TikToker Paden Ferguson (@padiano) recently released a now-viral video exposing yet another everyday food item that contains unexpected ingredients.
At the center of Ferguson’s latest video—which has over 122,000 views—is Herdez Guacamole Salsa.
“Did you know that this isn’t green because of the guacamole? Let’s take a look,” Ferguson told viewers.
@padiano It looks like guac tho 😅🤣 #padiano #weirdingredients #artificialdyes #walmartfinds ♬ original sound – Paden Ferguson
The next shot focuses on the bottle: “This is the Herdez Guacamole Salsa Mild,” he said while showing viewers the sauce’s ingredient list. “The reason that it is green is because it has yellow 5, blue 1, and yellow 6.”
Ferguson then explained the universality of food dyes. “Now I looked for an alternative to this that had natural colors, but I couldn’t find one, so this is probably one you will have to make yourself,” he said.
Despite Ferguson’s evidence, though, commenters were quick to offer alternative reasons to explain the sauce’s green color.
“You’re not wrong, but the second ingredient is tomatillos … which makes it green too,” one commenter mused.
“Bro, the second ingredient is tomatillo!! It’s also has avocado, cilantro, and GREEN chillies,” said another.
“Tomatillos are green. One of the first ingredients. I love that stuff,” wrote a third viewer.
Others, meanwhile, agreed with Ferguson about the presence of dyes in various food items.
“I love this salsa, but I had to stop buying it because of the dyes,” lamented one commenter.
“I so wish we would adopt the EU food regulations. Our politicians are so easily swayed by lobbyists. Ugh,” another TikToker said.
Thankfully, some commenters offered alternatives to the large store brands.
“If you got to your local Mexican store you should be able to buy one made in house for a reasonable price,” wrote one viewer.
“Usually at the Carneceria they sell the real salsa,” said another.
“Just fry jalapeños and white onion, then blend them with cilantros salt and 1 avocado,” one TikToker wrote. “You [get] creamy green salsita.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Ferguson and Herdez via email.
Update 10:27am CT, April 25: In an email to the Daily Dot, Ferguson says: “After my video on the Mission Spinach and Herb Wraps, it was apparent that many people were concerned about the presence of artificial food colorings in items that don’t really need them. When looking for a salsa to buy, I noticed that the Herdez Guacamole Mild Salsa was strangely green so I took a look at the ingredients and discovered that sure enough it had artificial food colorings in it. This really surprised me because their Salsa Verde, which is also green, does not have any artificial colors in it. There are many items with AFCs and normally those stand out easily. However, the ones I have covered in my series are not obvious which is why I wanted to share them with my followers.”
*First Published: Apr 24, 2023, 4:54 pm CDT
Parks Kugle is a writer and reporter based in San Antonio. His work has appeared in Lumina Literary Journal, Wicked Local Newspapers, and various publications across the U.S. He enjoys comics and gardening.