The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Cracking the Perfect Natural Easter Egg Dye
By Sydney Swanson
With April hopping along and Easter just around the corner, it's time for dyeing eggs (and inadvertently, dyeing hands.) It's easy to grab an egg-dyeing kit at the local supermarket or drug store, but those dye ingredients are not pretty.
Typical kits contain dyes loaded with artificial colors, like FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Red #40 and FD&C Blue #2. Although these colors are appealing, Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives highlights the many questions that have been raised about their safety, especially for kids.
The scientific community continues to debate the potential health impacts linked to artificial colors. Some studies show a correlation between them and increased hyperactivity in children.
According to a 2010 report from the Food and Drug Commission's Food Advisory Committee, "Certain food additives may exacerbate hyperactive behaviors (inattention, impulsivity and overactivity) in some groups of children." Scientists from the University of Southampton, in the UK, have also found that artificial colors and sodium benzoate, a preservative used in some egg kits, resulted in elevated hyperactivity in 3- and 9-year-old children.
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy organization focused on food safety, an estimated half-million U.S. children show adverse behavioral reactions after consuming food dyes. CSPI also reports an association between artificial colors and hypersensitivity reactions, including urticaria, sneezing, sweating and a variety of other symptoms.
So if you're dyeing eggs this season, we recommend avoiding artificial colors, if possible, and choosing natural alternatives instead — especially if you plan to eat the eggs. Look for a natural egg-dyeing kit or, for more fun, try making your own dye. To make egg-cellent natural egg dye follow the recommendations below:
What you'll need: Eggs, food for the dye, water, vinegar, pots, a strainer and bowls.
Assembling Dye Ingredients
- Orange: 2 cups yellow onion skins, water to cover skins by an inch, 1-2 tablespoons vinegar.
- Yellow: 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon turmeric, 1-2 tablespoon vinegar.
- Light green: 2 cups red onion skins, water to cover skins by an inch, 1-2 tablespoons vinegar.
- Blue: 2 cups purple cabbage, water to cover cabbage by an inch, 1-2 tablespoons vinegar.
- Pink: 2 cups water, 2 cups peeled, chopped beets, 1-2 tablespoons vinegar.
Making the Dye
- Bring water and dye ingredients to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15-60 minutes or until the desired color is reached. Deeper water color will produce darker eggs.
- Let the water mixture cool, then strain the liquid into dyeing bowls. Add one tablespoon of vinegar for every cup of liquid.
Dyeing the Eggs
- Place hardboiled eggs into the dye and let them soak in the refrigerator until they reach the desired shade. Soaking them overnight will result in richer colors.
- Retrieve the dyed eggs from the dye and place them on a drying rack or in an egg carton.
- Admire your work!
For extra credit, wow your friends at your next Game of Thrones viewing party, and use these dye recipes to make deviled dragon eggs!
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Zak Smith
It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:
By Hector Chapa
With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.
But can these masks be effective?
By Carey Gillam
Bayer AG is reneging on negotiated settlements with several U.S. law firms representing thousands of plaintiffs who claim exposure to Monsanto's Roundup herbicides caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sources involved in the litigation said on Friday.
With many schools now closed due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, you may be looking for activities to keep your children active, engaged, and entertained.
Although numerous activities can keep kids busy, cooking is one of the best choices, as it's both fun and educational.
Germany's target for renewable energy sources to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seemed on track Wednesday, with 52% of electricity coming from renewables in 2020's first quarter. Renewable energy advocates, however, warned the trend is imperiled by slowdowns in building new wind and solar plants.