Yogurt's 'Secret Ingredient' Revealed & We've Just Lost Our Appetite

yogurtThere are bugs in your yogurt. But you knew that already, right? The Center for Science in the Public Interest is razzing yogurt company Dannon for using carmine, a dye made from crushed cochineal bugs, in some of its yogurt. Apparently that's what gives some of the berry-flavored yogurts their pretty pink color. But what's the big deal? It's not like the bugs are dumped directly into the yogurt whole.

CSPI executive director Michael Jacobsen says the bug-derived dye can cause allergic reactions for some people. Plus, there are plant-based colors they can use -- like the carrot juice dye they use for kids' Danimals yogurts. "Why risk offending vegetarians and grossing out your other customers?" Jacobsen asks.


Oh yeah -- I guess carmine makes yogurt not exactly safe for vegetarians. I think most of us are over the gross-out factor, though, aren't we? That's what I keep hearing.

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Anyway, I don't see why our yogurt has to be so bright pink. (You know what's so funny? I'm listening to the song "Pretty in Pink" as I write this, just a random accident. OK, back to the post.) I mean, I kind of know: Because apparently pink sells. But seriously, suppose we got rid of that food dye. You'd still eat strawberry yogurt, wouldn't you? And it would taste the same. It's funny that there's so much fuss over something that's not essential to yogurt. It's not even a flavor. 

Well, you know the deal. If this bothers enough people, yogurt companies will stop using carmine. They did it for kids' yogurt, after all. But maybe we're okay with it. Maybe most yogurt eaters just don't care. 

Do you ever think about cochineal bugs when you're eating pink-colored yogurt?


Image via Diego/Flickr

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