What's the Appeal of Rainbow Food?

From cake to pasta to waffles, rainbow foods — and the videos that show how they're made — are all the rage. (Photo: Africa Studio/Shutterstock)

The last time rainbows were this trendy, Robin Williams was wearing rainbow suspenders on "Mork and Mindy." For a very short time, they were the fashion item to have. I think I wore my suspenders twice before realizing they were a bad idea. Let's hope the current rainbow trend is short-lived, too.

I'm talking about rainbow foods, mostly baked goods that have been brightly colored with all manner of probably carcinogenic food dyes. That's one good reason to stay away from these foods, but the fact that they look pretty unappetizing is another reason. Of course, I know there are many people who disagree with my opinion.

There is a video that pops up on my Facebook feed every so often of a Brooklyn bagel bakery making rainbow bagels. They are absolutely disgusting-looking, but apparently this place is so hot it has a waiting list to have them shipped all over the country. When these bagels went viral, it seems the rainbow food trend took off.

A quick Instagram search finds lots of foods that have been rainbowed, like these vegan tarts made with artificial dye.

These rainbow meringues don't look appetizing to me, either.

Perhaps these foods are so unappealing to me because they remind me of something ... gross. Forgive me in advance for being a bit graphic here. When my oldest son was a toddler, the doctor told us to give him Gatorade because he was dehydrated. I hadn't changed our family to a more natural and organic diet yet, so I bought him red Gatorade and blue Gatorade and yellow Gatorade. And then, he got sick to his stomach. That's what I think of when I see rainbow baked goods.

Now that you have that image in our mind, look at these cookies.

Eat the real rainbow

Let's hope the rainbow food trend winds down soon, to be replaced with eating the rainbow. What's the difference? Nutritionists advise that a healthy diet should include a rainbow of produce. Every day, we should eat as many vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables as we can — foods like red bell peppers, yellow squash, green kiwi, purple cabbage, blueberries and orange carrots. Our rainbow eating should look a lot more like the photo below and a lot less like the photos above. Don't you agree?

The true healthy rainbow.
The colors of these beautiful foods are enticing. (Photo: Wild As Ligh/Shutterstock)