acai bowl with spira blue food coloring

Color has a lot to do with appetite, and we associate vibrantly colored foods—think a perfect, ruby-red apple—with great taste. We eat with our eyes, and the food industry has caught on to this trend. Many supermarkets nowadays use a wax coating on their produce to emphasize its color. But the color manipulation doesn’t stop there.

About 70% of the average American’s diet is made up of processed foods, The Atlantic reports, and the delicious, colorful, treats we enjoy would be unappealing without food coloring. Store-bought hot dogs, for example, would be an unappetizing gray without any dyes. 

The Problem With Artificial Dyes

Artificial dyes are great for food companies, they boost sales and are cheaper to use than organic alternatives, but they’re not so great for us consumers, though. Most artificial dyes haven’t been tested enough to know what the long-term effects of consumption are.

Studies have shown that artificial dyes correlate with health complications like allergic reactions, hyperactivity, and cancer. The simple solution to this would be to forego artificially dyed food altogether. Eating organic and shopping for locally sourced produce is the most simple fix, but it’s just not as fun. 

Spira: A Natural, Healthy Solution to Dye For

We should be able to enjoy vibrant, colorful foods without the risks. Spira, a company dedicated to creating sustainable alternatives to artificial dyes from algae, seems to agree. What began as a way for the founder, Elliot Roth to feed himself nutritionally and cheaply, soon took off. By growing spirulina in his friend’s garage when facing food insecurity, Elliot discovered many of our planet’s most significant challenges could be solved by spirulina.

Their plant-based products offer a healthier alternative to synthetic food dyes. The benefits don’t stop there, however. Their Electric Sky pigment, which is derived from Spirulina algae, is one of the rare blue pigments found in nature. It contains anti-oxidants, is anti-inflammatory, and improves eye and joint health. It’s also good for the brain and boosts the immune system. Their products make activities like baking a cake, dyeing clothing, creating a cocktail, or just cooking some funky pasta more sustainable and healthy. 

What Can You Make with Spira?

Spira’s Electric Sky pigment has a variety of uses, from food, clothing, to cosmetics. So not only would it make a great addition to your next tie-dye project, but you can even give your favorite tasty recipe a splash of electric blue!

“Clothing dyes are carcinogenic and run off into local waterways causing massive environmental damage. We believe there is a better way forward with the rainbow of carbon negative dyes from algae. Beyond clothing, we’re seeing a massively growing demand for these kinds of colors replacing petrochemical colorants in food and cosmetics.”

– Elliot Roth, Founder, Spira Inc.

Not sure what to make with Electric Sky first? Spira’s dye can be used in smoothies, ice cream, candy, desserts, drinks, and really anywhere you’re looking to add a healthy boost and vibrant pop of color. Because the dye has minimal taste and smell, you can add it to all your favorites without compromising flavor. The recipes are endless!

Looking to get creative? Try out the Spira team’s recipe for gummy bears! It’s a quick, easy and fun way to make a classic candy.

Interested in trying Electric Sky? Our friends at Spira are offering a special discount code for Planet Home readers. Use the code “SPIRAPLANETHOME10” with your purchase of Electric Sky.