This Cake Is Colored with Vegetables, Not Red Dye 40

(Image credit: colormaker Inc)

The days for food ingredient labels with a long list of artificial colors (Red 40 Lake and Yellow 6, anyone?) might be numbered.

As NPR reported this week, many big-name brands are starting to ditch those questionable, chemical colors in favor of dyes made from plants and vegetables instead.

Kraft, General Mills, Nestle, and Panera Bread have all pledged to release products with natural dyes, or to eliminate artificial coloring from their product lines between now and next year.

One of the few drawbacks to natural dye is the cost of making them. We’ll have to wait to see if those costs are passed on directly to the consumer. But until then, we’ll be happy to have our frosting turned pink with beet juice instead of a scientific combination of lab-produced chemicals. Or, as pictured on that cake above, with red cabbage juice, turmeric, annatto, beet juice, and caramel color.