Why Is Carmine, a Dye Made from Bugs, So Popular?
Red Velvet cake and strawberry ice cream aren't only in the. They'll satisfy your sweet tooth. They likely share common ingredient made from a not so common source that gives them their red to pink Hue. That's Carmen a natural Red Dye, also labelled as cockatiel extract, e, One, twenty or natural, red dye four, and it owes its beauty to a teeny tiny bug, the female coach Neil Bug to be precise. In addition to its possible gross out factor, this tasteless FDA approved extract has a history full of. and. Intrigue a Betsy Ross even used this bright red dye to make red stripes on the very first American flag. The Koch Neil is a slate bug that feeds on prickly pear. Plants grown throughout Mexico South America southwestern United States, and the Canary Islands off the coast of Spain. The male Cockatiel plays its own unique role in nature, but it's the wingless legless female that interests dye makers. If you go looking for her, you won't find her vibrant red bounty on display. The female Koch Neal's grey exterior is covered in a white powder that protects her from predators as well as the scorching sun. And since the juice from CACTI her only source of nutrition, she boroughs in his. A bit stubborn about releasing her hold. In order to harvest the Koch Neil, the prickly pear pads are cut and brought to factories so that the bugs can be pulled out and processed, but it takes some serious people power. Approximately seventy thousand continentals are needed to create just one pound of die. That's a little less than half a kilo. Once harvested bugs are dried ground and mixed alcohol, solution or other compounds like borax. They give way to a vibrant long-lasting die that can be used to make colors from scarlet purple to pink to Peach. have been used to color everything from textiles to pottery, since the Neolithic period or New Stone Age with the majority, sourced from vegetables, plants and trees. Bugs have had their place to not only the Koch. Neil, another elusive die associated with wealth enroll status. Tyrian purple was made from the glands of snails. Neil bug is native to Mesoamerica. The AZTECS are believed to be the first to use Carmen to fill their lives with stunning shades of Crimson, when Spanish colonizers arrived in the Americas learned about Carmen and built enormous wealth by monopolizing the cockatiel market Spain kept the source of the color secret, and even made export the die a legal punishable by death. Coveted by the wealthy. The Royal Family is in the artist's crossed Europe. This die created fertile ground for contention. Those cumbersome and secretive production methods certainly made Carmen expensive. The car itself was an explosive part of Carmen's mystery and popularity. We spoke with Amy Butler. Greenfield author of the perfect read via email. She said red is the color of blood fired that end desire, and we can't help it. Respond to it on many levels. It makes her eyes dilate, and our breath come faster, and it's freighted with symbolic meaning. Also there are very few natural dyes that make a lasting bright true read so good ones had the value of rarity. Ounce ounce. Kacha new is the most powerful natural red dye in the world. That's why it was prized. When industrialization arrived in the mid eighteen hundreds, the demand for textiles increased dramatically and created a need for more cost effective dies. Chemists began to use petroleum and coal to formulate synthetic ones ultimately reducing the need for the Cockatiel bug. The shift towards synthetics pushed Carmen to the background, but it didn't disappear, and now it's making a comeback. Showing up on ingredient lists for anything from cake POPs to lipstick. Greenfield said when reports started linking synthetic grads to cancer and hyperactivity, and as people started taking an interest in natural foods in general, the market for catch. Neil began to rebound. So if Carmen is a natural product without the negative long-term effects of why did the coffee giant starbucks along with numerous other companies? Stop using it to add colour to their products. Well Carmen is safe for the majority of people can cause an allergic reaction, and besides that safety concern folks like Vegetarians vegans and people who keep kosher helped advocate for the change, but no matter whether you find eating a bug, appalling, fascinating or dangerous for such a tiny insect. The Koch Neil Bug has certainly left a vivid mark on culture, beating attractions, the beauty and power of red.