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Natural, Safer Alternatives to Harmful Easter Egg Dyes

Try some natural alternatives to dye your eggs this Easter season.
Try some natural alternatives to dye your eggs this Easter season.greenleaf.com

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hoppin' down the...well, YOU know...

Easter is upon us and that means marshmallow chickie peeps, tons of plastic wrapping, and rows and rows of rainbow colored plastic colorful eggs, tempting us with all sort of candied jewels and surprises inside..maybe even a Xanax if we're lucky. (http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2014/04/17/xanax-pill-found-in-childs-plastic-easter-egg/).

We all know the marshmallow peeps aren't great for our bodies, and the plastic wrapping and Easter grass all goes to waste, and the chocolate goes to our WAIST LINE....(see how I did that?) but did you know there was talk of plastic eggs being harmful? Yep, lead paint. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-03-18-1188092573_x.htm. Gosh I wonder if anybody like CHINA addressed that.

This is also the time of year we like to fool around with dyes to color eggs. If you’re planning to eat the Easter eggs you dye, be sure to use food-grade dyes only, make sure no eggs are cracked so bacteria can't get in, and if the eggs are sitting around or hidden in an egg hunt for more than two hours, best to not eat that egg, because chances of food poisoning goes up. Blah, blah, blah, you know the drill.

Gosh, I remembered the swirled dyes back from the 70's and these dyes may have been a little suspect, (CAN'T BLAME MOM - I ALSO PLAYED WITH SUPER ELASTIC BUBBLE PLASTIC), but for the most part if your egg dye is food-grade, it is deemed safe.

Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, are synthetic FOOD dyes (reference above-mentioned YELLOW MARSHMALLOW PEEPS) and have been linked to behavioral problems such as hyperactivity in children. Red 3 has also been associated with DNA damage, Red 40 with organ toxicity, Yellow 5 with decreased sperm production and Yellow 6 with cancer of the kidneys and adrenals. Blue 2 has been linked to the potential for severe allergic reactions, as well as brain cancer in rat studies. Awesome that they're LEGAL!

If you're looking for a more natural way to color your eggs, this year, you can try coloring your eggs with natural foods -- even flowers! Better Homes and Gardens: http://www.bhg.com/holidays/easter/eggs/quick-and-easy-easter-egg-decorations/ ....your eggs are pretty and all, but do you REALLY want to tell people to put RUBBER CEMENT on their eggs? Egg shells are POUROUS!!

The Alternative Daily gives some color suggestions:

▪ Red cabbage – vibrant blue

▪ Turmeric – yellow

▪ Yellow onion skins – orange

▪ Spinach – light green

▪ Carrots – yellow green

▪ Cranberries – purple

▪ Beets – pink or tan

▪ Coffee – rich brown

Red onions makes lavender or red eggs, depending on the concentration and how long you let the egg sit. PRETTY!!

So, you're going to need some trial and error to get the right hue and shade, but hey, it's the rainbow of nature, so experiment away!

Natural dyes are an "EGG"strordinary idea! Make it an "ECO-EASTER" if you can. Check out more fab Eco Easter ideas here:....http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/02/20-eco-friendly-easter-egg-ideas/

Lastly, this Easter, if you DO have any marshmallow peeps, a totally NON Eco thing to do it put them in the microwave and watch them expand....they get GINORMOUS! Just don't eat them afterwards: dyes, sugar and microwave radiation. Hey, why do you still have a microwave?

Hoppy Easter to All!

~The Anti-Aging Analyst