Are You Eating Bugs with Your Yogurt?

by Chrystal Johnson on November 4, 2013

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bugs-yogurtThis is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Citizens for Health.

I’m dairy free. I’ve gone back and forth and back and forth, and realized that dairy causes inflammation in my body and triggers my eczema. My kids, however, love yogurt. So we usually have yogurt in the fridge.

We try to only buy organic, but that isn’t possible in all circumstances all the time. Sometimes when we’re out, they get non-organic foods, and that may include yogurt.

So I was shocked to hear that Dannon uses carmine to color 13 of its red yogurts! Strawberries, cherries, raspberries and other fruit aren’t good enough for Dannon – they need to use an extract made from the pulverized, dead bodies of cochineal insects for color!

I knew carmine was used in cosmetics, but I really had no idea it was also in our food supply! While I understand that it’s a “natural” ingredient, I don’t think most people know what carmine is when they see it on a label.

Not only does eating a colorant made from bugs present a challenge for those on a vegetarian diet, cochineal insects can also trigger a dangerous allergic reaction in some people. This reaction can range from hives to anaphylactic shock, depending upon the severity of the allergy.

What’s wrong with allowing fruit to provide color to the yogurt (or just leaving yogurt the color of yogurt)? If they aren’t okay with yogurt’s natural color, Dannon could simply add more blended fruit or even natural food coloring to make the color more vibrant. There are lots of companies offering natural food colors now, so that shouldn’t be an issue for Dannon to procure it. If Starbucks can do it, Dannon can.

If you think Dannon should take the bugs out of its yogurts, then we encourage you to sign the petition on Take Part. Then share this post with your friends!




About Chrystal Johnson

Chrystal, publisher of Happy Mothering, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former marketing manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family's life. She enjoys sharing those discoveries with anyone who's willing to listen.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tammy Northrup {Yours and Mine ARE Ours} November 4, 2013 at 8:07 am

Ugg I knew there was a reason I’m not a huge yogurt fan.
Tammy Northrup {Yours and Mine ARE Ours} recently posted..$160 Target Gift Card Giveaway


2 Shannon @ GrowingSlower
Twitter: growingslower
November 4, 2013 at 9:52 am

Eww! Makes me so happy I make my own yogurt! Thanks for sharing.


3 Crystal Rose November 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Hmm, I guess the bugs don’t bother me (though they should just leave them out of course). I’d much rather see them get rid of the corn syrup, sugar, & aspartame.
Crystal Rose recently posted..Tromping Through The Pumpkin Patch – Wordless Wednesdays


4 Jenna @ A Mama Collective November 4, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Wow, I had no idea! That’s so unnecessary! I love to give my girls yogurt for some protein, so this hits home for me. Thank you so much for shedding light on this :)
Jenna @ A Mama Collective recently posted..Currently. Monday Link-Up {Vol. 2}


5 Erin November 4, 2013 at 9:54 pm

I think they can do better. I was happy to sign this earlier today as well. I don’t consume dairy either {like you, it doesn’t jive with me}, but I know so many people who eat yogurt thinking they’re being uber healthy…
Erin recently posted..Homemade Organic Coconut Butter


6 Sarah
Twitter: madeinusablog
November 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm

I love yogurt so I was scared to open this post! Yuck! Do you know if this is an issue with other yogurts like Stoneyfield?
Sarah recently posted..American Made Holiday Gift Giveaway: Pure Play Kids


7 pinky sade November 8, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Wow, I didn’t know that but I never buy flavored yogurt. I only buy plain. Besides, you can always add in your own fruit which is fresh! That’s the best, right?


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