Some years ago I wrote what is still one of the most popular articles ever written on Your Daily Vegan, Warning: What You Don’t Know About Food Coloring. The article is all about how artificial food coloring is tested on animals and how you can make food colors yourself at home with stuff you probably already have in your fridge.
I know, I know: I talk about animal testing a lot.
I’ve talked about how honey is tested on animals and I’m constantly talking about how artificial food colors are tested on animals. Seriously, animal testing sucks and can yield dangerous results when physicians treat patients using medicine based on the results of these studies.
I mention these things a lot because not everyone knows how pervasive animal testing really is. More than just health & beauty products and medications are tested on animals, we should be talking about that.
It’s the whole “the more you know the more informed choices you can make” thing.
A Quick Note About Artificial Food Coloring
Hold on, before I get too far; please don’t send me hate mail — yes, it happens — with a bunch of angry emoji faces saying, “what is wrong with you?! if something is tested on animals that doesn’t mean that it’s not vegan!!!” Honestly, please stop.
Here’s the thing: Veganism is an ethical philosophy that begins with the idea that humans shouldn’t be using animals in any way. If we are testing artificial food colors on animals, then we are using animals. While it’s true, nearly every substance we consume was once tested on animals at some point; this doesn’t mean we should continue to consume something that we know is currently being tested on animals like artificial food colors are.
As an aside, if you’ve never read my article on artificial food coloring, please do. I talk about the seven most commonly used synthetic food colors that you’ve seen on some the ingredient labels of your favorite foods. Find out how artificial food colors are made, where you’ll see them used, and which animals are used to test their safety on. Spoiler Alert: The tests performed on animals results in the death of 100% of the animal participants.
Artificial food colors are unnecessary, toxic to our health, and tested on animals. There’s a better way, I promise. Let me show you how.
Since I dislike artificial food colors so much, I thought I’d show you how to make your own homemade DIY food colors. Like a pretty food color tutorial if you will. None of these colors are hard to make and they won’t hurt you, your family, or any poor animal destined for a life in a lab. Bonus, they’re cheaper than buying the pre-made versions too!
So, let’s talk all natural and vegan food colors.
How to Make Homemade Food Colors
Look at those colors! Yellow, blue, red, purple, and green. All of the colors can be made at home with simple ingredients found in your fridge or pantry. No weird synthetic chemicals required.
And since you’re looking, check out those miniature mason jars! Adorable! My love of all things tiny has been long documented on this blog, so really you should have expected that from me by now ;)
Let’s take a look at how to make each color. Trust me, it’s not complicated or expensive.