Dye Filled · Food · Rants & Raves

Coleslaw Con: A misleading side item

dye free food

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I ran to the grocery store a few days ago and took Emma with me. As we passed the deli section, she asked if we could buy coleslaw. Sure. Why not? We found the packaged deli coleslaw and I was just about to put it in the cart, but thankfully, I read the label first.

Guess what?

It had food dye in it. Yep. I was shocked. We put it on the shelf and then realized if we wanted coleslaw, we’d either have to make it from scratch or find another kind in the produce section.

Luckily, we found that all of the packaged coleslaws in the produce section of HEB were dye free. Just remember to always read the label each time. Companies change ingredients constantly and even though it may have been safe in the past, doesn’t mean it’s still safe today. Case in point? My kids loved those snack brownies you can buy in the prepackaged snack section. For a couple of years, we bought them for lunches and then one day I happened to look at the ingredients as I was putting them away in the pantry. NO.WAY. Lo and behold, they had started adding Red #40. To a chocolate brownie. Guess they weren’t “brown” enough. 🙁

I still couldn’t believe that coleslaw would need dyes. That got me thinking that if the prepackaged stuff at the grocery store was dye laden, what about the kind you get from a fast food restaurant?

Turns out it’s not that easy to find out.

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After I did some serious digging, I found out that Kentucky Fried Chicken’s coleslaw does NOT have artificial dyes, but it does have caramel color. Some children do react to artificial caramel color. (Believe it or not, companies don’t readily post their ingredients for consumers. I’m sure the restaurant has a nutritional guide that would list them.)

Ok, what about OTHER store brands? I checked both Walmart and Kroger. Walmart’s own deli slaw includes both Blue 1 AND Yellow 5, while Kroger’s store brand contains Yellow 6 AND Blue 1. Neither are a good choice.

It seems that if you want a dye free coleslaw, either make it from scratch or buy one of the package mixes. I actually thought that the package mix had a better taste to it than those deli containers. The package mix tasted closer to homemade.

Crazy how something as simple as cut up cabbage and some sauce can be so complicated.

As always, if you guys find other brands that are dye free OR dye filled, please let me know so that I can pass it on to my readers.

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