Greens, Purples, Yellows, Reds, and Whites: Making Sense of Food Colors

Seeing your friends bragging about food colors on Facebook? Confused? Vegetarian Buffalo can help with that.

I’ve been seeing some of my Facebook friends not only post pictures of their homemade meals, but they’ve been including something about “1 Red, 1 Green, and 1 Yellow!” I was just as confused as the next person.

So I did some looking around. The Food Colors they’re talking about are all apart of one of the most recent health crazes that’s gracing social media. Due to my Minor in Nutrition (that’s 20 hours of nutrition courses), I’m skeptical of any and all health fads, because that’s generally what they are: fads. They come and go with outlandish claims. I can go on, but I don’t want this to look like a rant, so we’ll put a stop to it and immediately mention the positives of this infographic I stumbled across.


The infographic Fruits and vegetables: This is what your grandma never taught you is actually pretty good information. Well, I say that meaning this is the kind of food our grandparents and great grandparents ate and they were a relatively healthy generation. Typically their fare was whole food that came out of their local garden or a regional farm. The food production predated Wal-Mart Supercenters and Whole Foods so food supplies were limited and you didn’t get the selection available nowadays. Because those whole foods were more commonly available than processed goods, our grandparents traditionally ate a better diet. Therefore, they took in plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber to keep them fuller and healthier.

Even if food was canned or jarred, it wasn’t processed the way our food is processed today. Technology has brought the human race a long way into the beginning of the twenty-first century, and our lifestyles are reflecting that. Basically we’re living in the future, because can we get our food from non-perishable sources, but those sources aren’t pills, they’re fast food. Since our food is so processed, it looses a lot of the nutritional value it may have once had, and nutrients are added to it post production.

It’s not just fast food that gets us either, it’s processed foods in general. As I enjoy a primarily vegetarian lifestyle, the easiest and fastest meal-fix I can go to is pasta. Spaghetti takes 11 minutes to cook (so does Mac and Cheese) and once I get water boiling, ravioli takes a whooping 3 minutes to cook. Sandwiches are a synch, rice is in microwavable packs that are good to eat in 90 seconds (good to eat, I can’t say they actually taste that good), and crackers are easy to grab and throw in soup.

Processed grains are without a doubt my downfall. My Achilles heel, my Trojan Horse, if I were Icarus’ son the pasta would be the sun to my wings. It’s been tough to work the easy-cooking, quick-and-ready grains out of my diet, but slowly I’m finding the ways. For example, check out this Spaghetti Squash Bake that’s not only been a hit with me, but even my meat loving friends! It’s a yellow/orange food that’s delicious, cheesy, and filled with reds. Super delicious!

So keep this handy little infographic around! This is the good stuff that will help you feel better and be happier, I can say this from personal experience. Check up on your friends doing this food color diet and see how it’s working for them. If you’re struggling with weight gain as a vegetarian (as I do), I offer you this tool in order to evaluate your eating habits and make certain you’re making the best nutrient decisions for your body.

And if all else fails and you just eat to live instead of live to eat, there’s always Soylent for you.