As a kid, you may have gobbled up Kraft Macaroni and Cheese thinking it was the pinnacle of pasta. It’s flavor and color is undeniably orange and cheesy, basically the equivalent of Cheetos for dinner, both in flavor and in nutritional value. It seems that unchecked artificial color and flavor has finally met its maker, though. Kraft has decided to give into a long campaign by parents to get their toxic ingredients pulled from their recipe. They are now removing all their artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors, which means no more orange glow that can be seen outside a window in the middle of a blizzard.
“Consumers have been telling us, and parents in particular, that they want to feel good about the foods that they eat and that they serve their families,” said Kraft’s vice president of marketing Triona Schmelter, adding: “The one thing they are most adamant about is they absolutely don’t want us to change the taste.”
While it’s easy to proclaim this type of protest against notoriously unhealthy food is silly or fruitless, because Kraft Macaroni and Cheese will still be a non-ideal meal choice for parents, this is a voice of indifference that shouldn’t be tolerated. There are many families who grow up not having access to healthy food education, how to prepare meals on a budget and time-sensitive environment, so the cheap and easy meals prevail. Also, see the recent Food Stamp Challenge. It’s also important to not underestimate the power that salts, fats, and sugars have on the brain’s chemistry. The food industry invests heavily in the sciences of addiction.
Kraft’s tragically late change in formula may seem insignificant, however, the food dye removal alone means that less children will potentially have one less product that is connected to the rise of ADHD, among other diseases.
These changes don’t take effect until quarter one of 2016, when they start using paprika, annatto, and turmeric. Chances are good that this new formula modification will ultimately result in better taste. When you eat Mac and Cheese as an adult, most of us probably wish it were less salty, as well, but I doubt that will ever be touched. As for Kraft’s other cheese products? Well, those will still contain the same mystery ingredients and food coloring, for now.
This call for change comes at the heels of a fairly major recall, for those who missed it last month. Kraft had to recall over six million boxes of their famous Macaroni and Cheese due to people finding small pieces of metal in their meals. A potentially deadly recipe, which thankfully did not result in any deaths. There were only eight incidents, officially, and Kraft offered full refunds for all of those who bought the affected products.
Needless to say, pre-processed foods aren’t a smart choice for healthy eating. Some of us do not have such a clear-cut or easy decision to make, though. We must always challenge the food industry, even if it doesn’t appear to directly affect your lifestyle.