my son said, "I'm really hungry. Do you think we'll pass a Whole Foods soon?