From the Juvenile Instructor, 1867 –
This is a sweet word to write about. All children like candy, and”men” (and women too) “are but children of a larger growth,” and so we all must like it.
I confess I do like some candies, but I do not like the paint which is put into some of them, to please the fancy of children, at the expense of health and even life. Two children died a few years since in the state of Connecticut, from the effects of eating highly colored candy. I have seen children reduced to a very feeble state of health, by indulging in this luxury.
Children, when you see the beautiful candy with bright red colors, be careful – do not eat much of it – it is poison. That paint, although it is sweetened so that it tastes good, is made of a dyestuff that is called cochineal. The little children must ask someone to tell them how to pronounce this name, for it is a hard one.
Cochineal is nothing else than little insects or bugs: it takes the name from the tree, or rather the tall bushes, on which they grow, in a warm climate in the south. People gather them and kill and dry them; and these, when used as a dye-stuff, make a variety of beautiful shades of color, from the richest scarlet, to a light vermeil or peach-bloom, when combined with other ingredients.
These little bugs when dried, are brown on the outside, and a very dark red inside, and are of the size and shape of buckwheat seed.
If cochineal should belong exposed to the air, by being done up in paper or anything that will admit the air, it gradually turns brown or gray from the outside to the centre, and becomes useless.
Children, only think! when you are eating those beautifully colored candies, you are swallowing the juice of dried bugs. I wish you to think of this, and be careful not to take anything into your stomachs that will destroy your health.
Those candies that are not colored, are not poison; and will not hurt you unless they are indulged in too freely.
E[liza] R. S[now]