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Red velvet deceives consumers

Gaining+popularity+in+the+1920s%2C+red+velvet+cupcakes+are+distinguishable+by+their+red+color.+While+this+made+them+unique%2C+it+also+was+misleading+because+the+cake+itself+was+no+different+from+chocolate+cake.
Gaining popularity in the 1920s, red velvet cupcakes are distinguishable by their red color. While this made them unique, it also was misleading because the cake itself was no different from chocolate cake.

Gaining popularity in the 1920s, red velvet cupcakes are distinguishable by their red color. While this made them unique, it also was misleading because the cake itself was no different from chocolate cake.

Used with permission: PublicDomainPictures

Used with permission: PublicDomainPictures

Gaining popularity in the 1920s, red velvet cupcakes are distinguishable by their red color. While this made them unique, it also was misleading because the cake itself was no different from chocolate cake.

Jessie Larrinaga, Staff Writer

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Red velvet cake originated in the Victorian era, when beet juices were used to enhance the color and moisture of the dessert. Since then, the identity of red velvet has been tarnished, leaving the world with a sad misrepresentation of the original. 

The cake became increasingly popular between the 1920s and 1950s, but the reason for this is quite pitiful. After Congress passed the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in 1938, businesses like the Adams Extract Company wanted to sell more food coloring.  

How did they do this? They created a cake that relied on food coloring as its signature appeal. 

Red velvet originated as a marketing ploy, a way for people to make money by playing to one of our greatest weaknesses. The red color is deceiving, which distracts many people from the fact that really it is a chocolate cake with food coloring mixed into it.  

The main difference between traditional chocolate cakes and red velvet cakes is the frosting. Cream-cheese frosting sets red velvet apart from the rest. 

The frosting in and of itself is a travesty. Cream cheese belongs on a bagel – not a cake. It only makes red velvet worse, adding to the artificial, way-too-sugary taste. 

Red velvet seems to have taken over so many aspects of life where it simply doesn’t belong. There are candles, air fresheners, perfume, coffees and even other desserts that are based on the cake that was only popularized to boost the sales of food coloring. 

The only reason Americans love red velvet is because of the idea of it. In fact, many people simply don’t know that red velvet has any chocolate in it.  

The amount of red dye in the cake is also an issue.  

While it’s known that food coloring is what gives the cake its bright color, most people don’t know what is actually in that dye.  

Red four, or natural red, is the food coloring that is most commonly used. It is made from crushed cochineal bugs, which are small insects that are typically found on the pads of prickly pear cacti. When the bugs are squished, a red color can be derived that is used for things from clothes to food. 

It certainly doesn’t seem very appetizing to eat bugs, especially in a food that uses so much food coloring, like red velvet cake.  

There are many reasons to dislike red velvet, from the fact that it is a chocolate cake disguising itself as something more, to the bugs that are used to give it its appealing color. While the cake may look unique, it isn’t what it appears to be.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Red velvet deceives consumers”

  1. Phish Snooze on November 5th, 2018 9:58 pm

    Amazing article. Red velvet is a plague on this country. Ms. Larrinaga, your words are inspiring and I will surely look back on this piece when I am preforming my usual anti-red-velvet activities. Don’t ever let the culinary systems of oppression silence you.
    🙂

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Red velvet deceives consumers