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Er, should you really be eating all that red candy this V-Day? Here's what's lurking in it


We’ve told ya all about the beetle juice that used to lurk in Starbucks’ strawberry frappuccinos, but your favorite coffee shop isn’t the only place that should make ya wary of the color red. In an effort to go all natural, many candy makers have swapped artificial coloring agents for ones made exclusively by Mother Nature. It’s an awesome endeavor, but you still might not dig what you’re eating.

 

As you snag scarlet lollipops and gummies this Valentine’s Day, you might be munching on carmine, an extract derived from boiled beetles. It doesn’t cause any known health problems other than adverse reactions in those allergic to it. But if you’re, say, a vegetarian or vegan (or are gifting red-colored goodies to veg girls and guys), you might want to stay away, warns the Huffington Post.

 

Your alternatives? Lycopene, which comes from tomatoes (and which Starbucks has already implemented in their reddish drinks), or the artificial options, like Red 40. Unfortunately, Red 40 is derived from petroleum, and may be carcinogenic—it is banned in the European Union due to toxicity. Dare we say we’ll take the beetles?

 

What are you munching on this Valentine’s Day? Tell us your favorite treats in the comments!

 

BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 2/12/2014 12:00:00 AM

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