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10 Common Dyed and Altered Foods

If you’ve ever visited a local farm or organic store, you’ve likely noticed that the fruits, vegetables, eggs and other products they sell look different than those at other grocery stores. Many people look at the food and think there’s something wrong with it. But the truth is that much of the food you purchase at big grocery store chains have been altered – the shape, color and size are changed in some way. It’s hard to tell what exactly started the trend, but the biggest reason it continues today is because of consumer buying habits—the color and shape of foods impacts whether or not we buy something.

The following list of dyed and altered foods will likely contain some shockers and a glimpse into common food production practices…

1. Cheddar Cheese

With the rising popularity of specialty cheeses, you’ve probably seen an increase over the last few years in brands that sell white cheddar cheese. And if you’re like many other big box grocery shoppers, the first time it became available may have had you wondering why it isn’t orange.

Cheddar cheese is typically made various shades of orange and yellow with annatto, a vegetable dye. It was first done a few hundred years ago because it was thought that the orange color of cheese meant it was higher in fat, and cheese high in fat could be sold for more. Today, manufacturers aren’t likely to change their cheddar back to its natural color because people now associate colors with flavor.

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