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Is Kraft Mac & Cheese Making Children Sick?

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(Photo by: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images News)

(Photo by: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images News)

CBS Charlotte (con't)

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(CBS Charlotte) — Since 1937, children have enjoyed eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

Like many other children in America and beyond, I grew up eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Back in the “olden days,” we weren’t as worried about what went into our food — mainly because we were unaware that certain ingredients may be dangerous to our health.

Fast forward to today, and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is in hot water…and not just while being cooked on the stove.

Recently, two Mom/Food Bloggers started a petition on change.org, about the use of artificial food dyes in Kraft Foods products. The petition, as of today, has 213,340 signatures.

According to the petition, the United States version of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese contains artificial food dyes: Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. The two additives are one of nine approved for human consumption by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA.) The Mom bloggers believe that these dyes are harmful to children and may cause hyperactivity, asthma, allergies, and migraines.

Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 additives give Kraft Macaroni and Cheese its orange-like color. However, neither additive is necessary. The UK version of Kraft Mac and Cheese, called Kraft Cheesey Pasta, maintains the same color — without the use of controversial dyes. The UK version combines natural beta carotene with paprika.

Is There A Better Way To Put Pressure On Kraft Foods?

While filing a petition has drawn a lot of attention to the unnecessary additives found in Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, are petitions really effective?

Thanks to the internet, anyone can file a petition for just about any cause/issue. While it’s true that there’s power in numbers, it’s doubtful that there’s power in virtual numbers.

The number one goal of any business is to be as profitable as possible. Consumers have more power than they realize when it comes to which products they buy.

If the sale of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese suddenly took a nose-dive, Kraft Foods would more than likely reconsider the use of Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, currently found in Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

Instead of purchasing Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, consumers can purchase Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese, which does not contain Yellow 5 or Yellow 6. Or, consumers can skip the processed foods all together, and make a healthier version of Macaroni and Cheese. Here is a healthy alternative to Kraft Macaroni and Cheese:

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces dried elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup 2% cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons butter or 2 teaspoons margarine
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:

  • Cook macaroni in a large pot according to package directions. Drain, and set aside.
  • While the pasta is cooking, combine the cheese and yogurt in a small bowl.
  • Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat, and stiff in the mustard.
  • Add cooked macaroni to the butter mixture, and toss to coat.
  • Stir in the cheese mixture and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir until cheese is fully melted.

-Nichole Jaworski, CBS Charlotte

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