As Valentine's Day and Easter approach in Washington, fans of sugar-loaded candy are eagerly anticipating eating their favorite tasty treats.

There is a concerning ingredient lurking behind one of America’s most beloved candies: Peeps.

Banned Ingredient by the FDA

Surprisingly, despite its popularity during these two holidays, Peeps contains a notorious ingredient—Red Dye No. 3—that has been banned by the FDA in cosmetics for over three decades due to its carcinogenic properties.

The irony lies in the fact that while Red Dye No. 3 is deemed unsafe for cosmetic use, oddly remains approved for our families to consume in food products, including those cute pink Peeps.

Peeps Candy

This revelation raises eyebrows and prompts a reconsideration of the candies we consume, especially during Valentine’s Day and Easter.

Growing up I’ve long associated Peeps with an Easter tradition - It’s what the Easter Bunny always brought us on Easter morning!

Heavily reconsidering now knowing certain varieties of Peeps contain the banned ingredient, Red Dye No. 3

If you are a lifelong Peeps fan - these are the four types that you should avoid:

1 - Pink Marshmallow Chicks

2 - Peeps Pink Marshmallow Bunnies

3 - Peeps Lavender Marshmallow Chicks

4 - Peeps Lavender Marshmallow Bunnies

My love for Peeps causes me to have an even deeper concern: Should you, the consumers be more alert about scrutinizing candy labels - especially during holidays when the popular candies are eaten?

With alternatives available and awareness growing about the potential risks associated with artificial food coloring, individuals may indeed find themselves reevaluating their candy choices this Valentine's Day and Easter.

As we get ready to gather with our family and enjoy the usual sweets -  the discovery of Red Dye No. 3 in Peeps reminds us to stay aware and place our family’s health first.

8 Peeps Products Containing a Carcinogen Called Red Dye #3

While still legal for use in food in the United States, Red Dye #3 has been known to cause cancer in animals. It's found in these Peeps products.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

These are the best-selling Easter candies in America

Instacart looked at data leading up to the 2022 Easter holiday season to see which candies were the most popular across the nation, as well as which candies were top-sellers in each state.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

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