When I was a young child, my mom fed me a variety of foods. And that is great! Kids today are asked what they would like to eat, rather than being told this is what we are eating tonight…
Well, I was served, among whatever else Mom gave me, beets. Delicious beets. Beets are tender, sweet, and if served as they were served to me, buttery and salty. A really marvelous food.
Well, the next day, Mom called the Doctor in a panic…
“Doctor,” she cried, “my baby has blood in his stool!”
The Doctor’s Response
“What did he eat yesterday?”
Well, you get the point. I’d been given beets to eat. So if you choose to feed your little child beets, just remember the next day, the child is not bleeding to death. The doctor assured my mother of that. She felt rather foolish…
OK, but what produces the red color in beets that is so persistent?
Although in food items, color may not always be attributable to a single compound, sometimes one compound does predominate. If one eats a fairly decent-sized portion of beets, the single compound credited with imparting a blood-like color to urine or feces is betanin.
Beetroot Red (E162)
The red color in beets is considered quite safe for human consumption (see the reference, below). So the doctor was quite correct in telling my mom that there was nothing to worry about.