Natural Red 4 or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Cochineal

Ever since I’ve became vegan, I learn on a daily basis how much animal agriculture has tried to infiltrate every aspect of our lives. Something most people don’t know about is the red dye that is in many sodas, cosmetics and paints.
It is called carmine, cochineal or natural red 4. It’s made by killing cochineal insects and using the bright red color that comes from the carminic acid that’s extracted. Thanks to the FDA (for once) we’re going to be able to find it easier in ingredient lists as of January 5, 2011. They are requiring any product that contains carmine and cochineal to be listed as such.

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