A couple of years ago we undressed Kraft Mac and Cheese (Kraft Dinner) at The Naked Label and exposed the harmful ingredients Kraft was using to color their product orange. Unfortunately, the famous Kraft Mac and Cheese product wasn’t getting it’s bright orange color from carrots and squash, it was getting it from ingredients called Yellow #5 (also known as tartrazine) and Yellow #6.
This is something to avoid in the diet as it has been shown to cause hypersensitivity reactions, asthma, and may contain carcinogenic elements. Plus if you have kids, watch out! According to the Centre for Science In The Public Interest, tartrazine has been linked to causing hyperactivity in children. The research on this is so strong that in Europe, labelling laws require that if a food contains tartrazine it must put a warning on the package indicating it “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children”. Holy smokes this does not sound like stuff I want to be eating.
The good news is, times are changing.
Kraft announced on April 20th, 2015 that they have decided to remove these harmful synthetic colors as well as artificial preservatives and flavors from the Original Kraft Macaroni & Cheese in the U.S. and Kraft Dinner Original in Canada. Thank goodness! The change will take effect in 2016.
This does not mean the product will no longer be orange. Instead of using Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 to colour their product they will use more natural sources like paprika, annatto and turmeric.
You may be asking yourself, if there was a more natural alternative all along, why has Kraft been using the unhealthy versions? Unfortunately, the unhealthy versions cost less. Now that consumers have voted with their fork and are realizing Kraft Dinner is not a healthy option, they are demanding improved nutrition and “simpler ingredients”. In my experience, nothing gets companies moving faster towards change than a decline in profits.
On one side of the coin I would like to congratulate Kraft for removing these harmful ingredients from their product in an attempt to please consumers (even though I would suspect it has more to do with profits than anything else). On the other side of the coin however, I would suggest that although this product will be healthier than its predecessor, it still won’t be something I’ll be rushing out to purchase. At the end of the day, it is still a heavily processed and refined food product, just a slightly better one than before.
If you want to try making a delicious and healthy mac and cheese recipe at home. One that you can truly feel great about eating yourself and feeding to your family, check out this recipe (with video) here: EASY MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE (GLUTEN-FREE AND DAIRY-FREE)
Thanks for reading! I would love to know what you think of the new changes Kraft is making to their Original Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Kraft Dinner Original products. Let me know in the comment section below.