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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Kraft Mac and Cheese and the food dye's, what's with all the hype?

Hello all!
This week one of my food blogging hero's-Vani from Food came to Chicago to challenge the Kraft Corp. over the use of food coloring, including Yellow #5 & 6 in Kraft Mac and Cheese. With over 270,000 signatures (Mine being one of them!) It's great to see not only that people care and want to take a stand on our food, but also they are willing to take action!
For those who have not read, or seen on TV, or the radio- Vani and Lisa from 100 days of real food started the petition and it is both inspiring, and crazy to me polarizing in how folks feel about it!
As a parent with a now diagnosed ADHD child, I try soooo hard to keep food coloring out of my son's food. It's a battle that is harder than most folks know. there is food dye in almost everything. Even things you would never really think about! Pickles!! Do you know there is food coloring in pickles!? Get your jar out of your fridge and I would be you will find it there!

For us there is a difference in his behavior on and off of food dyes that lessens in avoiding the dye's (it doesn't fully take care of the ADHD but it is 100 x's worse on it) but in addition I can not knowingly put food with petro chemicals into my kids body any more. By the way yes I said Petro Chemicals, as in the stuff in Tar or coal products--yum right!?
To me the increase in cancer, ADHD, autism, and so many other things have to come from somewhere, and I feel strongly our food is a big part of it. You don't have to agree with me, but if you do your research in how our food is produced now over even twenty years ago I think you would be shocked.

I have read so many opinions on the petition this week it makes my head spin!!
I know some of you are thinking...."Don't you have anything better to do!?" Yes of course I do, but I desperately want to understand why anyone would WANT to keep food the bad coloring in food when there is an option that is not toxic?

Yes, it's crazy to me that there are people crying "Don't touch my Mac and Cheese!" I have wonder if they understand that these food colors are required in Europe to have a warning label (you know like cigarettes)  because they can be harmful to your health. As a result Kraft reformulated for the market there and has Mac and Cheese that looks pretty much the same (maybe a little less crazy yellow) and tastes the same- it uses Paprika and Beta Carotene which is not harmful.It will taste the same!!

Then there are the folks who say "Just stop buying it." I know Food Babe and most other whole food bloggers have stopped buying Kraft a long ago.I know we don't buy it! There are however, many folks who don't know about what's in their food, or what's bad about the food coloring, they are the people I most feel need to be made aware, and if we can get Kraft to change for the health of those who do eat it then its a small win. One of my favorite articles is found here gives a great run down on food coloring! I think many of us want to speak up for those who just don't know what we know. If I were to see you walking into traffic and a car is coming I'm going to tell you.

Of course the biggest arguments I read are that even if they took the dye out it's still junk. I agree, and I know some will say just make it from scratch, of course I agree with that as well. HOWEVER, there are some who just don't have the time, the money (because let's face it you can't make it from scratch as cheap or as fast!) I purchase Annie's white cheddar (*I am taking out the part about MSG as Annie's has corrected me and that line does not have any in it--yeah!) if I have a house full of extra kids from time to time I need something quick and easy that they will all eat. So Annie's is my go to for the quick and easy. It would still count as a processed food, but in comparison is faaaarrrr better than Kraft. I sadly have yet to find a homemade Mac and Cheese that everyone loves. I do keep trying though!

 I do love that Kraft says that they have some varieties with out the food color and headquartered, in Chicago does not have these varieties in stores in our area! You can't find it on Pea Pod, or the grocery stores. So where did they tell her we could get it!? Are you kidding me!?
So thought they make it, you most likely can't buy it.

Some say we need to be talking to the FDA, and I agree with that and need to look into where to start. The FDA is sadly a joke. There is so many corporations with their hand in it keeping food from being safe it's insane. Don't believe me!? Please watch Food Inc. If you haven't seen it, you have no idea. Kraft is kind of an icon in the country and one of the largest mass food companies in the US. If they can change it's baby steps to getting others to follow!

For me the biggest aggravation, is the once in awhile that we go out for dinner my little ones will see the kids menu and see the Mac and Cheese and want it (no she had no idea it's Kraft) so I have to say no 99% of the time. If they at the very least did not have the dye in it I could probably let it slide.

It's hard to eat perfectly, I know how it is trust me. Some days you have to be three places at once, the kids are melting down and cooking seems impossible.I hope however you can all take another look at what you eat (and what you are feeding those you love) and cook whole, real food. It may not be easy every day, but we can pay now or pay with our health later. I'd rather have good health and put in a little more time. That's my Food for thought ;)


  1. Hi there - just to clarify, there's no MSG in Annie's Shells & White Cheddar.

    1. Thank you for clarifying for me Annie's!! I am thankful for something we can use on our fast paced days!! :)