Food Babe Family - Header

This Childhood Favorite Has A Warning Label In Europe – Why Not Here?

Major Update: October 11, 2016 (See bottom of post)

Growing up, every time I would get sick, my mom would offer to make Jello. She thought it was easy on the stomach, like so many other moms out there. In grade school, I would get Jello almost every day either in my lunch via those cute little snack packs or in the lunch line. Into my early adult life, every time I would visit the local K&W cafeteria restaurant with my parents, I would choose Jello and put it on my tray right next to the other dessert I would get. The cafeteria restaurant categorized Jello in the same section as the salad, so logically Jello was just a side, right? Then when I was 22, as soon as my inflamed appendix was cut out of my body, I ate Jello at the hospital too. It was the only thing I could eat…so I thought.

I think it’s pretty obvious that Jello isn’t healthy to many of us that now read ingredient lists, however, I still think something isn’t clear to the majority because this Kraft product is still on shelves making big money. The information I want to share today will hopefully make it more apparent to everyone around us that Jello is one of the sorriest excuses for a treat – one that no one should be eating! Period.

Why is Jello still around?

Jello was losing market share about 10 years ago, so Kraft targeted their marketing of Jello to people following the Atkins diet by pushing their sugar-free puddings and Jello as acceptable snacks – and it worked.  Lots of people were buying up sugar-free Jello to satisfy their sweet tooth while on the Atkins diet and saying ridiculous things like “it’s a sweet cheat and it’s only 1 carb!”.  

Years later, it has somehow kept its reputation as a diet food.  I was flipping through a magazine yesterday and came across a recipe for a low-calorie “Faux Fondue” using sugar-free Jello chocolate pudding, as if it was a healthy alternative to real fondue. I’ve seen several other low calorie recipes on Pinterest that use Jello to make treats.  I even read that a food blogger was thinking about replacing one of her meals with sugar-free Jello to help her lose weight after hearing that it worked for John Malkovich.  That has got to be one of the unhealthiest ways I’ve seen to lose weight, so of course, I am going to send her this blog post.

Sure, sugar-free Jello is low in calories – but at what cost?

Now that Atkins has declined in popularity, Kraft announced that they changed their target – and are now targeting families with an advertising campaign that they call “Fun Things Up”. Dan O’Leary, Kraft’s senior director of marketing for desserts said, “The goal is to re-establish Jell-O’s ‘core purpose’ of ‘food for fun’…what Jell-O has that a lot of brands don’t have is that fun angle….In the ads, we’re really trying to play off the imaginative quality of the brand.” 

There is nothing “fun” about the ingredients in Jello.  

This is what you will really find in the average box of Jello:

Orange Jello

No-Fun Ingredient #1:  Artificial Colors

If you go shopping in Europe and find Jello on the shelves at the supermarket it has a big fat warning label on the nutrition label stating:

“May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”

Jello Europe Label

That should be enough information for you to put the product back down, but here in America, our government is co-opted by big food corporations like Kraft that fight these warning labels. Actually, Kraft knows their products that contain artificial food dye have risks for children, but still markets their products that contain them to children. It’s one of the most immoral and unethical practices I have ever seen. 

Removing artificial dyes from our food is so important, especially in light of the new Purdue University study showing the extreme amounts of dyes being used in everyday foods here in the U.S.  Sure, artificial colors have always been listed on the ingredient label, but now we know how much – and it’s astounding. The study data shows that a small ½ cup serving of Orange Jello contains 12.2 mg. of artificial colors, and that there are 9 mg. in the Black Cherry and nearly 7 mg. in the Strawberry flavor. This is more than they found in most Freezer Pops or 15 conventional gummy bears. They believe that with a combination of foods, kids “could easily consume 100 mg of dyes in a day”, which is well over the amount shown to cause reactions.  

Jello uses Blue #1 in several of their flavors.  This is one of the worst colors out there because it has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier and “in 2003, the FDA asked doctors to stop [adding Blue 1 to enteral feedings] since patients were dying, not from their disease, but from the Blue number 1, which apparently caused refractory hypotension and metabolic acidosis”.  But – the FDA still allows this “Fun” ingredient in Jello.

Another popular Jello product is their pudding mixes. I’ve already written extensively about Yellow #5 and Yellow #6, which are still being used in regular Kraft Mac n Cheese and in many Jello products. Check out the ingredients on this box of Jello instant pudding both sugar free and regular (there’s not much difference):

Jello Banana Creme

No-Fun Ingredient #2:  Artificial Sweeteners

One of the worst ingredients in this pudding is the artificial sweetener Acesulfame Potassium, which is sometimes referred to as “Ace-K”. It’s on the Center for Science in Public Interest’s list of ingredients to avoid, because not enough research has been done to show that it is safe to consume. Marvin Schneiderman, Ph.D., Former Associate Director of Field Studies and Statistics at the National Cancer Institute stated, “I find the actual studies and the data analysis seriously flawed. New tests, properly designed, executed, and analyzed are needed. The usual consequences of poor tests is to make it harder to find any effects. Despite the low quality of the studies reported to you, I find that there is evidence of carcinogenicity.” This ingredient clearly should not be in our food.

The other artificial sweetener in sugar-free Jello pudding is one that I avoid at ALL costs –  aspartame. According to the American College of Cardiology, a new study found a startling 50% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease in women who regularly consumed two or more aspartame diet drinks per day. Another large study linked aspartame to an increased risk of lymphomas, leukemias, and transitional cell carcinomas of the pelvis, ureter, and bladder. The evidence has been mounting against aspartame for a very long time, but food manufacturers continue to use it. Check out this eye-opening 60 Minutes episode that aired in 1996 and exposed why aspartame was approved by the FDA in the first place – despite dangers found in safety studies and its link to brain tumors.

As if those aren’t enough reasons to steer clear of aspartame, don’t believe for one minute that it will help you lose weight.  Although it has no calories, artificial sweeteners have been shown to contribute to weight gain by encouraging sugar cravings – which is the complete opposite effect that most people would expect. This study showed that replacing sugar with aspartame simply increased hunger and the subjects compensated by eating more calories.   

No-Fun Ingredient #3:  Sugar

One serving of regular Jello contains 19 grams of sugar, which is the same as almost 5 teaspoons. This can really add up – and the amount of sugar consumption in this country is really out of control. A new study just came out which showed that childhood diabetes has skyrocketed with a shocking 30% increase in childhood type 2 diabetes from 2000 to 2009. This is a disease that was considered “adult onset”, but now is regularly diagnosed in children. Nearly all of the calories in Jello come from sugar alone, so it’s really no different than gelled sugar water. Another thing to consider is where that sugar comes from – and the answer may surprise you.  

No-Fun Ingredient #4:  GMOs

The sugar that is used in regular Jello is not specified as “cane sugar” and almost all “sugar” found in processed food in the U.S. comes from GMO sugar beets. So, it’s a pretty safe bet that the sugar in Jello is from GMO sugar beets. Also, the first two ingredients in sugar-free Jello pudding – modified cornstarch and maltodextrin –  are likely derived from genetically modified corn. Keep in mind that Kraft spent over $2 million dollars to fight GMO labeling in California and plans to sue Vermont in coming weeks – so they don’t want to tell us whether their products contain GMOs. Why should you care?   

According to GMO Myths and Truths: An evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops and foods: ”GM foods can be toxic, allergenic, or have unintended nutritional changes” and “Researchers who publish studies that find harm from GM crops are attacked”.  I could go on, but I encourage you to read the full report written by John Fagan, Ph.D., Michael Antoniou, Ph.D., and Claire Robinson here.

No-Fun Ingredient #5:  BHA

Countries all over the globe have banned BHA and for good reason. Jello uses BHA (which is short for Butylated Hydroxyanisole) as a preservative. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies BHA as a possible human carcinogen and it’s been deemed a “reasonably anticipated human carcinogen” by the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, National Toxicology Program “based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in experimental animals”. There is no reason this ingredient belongs in our food, especially since Kraft has voluntarily removed it other countries. 

The only redeeming ingredient in Jello is gelatin (sort of)

To be honest, when I found out what gelatin was made from (animals bones) I was a bit disgusted – however – after really looking into it I’ve found that gelatin has some redeeming health benefits. You can easily make healthy Jello at home with organic fresh pressed juice and either grass-fed gelatin or organic porcine gelatin. Since it is an animal product, it’s crucial that you carefully choose your gelatin and that it doesn’t come from factory-farmed animals that were subjected to antibiotics, artificial hormones and GMO feed.  

You can also find better alternatives in pudding mixes, such as this European Gourmet Bakery brand that is organic (free of GMOs, BHT, and colors).  Keep in mind that this pudding is still high in sugar, so you don’t want to go crazy – save this for an occasional sweet treat. 

Also, you can use these recipes for homemade Jello from some of my favorite bloggers online here:

We need to warn our friends, family, schools and hospitals.

If you know someone who is still eating or buying Jello – please share this post with them. Does your child’s school still serve this horrible stuff? Or maybe it’s your local hospital? Send this post to them too. Spread the word about Jello like wild fire #FoodBabeArmy! That’s how we are going to put an end to this nonsense once and for all! 



Update: October 11, 2016

Back in 2014, when I shared this investigation above about the toxic ingredients in Jell-O and how disgusting it is that Kraft continues to make this product. Millions of children are exposed to Jell-O in schools and daycares across the country – not to mention all the sick people who are fed Jell-O in hospitals. This investigation has been read by millions of people since it was posted and the Food Babe Army spread the word. 

Jell-O is preserved with the harmful preservative BHA – an ingredient linked to cancer that is banned across the globe. The typical box of Jell-O is filled with GMO sugar and artificial colors like Red #40 that both require warning labels in Europe. These artificial colors are derived from petroleum and linked to behavioral problems in children. Kraft knows that artificial food dyes pose these risks, but still markets Jell-O to children. 

That’s why I’ve railed hard against their use of artificial colors and launched a successful campaign to get the artificial yellow dye out of their mac n’cheese. I just knew that if we targeted this popular product, that it would lead to greater change.

And it has! The snowball revolution keeps growing! 

Kraft just came out with a new line of Jell-O gelatins and puddings without any artificial food dyes or the preservative BHA…

OLD VERSION Jell-O OrangeSugar, Gelatin, Adipic Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Disodium Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Fumaric Acid, Yellow 6, Red 40, BHA.

NEW VERSION Jell-O Simply Good Orange Tangerine: Cane Sugar, Gelatin, Dried Orange Juice, Adipic Acid, Disodium Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Fumaric Acid, Natural Flavor, Oleoresin Turmeric and Beet Juice.People stopped buying Jell-O and look what they had to do! 

While this new version is not what I consider healthy, I can’t help but think about all of the children who will no longer be exposed to artificial colors and BHA due to this change. The less harmful and risky ingredients in our food supply, the better!

When we demand better, food companies have no choice but to change. 

Other major brands have made a commitment to remove artificial food dyes too! Everyone from M&M’s, Skittles, Starburst, Panera Bread, Lucky Charms, Trix, Campbell’s Soup, Pepperidge Farm, Swanson, Fruit Loops, Yoplait, Twizzlers, Apple Jacks, to Fruit by the Foot… the list goes on! It is going to take some of these companies a few years – but at least they are doing it. 

I truly believe that artificial dyes in our food will be ancient history in just a few years!  

Beware that the old toxic version of Jell-O with artificial colors and BHA is still in stores and this is just a new line that they have created – so continue to check the ingredient list on any product you buy!

My hope is that Kraft will make this change to their entire product line, including the pre-made cups of Jell-O gelatins and puddings that so many kids pack in their lunchbox every day. It’s a shame these products are even allowed to be sold in grocery stores – now that there is a safer alternative available.

Stay loud and keep making your voice heard – it’s working. Ask grocery stores for what you want and they will carry it. 

Thank you Food Babe Army for continuing to rock the food industry!

Food Babe Family - Book
Food Babe Grocery Guide

Sign Up For Updates

And Get A FREE Healthy Grocery Guide Sent To You Now!

Find out what to buy and where at the top grocery stores near you

Posts may contain affiliate, sponsorship and/or partnership links for products Food Babe has approved and researched herself. If you purchase a product through an affiliate, sponsorship or partnership link, your cost will be the same (or at a discount if a special code is offered) and Food Babe will benefit from the purchase. Your support is crucial because it helps fund this blog and helps us continue to spread the word. Thank you.

236 responses to “This Childhood Favorite Has A Warning Label In Europe – Why Not Here?

  1. I agree!!! Especially when it’s SO easy to make it yourself!

    1¾ cups 100% fruit juice, divided
    ¼ cup boiled water
    1 tablespoon grass-fed gelatin

    In a medium mixing bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over ¼ cup of room temp fruit juice, and whisk well until the mixture starts to thicken.

    Once the mixture is nice and thick, pour the ¼ cup of hot (just boiled) water over it, and whisk well to dissolve evenly. When the mixture is smooth, add in the remaining 1½ cups of fruit juice, and mix well to combine.

    Pour the mixture into a standard loaf pan, greased or lined with parchment paper and place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.

    1. YES, I was just going to say how beneficial grass fed GELATIN is for your health!

      Good for fighting cavities, and general oral health, joints & ligaments!

    2. Where do you buy grass fed gelatin? I can’t find it at Whole Foods. I’ve tried three different Whole Foods stores.

    3. Thank you Food Babe for the Jello Blog and thank you Healthy Eatin for this recipe. My son is 6 and has never had Jello. He will love this but I would never feed him the crap that comes in a box. Like many children in this country, he becomes ADHD only when he eats Red 40. We avoid all products such as Jello. Can’t wait for Food Babe to take on Kool-Aid!

  2. Great article, but why let up on gelatin? The fleet in in jello is porcine jello meaning derived from pigs, and more than likely its not organic because they would state that. Also, are you implying pork is healthy? Your the food babe. Pork is void of sweat glands, thus toxic out the box, and they have worms that are undefeatable. Cmon food babe.

    1. R/e pork. Google Cisticercosis. Found one in a patient’s brain the other day. BLECH!

  3. It amazes me how much our government really doesn’t give two cents about our health. A friend of mine in Canada once posted the ingredients in their Kellogg’s Pop Tarts versus the ingredients in our Kellogg’s Pop Tarts. I could pronounce and identify all the ingredients in the Canadian version. I might have actually eaten one of them… uh, maybe, maybe not.

    But, it beleaguered the point: the food companies obviously aren’t looking out for our health. Thank goodness FoodBabe is!

    Rock on, FoodBabe… rock on.

    1. AND why are you relying on the government to take care of your health? YOU are the only one who can take care of YOUR health. It is easier to take care of your health instead of expecting the gvt to tell you what NOT to put in your mouth and then going to the doctor, who gives you pharmaceutical poison to put a band-aide on your poor decisions.

      1. Back off a bit, okay?

        WHERE in my comment did I say I was relying on my government to take care of my health? I am NOT! That’s why I read, read, read and study, study, study and research, research, research.

        I expect very little of the government. That way I avoid disappointment.

      2. I think you missed Belluci’s point.

        No-one is suggesting we rely on the government to take care of our health, and make our food choices. The point is, there’s something to be said for how places like Canada & the UK compare with the US for banning ingredients that’ll kill you quicker.

      3. I think you misunderstand how the FDA works. You see, they are supposed to test chemicals and pronounce them as safe for consumption or not. If they’re pronounced safe for consumption, then they’re allowed in grocery stores to be sold as food for humans. You seem to be suggesting we all discontinue shopping at grocery stores entirely and rely only on our own gardens. Well that might work fine for you if you own half an acre of farmland, but for the millions of people in apartment buildings in New York, that’s not really going to fly. If something is allowed to be sold as food for humans, we all expect it to actually, duh, be safe for consumption. I’m sorry, where do you shop for your food? You didn’t say.

      4. Dorothy, I get your point you must watch out for number one. These others are just going off the idea of the govt protecting you, but when your country is about money first( called Capitolism) the ones health take a back set to money made from the industry. So if you know and understand this then you would get Ms. Dortheys point. The govt is not here for your heath people, get real with it.

      5. While today’s reality is that we can only rely on ourselves in the battle to safeguard our health and food supply, we SHOULD be able to rely on our government. In other words, with an FDA and a USDA, we should be able to walk into any grocery store and purchase only safe foods. These agencies have failed us miserably.

      6. All I will say in response to your post is that the public expects the government to use science and facts when making determinations on items subject to public use and regulations, not political donations and cronyism. People rely on this information to make decisions on their health – but lobbying and big money corporations get in the way. That’s the point – and I’m not going to even go where I think it’s obvious that you were going.

      7. Where exactly did she say she relys on the government? Hmm… Another Doctor that doesn’t listen….(Dorothy Neddermeyer PhD). Rock on Food Babe!

    2. I once got a package from Europe which came in a Kellogg s rice crispy box. The ingredients list was 5 maybe 6 items long. Not here in the U.S. Thanks a bunch FB. My health has improved greatly and all I do is read ingredients list AND eat organic.

  4. I really would really like to know why the food at Carrabbas is soooo salty.
    Please help

    1. Bottom line – salt makes food taste good. Since most people perceive salt to be “bad” for health reasons, they don’t use as much salt at home. So, by contrast, there may be a perception by many people that saltier food tastes better. People eat the food at restaurants (and processed foods) without realizing how much sodium is there. It’s really no mystery, trust me – they make it salty on purpose. If it tastes way too salty for you, I’m guessing you avoid added salt in your cooking.

    2. Insert the name of ANY restaurant in place of Carrabbas to get salty food. The salt is a different salt, cooked at high heat to dry it. (In other words, not sea salt which has minerals also.) Too much salt makes you buy the over priced beverages on the menu. Most food from a restaurant is over salty because it is made in a frozen food factory and needs extra salt to survive the freezing and thawing needed to serve at a restaurant.

  5. There are several options out there for grass-fed, organic beef gelatin. And I agree with Food Babe, there are some healthy benefits to gelatin, if the right one is chosen. But anything lining the shelves in the grocery these days and even more so made by Kraft, is no good. Thanks Food Babe for showing the good and the bad.

  6. You must be eating a lot of jello to really be concerned about the effects….. it worries me that you even waste your time on such an issue.

    1. Because your kids (if you have them) and mine we fed Jello in school; in the hospital it’s a “first meal” after many procedures and surgery. People are eating it in recipes too and if you read the article often assume they can eat it instead of a meal… She’s trying to stop the food industry from rotting society from the inside out!!

    2. You must never eat Jello, have kids, or spend time in hospitals but a lot of people do. Kids in schools and people in hospitals who have little choice on what they are getting fed. It’s not a waste of time to be concerned about what gets fed to our children. I spent years fighting for better food choices at my kids’ school back in the 80s and 90s when I was pretty much a lone voice. I applaud the Food Babe!

    3. Thank you for your dilligent effort to keep us in the know and healthier for it.

    4. It’s funny because that’s (according to many MD’s and nurses, etc) one of the “BEST” food to eat when you are sick… It’s “easy on your stomach” bs! so I’m wondering if you had a childhood or ever wen’t to hospital? lol

    5. It ‘worries’ you? LOL. Why take it so personally? FoodBabe is INFORMING people who care about their health. If you don’t like the info, then move on.

    6. It is not the amount we consume in one sitting but else are we eating that has these ingredients. Studies do show the residual build up in tissues. Checkout the Purdue, Dr. Mercola and Health Ranger web sites on GMO’S.

    7. Maybe some jail time for your bosses at Monsanto for willingly poisoning the American people would make you wise up.

    1. I agree! I think this is what food babe should have suggested instead of “real” gelatin. I understand she is concerned with people’s health, but what about the animals being brutally slaughtered? Grass fed does not mean happy and free roaming, and cage free animals get killed in the same manner as the rest.
      I believe the energy I take in effects my body, and I would take seaweed agar over bovine gelatin any day!

    2. Andrea, thanks for the recipe suggestion! I have been told by Cardiologist I need to go back Vegan- I am also trying to DEMO to my kiddos the health benefits of switching back

      1. I want to encourage you to go vegan. My husband and I went vegan 25 years ago and have never regretted it! We also raised our five children with a vegan lifestyle and can count on two hands the number of times, combined, they have been sick. My husband and I have more energy than we know what to do with to boot! A vegan lifestyle really has a lot of benefits. If you need some easy and delicious recipes to get you started checkout my blog.

    1. Taryn, I would have loved to support your cause, but you lost me when you were trying to dictate that the children should eat only 100% whole grains. Whole grains KILL me, and I’m not that unusual–the fiber in whole wheat is often too harsh for the intestinal lining. It even constipates me, severely. White sourdough bread is the healthier choice for many. The French have done quite well eating white bread.

      1. Hi bouncedancer, my petition is asking for the removal of artificial colors. My point about the better choice recommendation is that the State of CT’s recommendations include no artificial colors (along with other things like whole grains) We as a family are grain free so we also don’t eat 100% whole grains. Thanks for your feedback!

  7. I use “Agar Agar” and this is a Sea Weed to make my Fruit Jellos. Being a Vegetarian i feel safe but there are lot of Artificial flavors and Gelatin used in most of the stuff.
    I love your blog and i always admire you for the work that you are doing , its Incredible. Keep up the good work.

  8. I volunteer at the local food shelf and it saddens me to load peoples’ orders with the super-processed foods like this. Many of them have no idea how to choose foods wisely, and the people who donate do so with mostly the big bad brands, as you’d expect. What’s hard is when I get an order of someone who needs “low sugar, low salt” and all they’ve selected on their sheets is the more-processed form of whatever the category is. I try to explain that regular wheat pasta is “low sugar” compared to a “low sugar” pasta mix (the kind that comes in a bag) but they don’t get it. Information is the KEY and so many people don’t have it yet!
    PS If you donate to a food shelf, give them organic! The poor and hurting need good food just as much as those of us with money to spare!

  9. I’m a vegetarian and naturally don’t consume meat (fins or feet). I’ve never ever really enjoyed Jell-o, but a few years ago I found out what gelatin was made of and I vowed to never touch the stuff again – or anything with gelatin in it (which you’d be surprised is a lot of things). Even non-vegheads can recognize a nasty ingredient when one rears its ugly head.

    Anyway, there are some great vegan-friendly alternatives to gelatin that are even healthier. Try agar-agar powder and sub it in equal parts for any gelatin that’s needed in a recipe. Also, many Kosher gelatins are often vegan, just check to be sure.


    1. By choice? You’d not. The ingredients are tiny on the back. The front however has natural fruit images, is colourful, is extolling the virtues of fat free. Basically, it’s a con. an busy moms and dads just want to buy the damn thing and get out of the shop.

      The FDA part of govt. has a role to play here in stopping food companies put so much muck in food.

  10. Totally agree! Get the Jell-o out of hospitals, and while you’re at it, the MSG-laden broths and easy-on-your stomach Campbell’s soups too!!

    Horrendous that these non-foods are fed to sick people and those recovering from major invasive procedures. SHAME on the US Medical system for promoting sickness over health with chemical non-food offerings!

    1. Right on Beth. I have been saying this for years! Hospital food is garbage. Has little to no nutritional value for patients or staff or visitors.

    2. i totally agree that the food in hospitals is horrific!!!!!!! i know of a 3 year old with cancer being fed hot dogs…..

      1. My favorite is kids with cancer “celebrating” their last chemo treatment with cake in the hospital. There is enough sugar in those cakes to feed that cancer another month!

  11. What about agar-agar? It’s a vegan gelatin that comes entirely from a seaweed!

  12. Never was a fan of Jell-o – and for good reason!

    Slowly but surely, these so-called foods are being phased out of our food supply because more and more people are waking up and taking a close look at the foods they put into their bodies!


  13. I remember my 94 year old great grandmother holding up a piece of Tip Top or Wonder Bread and saying is this bread in the 1950s? Bread crumbs were made from dried bread way back. Now they are Contadina in canister style containers with an unbelievable number of ingredients. I am never sure if I should buy it, just the way I feel when I read the jello box. We should be concerned.

  14. I ate sugar free jello like it was my job when I was disgnosed with type 1 diabetes.. Since it was on my list of ‘approved’ desserts. I obviously know better now, but it’s disgusting the way this food is promoted to the sick!!

  15. This one I have known about since I was a child in boyscouts , we’d sprinkle the dry product over the fire and it makes sparks like flames . Wondering why we asked one of our leaders that actually knew.unfortunately my wife does not want me to educate her , Yay !!! Food babe lets spread the word , but some one else needs to tell my wife 🙂

  16. I agree gelatin is a hidden nightmare in processed foods. It is amazing how many foods have gelatin slipped in as a hidden ingredient. I like the comment by Erika (“no fins or feet”). I may borrow that phrase. I too am vegetarian. I have always said I did not eat anything that had a face or a mama!! You would not believe how many times people would try to debate with me over foods. No matter, there is nothing redeeming in Jell-o, never has been, never will be. Thank you for this informative article. I am a newcomer to the Food Babe blog and am glad I found it!!

  17. Jello – aaah the thing that was all the rage in the 50’s (when I was growing up). My Mother loved making jello with all the pretty colors…I did not like eating it so maybe even then I knew there was something sus about it. I wonder how (if) the ingredient list has changed? Would guess for the worst. Jello, with its misleading packaging (I cringe too if I walk past it) and chemical ingredients. Education Education Education of what commercial manufacturers put in most prepackaged products. Maybe we need to eat more simply and not give the ‘pre-mades’ a consumer base. In the meantime, share your knowledge.

  18. Jello galls me, but are you on Hidden Valley? My daughter is like a crack addict! I’ve tried giving her Ranch dressings that don’t contain MSG, but she says they don’t taste RIGHT. I’ve tried to tell her it’s like nicotine in cigs that’s she’s heard about in her school, how it basically fools your brain that it tastes better, to no avail. I cringe when commercials for Hidden Valley have some cute kid dipping a broccoli floret into that crap! Get on ’em, girlfriend!

  19. I read this as educational. And then I can decide. If I am OK with animal based Jello and all the other items in it, I will eat it. If not, I can decide. To the other posters here, I think there is something to be said about the state of affairs if it cannot/does not protect it’s citizens from items that are banned from health reason by the rest of the world. Not suggesting that this is about a reliance on government.

    As for folks who need alternatives, please visit your your local ethnic store e.g. Middle eastern, Indian, etc stores. You will find the same manufacturer product without these ingredients. e.g. Jello from Indian stores is made from plant based gelatin! Imagine that. Same company, same product. Corporations are there to make the most efficient use of available resources to make and sell products that consumers are willing to buy. Consumers cannot have it both ways but at the same time, I would argue that corporations also have a social responsibility to the society it operates it. Just my two cents!

  20. Container gardening & organic food co-ops may be the “way of the future” for those without access to farmland!

  21. Thanks for this info. Have you established a position on Knox plain gelatin and on kosher [plain] gelatin sold and packaged in boxes, such as Ko-Jel? I don’t know whether Ko-Jel is marketed as non-GMO.

  22. Well it’s a good thing I hate “Jello”! I only ever liked their pudding but haven’t had them in years.

  23. #Foodbabe – Thank you for the fantastic information and all the invaluable work you do! #FoodBabeArmy

  24. Please consider sending this to Bill Cosby, who made jello famous in his commercials on TV.

  25. Thank you very much for everything you´ve been doing for all of us. I´m afraid because I´m not sure what food can I eat? Do you think we could do the same here in Brazil? If it´s possible, please, help us.

  26. Food Babe thank you. It is time for all of us to wake up to this reality. Lets not blame anybody but I do not want to live in denial. I want to know exactly what I am putting in my system. As far as my family is concerned you have 3 extra soldiers for your army… we are behind you 100% Clara is 16, Olivia is 9 and I am 42.

    Thank you everyday I pray for you, for your wisdom and strength to continue shedding a these great facts…..

  27. Do you know the giv. And the FDA want to control the people and poison us…they are too ahead and too much in control for anyone to do anything about it…it’s over powering the poisons in the’s like a plague’s all over in everything you eat…the killer ingredients are in everything..almost impossible to escape them…..thank you food babe you are doing very well.people need to boy cott. Jello…Kraft…McDonalds subways. Etc..if people would educate themselves instead of just stuffing themselves with everything…maybe we would be heard…slight chance for that

  28. Please do not say anything bad about Knox Gelatin. I need it for my arthritis.

  29. Hi Foodbabe –

    I know your the foodbabe and not the drugbabe, but so many of our OTC pills (like Tylenol) have artificial colorings. Can you go after this? Please pretty please??

  30. I am registered dietitian and have used jello when coaching patients. Patients use it in shakes or as a low fat dessert. I have helped people lose over 150lbs and keep it off for longer than 3.5 years which is medically a great achievement. When people drop body weight they have DM meds reduced, improvements in their medical risk factors and therfore overall health. Jello is a useful tool to losing weight which is proven to improved overall health. Obeviously at lower body weights (healthy BMI) people have the luxury of getting into a more wholesome diet and removing artificial foods. But stating this jello is TOXIC is simply riduculous. Wheres the medical data..and..Look at the alternatives SUGAR, SATURED FATS…68% of our country is overweight/obese and the rate of Diabetes is rising every single year due to higher intakes of sugar, fat, and kcals. not enough fruits/veggies/wholegrains…. ..NOT due to people eating jello

    1. Tracy, I’m sure you mean well and kudos on your success at weight lose coaching, but why would only people of a “healthy” BMI have the luxury of a more wholesome diet devoid of artificial colors and preservatives? Would not your clients, of less than ideal body weight, that are already dealing with serious health issues (DM) benefit from a wholesome diet to begin with, instead of having to wean them off the less than healthy food like items (dyes, artificial sugars, etc.)? Start them off right and watch their success increase.

    2. Tracy – that’s like saying people should take diet pills as long as they lose weight, no matter how bad it is for you. People should be taught to eat right.

    3. Tracy, why aren’t you pushing healthy eating to your clients? Wouldn’t it be better to have non processed foods like fruits and vegetables consumed? Why are you having them eat this junk? Have you and others in your profession who push highly processed, sugar free, chemical laden foods every considered that our country is fat because of consuming the very food claimed to be healthy?

  31. I am so glad that I signed up to receive your articles, very useful! Thanks Food Babe…

  32. It was only 2 years ago I found out what gelo is. It made me sick!
    Also I avoid eating products that are certified Halal!
    I have boycotted Kraft for being certified Halal!!
    Slaughtering animals Halal is very inhumane!

  33. How about agar? From algae- should be sustainable. Just as easy to make with fruit juice, fruit pieces and honey or maple syrup. I add rose or orange water from a middle eastern store for an exotic fragrance.

  34. Thanks for the info! Since we live in Europe, I can’t find Jello here or even in Southeast Asia! 😉 I find that if people wanted jello, why can’t they make it from agar-agar powder?? Its vegan and does NOT NEED TO BE REFRIGERATED for it to be solid. Agar-agar is so easy to use as well.

  35. having worked in the manufacturing industry and having seen the ingredients and the actual manufacture of gelatine at the local abatoirs as a child l will bet that you cannot stand next to a pot of cooking gelatine for more than a few minutes without vomiting or gagging. lots of people seem to use it to ‘bulk up’ on. don’t forget it costs money to dump waste and costs money to purchase ingredients. l haven’t seen any warning labels here either but l thought most people realised this

  36. Actually the “gelatin” is the lining of a cows Uterus.
    The factory in the 60’s in Milwaukee had people whose job was to wash the lining or cow’s uterus lining. This is the truth.
    I have no idea how “bones” as reported become “gelatinous” biologically they can’t.
    It’s cow uterus folks.

  37. Once again, thank you so much for wonderful information. Hope it can and filter down to the oblivious masses 🙂 Yvie

  38. Thank you for this blog breakdown on Jello-O! I would like to point out that BHA, while being a carcinogen, is also linked to hyperactivity in children and exasperating ADHD symptoms. My son has ADHD and anxiety. Instead of jumping to medicating him, our pediatrician recommended removing all artificial dyes (caramel coloring too), artificial flavors, BHA, BHT, and TBHQ. Within 2 weeks he had a major improvement in his behavior without using medication. As to the points made by some that these ingredients are small in quantity in the products containing them (a point also made on NBC by a so call nutritionist), we are bombarded with these and many other horrible ingredients in almost every food product out there, thus the amount we take in is huge! Keep up the good work Food Babe! And, I would like to ask you to reach out to some of these shows, like The Today Show, as they keep pushing low fat, sugar free, processed crap as healthy.

  39. I am amused by how many people disrespect each other on this food blog. Its a food blog where people are supposed to help each other. Play nice people! Listen and learn by what people have to say. And more importantly stay healthy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

food babe with grocery cart - footer image