Doctor's Note

Check out these videos for more on the harmful effects of insect-derived ingredients:
Bug Appétit: Barriers to Entomophagy
Cheese Mites and Maggots

And check out my other videos on food additives

Also see my associated blog posts: Adding FDA-Approved Viruses to Meat and Soy milk: shake it up!

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  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on food additives. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

  • BarbaraH

    This video is misleading. The only people who are harmed by the dye are people who are allergic to it. You can have other reasons to be against squished bugs being added to your food (hmm… thinking…) but I don’t think you should label a food “harmful” because it can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Using that reasoning, you’d also have to call nuts and seeds harmful (just to point out the obvious).

    • Michael Greger M.D.

       Thank you for commenting, Barbara. When one is trying to decide if a food is harmful I try to look at risks versus benefits. Nuts and seeds have tremendous benefits, but if there’s little upside to eating bugs and some people suffer adverse reactions (whether a “true” allergy or not–we’re not really sure), then on balance I would stick with harmful, don’t you think?

    • Pat

      You have it right, BarbaraH! To the far side, eating “bugs” and other insects will be a fine source of protein in humanity’s ugly future. If some are allergic, too bad.
      Why is this cropping up a YEAR later?

  • Barbaracoop3

    I would like to know what kind of health issues can be caused by colorants in our foods?
    Thanks, Cooper

  • Chad McCurdy

    What do you think the possibility is that in these foods kids could also be ingesting insecticides?

    • Ryan Keane

      Most insecticides are sprayed on plants, not insects. Kids who eat a lot of unwashed, non-organic fruits and vegetables will ingest the most synthetic insecticides (and unwashed, organic fruits and vegetable can have lots of insecticides as well, just approved ones). But if you’re culturing beetles to harvest for food coloring, you’re going to make sure to feed them insecticide-free food, so I don’t think we have to worry there. Since apparently 80% of the world eats insects as a regular part of their diet, and insects are very different from the edible vertebrates associated with SAD, I don’t think there’s enough science yet to say whether edible insects should be lumped together with meat, eggs, and dairy.