We Deserve Better: Tell Kraft To Stop Using Dangerous Food Dyes In Our Mac & Cheese

I can’t believe I just ate Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with Lisa Leake from 100 Days of Real Food.

Vani Lisa Final

Here’s why I did it… 

We recently discovered that several American food products contain harmful additives that are not used – and in some cases banned – in other countries. One of those products is an iconic staple that almost every American, us included, has had at one time or another: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the US contains the artificial food dyes Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. These dyes are not in Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in other countries, including the UK, because they are considered harmful overseas and were removed due to consumer outcry. Kraft reformulated their product for the UK, but not for their fellow American citizens, and it’s time we demand the same here in the US!

That’s why we are petitioning Kraft to remove all artificial food dyes from their line of macaroni and cheese products.

Kraft_Yellow_Petition

Kraft Foods is the largest food company headquartered in the United States. If Kraft changes their Macaroni and Cheese, we know this could inspire other food companies across the US to finally eliminate dangerous artificial food dyes once and for all.

Here are the reasons why they need to remove Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 from their entire line of Macaroni and Cheese:

Artificial food dyes…

To prove this last point we personally tested both the US and UK versions of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and found little difference in color and virtually no difference in taste (see for yourself in the video below).

So please…

  1. Go to our petition page and sign your name
  2. Share our petition with your family and friends
  3. Watch our video below to learn more about our mission (and see us taste test the mac & cheese products ourselves)

We both grew up eating this product – Lisa used to feed it to her kids – I see it in homes of my family members and it’s available at almost every grocery store across the country.

Our kids deserve to have the safer version as our friends overseas!

Join us and demand this change by signing this petition now.

Thank you for all your support – together we can make a difference.

XOXO,

Food Babe

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108 Responses to “We Deserve Better: Tell Kraft To Stop Using Dangerous Food Dyes In Our Mac & Cheese”

  1. Dana

    I looked for you on Instagram and found a “thefoodbabe” account but no pics yet. Is that you?? I will be happy to repost if you post a pic there. Lots of healthy foodie fans on IG would be up for this!! Thanks to you and Lisa for all you do!

    Reply
  2. Tiffany G.

    Thank you for all you do Vani. You are an insparation to us all!

    Reply
  3. Tiffany G.

    *inspiration

    Reply
  4. Samantha

    I love how the UK box says “A meal in 8 minutes, serves 3″. Yeah, cause I know every American eats one box to themselves!

    Reply
  5. Ashley Woodhouse

    Happily signed!!! Thank you being such an inspiration, Vani :)

    Reply
  6. Grace

    This just makes my stomach hurt. We should be able to easily buy a box of mac and cheese without these disgusting ingredients. After reading this post I went through my cabinet and refrigerator and threw out a ton of stuff, reading ALL of the ingredients on everything. I looked at a can of sweet pickle relish that I have and usually put in my tuna salad…it has high fructose corn syrup and food dye yellow #5 and Blue…I had to throw it out. Grosse. I don’t want that junk in my body. I tried looking for an all natural/organic kind but couldn’t find any, and something so little as relish, I might try making some at home, which is all natural and healthy. Thank you for all of the things you have taught me and so many other people, I know you have changed my life by the way I eat and live and know you have changed others too and saved lives by the changes you are trying to make, it just takes one person. Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Jackie (to Grace)

      I tried chow-chow and it doesn’t have high frutose corn syrup. Changes the taste a little , but was good. I too threw out sweet pickle relish, and even sweet pickles among other things in my cupboard. Good luck.

      Reply
      • Jackie (to Jackie)

        I also signed the petition – thanks for all your hard work!

    • Adele Sands (to Grace)

      You can find relish without dyes and corn syrup at the health food store. Even organic!

      Reply
    • Veronica (to Grace)

      You can easily eat “mac and cheese” without these disgusting ingredients. Just buy macaroni, good quality cheese, milk, flour and butter. Make a cheese sauce with the milk, flour, butter and cheese while the macaroni cooks (takes less time to make the sauce than for the mac to cook….). Mix the two together…. There’s really not much to it. Just make sure the cheese you buy doesn’t have the “disgusting ingredients” you’re trying to avoid.

      Reply
  7. Mike

    Ask Kraft?……..how about ban Kraft! Promote the good companies that don’t contain these poisons!….and don’t get me started on the GMOs!

    Reply
  8. Amanda

    You ladies are great! Just signed the petition.

    Reply
  9. Natalya

    Have you created a petition at the White House website? In light of the recent article regarding the government looking to change the cell phone locking laws based on a petition filed on their website, perhaps there would be a great place to ask the government to make the change?

    Reply
  10. Susan

    Please consider expanding your protest to include GMO ingredients that are found in Kraft products and perhaps in this product as well–I don’t buy this stuff so don’t know if it contains soy lecithin or other GMO ingredients..

    Reply
  11. Ozzie

    Nobody should be even consuming either product. Raw food or whole food plant based diet is what EVERY human needs to consume.

    Reply
    • Kate (to Ozzie)

      Lol nope. I don’t consume processed food either, but I developed leaky gut and my hair fell out on a long term, plant-based, veggie-heavy diet (no, I didn’t “do it wrong”). There is no diet that’s right for every human. Wonder when people will figure that out.

      Reply
  12. Lolly

    Thanks for the post I really appreciate it it was very useful

    Reply
  13. NBfromOhio

    I’ve been a label reader for years. In our household, I try to purchase items without artificial colors. I also try to eliminate dyes, MSG, High Fructose Corn Syrup and even a natural coloring. Through our own testing by eliminating foods with ingredients, I discovered how much harm these ingredients can do, especially in children. Be aware! Even the Blue 1 in toothpaste and the lovely artificial colors in kid’s vitamins can cause problems. It did with our children. There does not have to be a highly, sophisticated, costly, lengthy testing and studies, to tell me that these ingredients are harmful to everyone. Through the process of elimination did we discover the harm in these ingredients.

    I’ve said to many over the years that the FDA is controlled by big business. Isn’t it nice that we have so many drugs to try to tackle health problems that could have been caused by what we ingest? The big pharm companies are in bed with the Feds as well. Big business is focused on $$$, profits first!!! The petition on Kraft is great, but the buck speaks. For all of you opposed to certain ingredients in your food, change what you do now. DON’T BUY PRODUCTS WITH THOSE INGREDIENTS! See how fast Companies will change their practices when their profits decline. There is freedom of choice. Use it! There is power in numbers. Unite!

    Seriously, studies have shown that we are not a healthy nation. The mortality rate is increasing and for the first time, this aging generation (The Boomers”) health is worse than the prior generation. Obesity, diabetes, ADHD… What do we want for ourselves, our children and for future generations?.

    We deserve better! You have the ability to control your actions in what you purchase and what you and your children eat. Don’t just wait… I didn’t. Do what you can now! You can make a difference!

    Reply
  14. Heather

    I do tell Kraft to stop using crappy, harmful ingredients. I tell them every time I grocery shop by not purchasing their product. If more people stopped buying their product, they would be forced to change instead of waiting for the government to make them change. The UK government didn’t have to force companies to stop using artificial dyes…the consumers did it.

    Reply
  15. CapeCodMom

    This is really great information, thank you for this piece. Unfortunately KRAFT is just a small part in the leaps and bounds our FDA has fallen behind in protecting us and our children. We really need to come together as parents and take on the FDA to enforce more restrictions on what is really in our food. I would absolutely be interested in getting involved with doing this if you ladies would like to take the next step in tackling the larger issue here.

    Reply
  16. Beth Starke

    This is the stupidest, most petty petition I have ever seen in my life and you should be ashamed for diverting resources that could be used to effect changes that actually matter. What are you, a teenage boy elbowing his friend to inform him that his mountain dew will shrink his testicles?

    Grow up. If you don’t like it don’t eat it.

    Reply
  17. EatNatural

    You shouldn’t be feeding this garbage to your kids in the first place. You’re acting as if taking the yellow dye out will somehow make this healthier. I’ll take yellow dye over the other diabetes-causing ingredients any day. The yellow dye causing health problems is a complete myth anyway.

    Reply
  18. S. Woodley

    I have read a number of online articles that mentioned aggressive children with behavior problems (for example, kids who bit their parents).  After the parents removed artificial dyes from the children’s diet, the children would suddenly have normal behavior.  Artificial colors can be in children’s vitamins and meds too.

    I cut artificial colors out of our diet years ago, after reading in one of Dr. Andrew Weil’s books I purchased, that artificial colors damage our DNA.  The following is from Dr. Weil’s website at:
    http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/QAA127073
    “You should keep children (and adults!) away from foods with artificial colorings. The danger is that the chemicals used to create color are energetic molecules, many of which are capable of interacting with and damaging DNA. Anything that damages DNA can injure the immune system, accelerate aging, and increase the risk of cancer. Indeed, many synthetic food dyes once considered safe have turned out to be carcinogenic.”

    Reply
  19. Brian

    SO how many boxes of Mac and Cheese does it take to cause cancer? This all reminds me of the Saccaharin scare until it came out that an average person had to consume a case of diet soda a day for 20 years to get cancer. I know Amercians drink alot of soda, but i dont know many who could hit that mark, and thats why I’m interested in the Mac and Cheese number. Likewise, if as consumers you’re so worried about the Kraft company, why is there no campaigns against Chinese manufacturers who are still allowed to send products with dangerous amounts of Lead into the US as well as plastics containing Bisphenol A, which has been directly linked to hormonal imbalances in humans? Just a question?

    Reply
  20. Sarah

    I’m kind of conflicted about this. I am a HUGE health nut :), but what impact will this petition have? There are people who have been educating our nation about these harmful ingredients for decades, no doubt that MANY if not all Americans know that coloring and stuff is bad for you, whether from their doctor or magazines, etc. Especially these days, with health and fitness being all the craze. But people still buy this garbage anyway. Obviously, they don’t care. Those of us who do don’t buy it. We vote with our dollars. Someone above suggested a petition for the government to do something. The truth is that the government has absolutely no place in dictating a business’s operations or doings. In the free market system, the consumers vote with their dollars, which is the most effective way. Kraft will keep putting in garbage as long as people buy it-don’t buy it and educate others, and no doubt that they will make the change. What use are petitions from people who don’t buy it anyway?

    Reply
  21. Marissa H.

    Great job, ladies! I really hope your efforts motivate people to be more educated about the food industry and what goes on in it. It is so depressing sometimes when you think about all the lies and misdirection consumers are given all in the name of profit for these big corporations. I often wonder what the heads of these companies feed their families? We really need the FDA to step it up and be properly funded, and not staffed by former executives from these corporations! Someone has to watch out for consumers and it’s up to us to make that change. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  22. Felisha

    Wow… just to think of all the children eating this. I used to eat it as a kid, and as a teenager (since it was the only thing I really knew how to make) and I have young cousins who eat it. With the UK version, it just goes to show the dyes are completely unnecessary

    Reply
  23. Michelle

    It goes to show how little people know as consumers of what’s inside the foods being sold in the grocery store. I never liked KD myself, the smell turns my stomach — doesn’t smell like real food to me, but I know many people who it eat religiously. It doesn’t make sense to me that they are able to tweak the products for the other countries, but get away with using garbage in North America. We as consumers have to hit these companies where it hurts.

    Reply
  24. Kate

    Thank you for what you do, Vani and Lisa. I don’t eat processed food, but I still signed because CHEMICALS AND DYES DO NOT BELONG IN OUR FOOD SUPPLY.

    Hope you don’t pay attention to the nasty, ignorant comments telling you to “grow up” or “get over it.” Some people aren’t aware of the sharp, staggering rise of new disorders and allergies in the U.S. since we started eating this garbage. They won’t figure it out until they or someone they love gets sick enough – and hopefully, then they’ll figure out that food can be our medicine.

    Reply
  25. Mustico

    ‘Murica

    Reply
  26. Nikki

    I would like to sign this petition, but I don’t understand why my physical address is necessary to sign.

    Reply
  27. beachmama

    I will absolutely write a letter to Kraft Foods. I’m a stock holder (stock purchased 30+ years ago). But I do have to point out the boxed macaroni and cheese is not, in my book, “real food”. Just sayin’ . . . thanks for giving us a heads up.

    Reply
  28. Karen

    Thank you for bringing an awareness to the FRANKENFOOD we are subject to, and we (and our loved ones) are just that, subjects of an experimentation of chemicals not to mention MUCH more. You are not getting just a little bit, it is in MOST of the food including products labeled as though they were healthy. If its good enough for one country, its good enough for another one. Many products are chemically processed, contain dyes, genetically modified food, msg which is “disguised” as other names, hydrogenated foods, artificial sweeteners (very bad for your body) to name just a few. I have a relative who had painful migraines for years and once she quit taking artificial sweetener she was migraine free. Boycott all these companies by not buying their poison, just because you don’t have a symptom now doesnt mean it won’t show up later. If we refuse to buy they may change, if not they need to go out of business and make room for organic companies who we will buy from. They have known about this for years but since nobody is doing anything about it, and that includes our government, we are the only ones who can. It is TIME, (way past time) TO DEMAND THIS GARBAGE IS REMOVED FROM OUR FOOD! Its making us sick, we don’t even know the implications of prescription drug interactions that so many take, there is vast new illnesses the doctors don’t even have a clue how to treat, and one reason is certainly from what we eat! Did you know that prop 37 would have let consumers see on the label if their product was genetically modified and MILLIONS were spent by big food companies to stop it? They were successful at stopping it so you don’t get to know this information. Something is wrong, very wrong! BOYCOTT by NOT BUYING ARTIFICIAL, UNHEALTHY & FAKE FRANKENFOOD! If we don’t we WILL continue to decline in health and that will be all that’s left to eat. We also need to have labeling on all spices and vitamin/mineral supplements so we KNOW what we are getting, where it came from and what and how it is made! Demand more, DON’T BUY THEIR FOOD and tell them why you’re not buying it, some companies will listen and try to make changes but most companies know better but care much more about their profits and if they can sell you what you’re addicted to (which is frankenfood) at a low cost, you will take the bait, which takes advantage of everyone. Boulder Colorado for example has many more organic food stores and choices than say Pittsburgh PA, why, because people demanded and did something about it. You can do it, I have by cutting out the processed foods with the worst ingredients like artificial dyes, colors, artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated and chemically processed foods, all forms of MSG, trans fat, etc. Then find replacement products if they are available, if not make a healthy substitute for them, over time you will remember which products have bad ingredients and not buy them. You will feel better, look better and I have even been able to find ways to save money eating better additionally. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  29. audrea

    Been following you for a while but excited just saw you guys and this ib tge evening news with brian wiiams.

    Reply
  30. barbara

    get a life! You two have too much time on your hands–why don’t you take up a real cause?? Oh right…you think KD is the evil axis of the world. Pathetic!

    Reply
  31. Kimberly

    I signed the petition for banning the artificial colors in Kraft Mac and cheese, and since you have the clout to do it, I was wondering if you could call attention to Flintsone Vitamins now? I started paying closer attention to the ingredients on things I give my daughter after you raised awareness on the Kraft products and was upset to find artificial sugars and food dyes in these vitamins made specifically for children. It is frustrating that I am trying to do what is best for my daughter only to find I may be doing her more harm than good. I hope you can help. Our children deserve better than this.

    Reply
  32. Carol Moss

    Hilarious. Twinkies are bad for you, too. Let’s start a petition. Anybody who has a brain knows Kraft Mac and Cheese is junk food. We should have a petition to bring food education back to our schools. How to grow it, store it, cook it and not go all OCD on the junk that is in every grocery store aisle. Why waste all this energy trying to make junk food into Not Junk Food? Go for real food and everybody wins.

    Reply
  33. Fig Newton

    Seriously? You have WAY too much time on your hands. Of all the issues in this world, this is what you choose to take on? If you have a problem with it, make your own homemade mac & cheese so you know what’s in it. Quit your whining and grow up already. Idiots!

    Reply
  34. Marie

    This brings much needed attention to a subject that’s been largely ignored, specifically artificial food dyes & coloring, we do have enough proven information of its toxicity and dangers, yet much of the food industry is willing to take that chance on you. You probably know someone who has food & prescription medication allergies for example, which is becoming more common. To make sense out of why these additives are still in our food in this day and age can only be summed up as ignorance, in one form or another. There is no logical and certainly no responsible reason for artificial food dyes to continue having any place in our food products, especially with the knowledge of what it is doing to children which is reason enough for it to have stopped many years ago. When food product A has a small amount of questionable content, some people may think it’s not an issue, but when food product B, C …etc., ALL have something artificial/questionable, etc., in them, what do you think the eventual outcome will be when there is progression of new and more complex artificial, chemical and modified ingredients? What is known about how these things will combine and react? What about how they will react with you or your loved ones new medications and illness. Therein lies just one of the many problems caused from artificial food content alone. How much is known about the nutrients in your body and how they react to medications for example. This is a good comparison because artificial ingredients and drugs are similar; they are not natural substances to put in your body. They react with your body oftentimes negatively, we see this in allergic reactions, sickness, and symptoms of disease, deficiencies (which many artificial and chemically processed foods deplete) and worse. Notice the many television legal ads for the side effects of new medications. We need nutrition and the medical community to combine so we can at least help the victims of what was created with this frankenfood and its damaging effects on the human body. People are essentially sacrificed because not enough is being done and that’s sad. It’s also sad to me that many people don’t care about the health of other people, I give credit to these women because they are caring about others by sharing this information, and the humanitarian efforts of those who try.Thank you! People caring about others will make good changes occur, whether they have gained knowledge or not, we all deserve a chance to live a healthy life. Peace and God Bless you.

    Reply
  35. Erin

    We can definitely tell when our boys have artificial coloring. They are very hyperactive and don’t listen. It makes me so mad that so many American companies will make their products without them for other countries, but not here.

    Reply
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  38. Lawrence Roebke

    Macaroni is a variety of dry pasta made with durum wheat. Elbow macaroni noodles normally do not contain eggs, (although they may be an optional ingredient) and are normally cut in short, hollow shapes; however, the term refers not to the shape of the pasta, but to the kind of dough from which the noodle is made. Although home machines exist that can make macaroni shapes, macaroni is usually made commercially by large-scale extrusion..;^’

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    Reply
  39. http://big-businessbook.com/blog/view/131603/from-the-arena-cheap-nike-nfl-jerseys

    We Deserve Better: Tell Kraft To Stop Using Dangerous Food Dyes In Our Mac & Cheese – Food Babe

    Reply
  40. Faith

    Thank you for the crusade against Kraft’s mac and cheese and yellow food dyes. Now please go after Pillsbury (yellow 5 in biscuits -really???) and all the other companies who are endangering our health with chemicals. My asthma attacks are more frequent and more serious after I’ve had yellow 5. How many others are suffering but not knowing the cause???

    Reply
  41. Jen

    Hi Food Babe,
    I love your blog and think what you are doing is awesome! I have followed your Kraft macaroni and cheese mission from the beginning and have found it all very interesting! I stopped buying this product at least a year ago and make my own homemade mac and cheese for my daughter (which she loves). So you can imagine my disappointment and frustration when I picked her up from my MIL’s house the other day and she proudly told me she ate a whole bowl of Kraft mac and cheese for lunch. In her defense, she doesnt know of the issues with this product…but grrrrr.!!!! I suppose one time wont hurt.

    Reply
  42. Sarah

    I am in the UK and haven’t seen artificial colouring in food now for a good few years. We use anatto and beta carotene for orange and yellow food colouring, which are both harmless and vegetable based.

    Reply
  43. Cindy Scott

    Hi. I wrote a comment about Applebees using Kraft Mac n Cheese in their kids menu. I wrote to Applebees parent company, Dineequity. Their Applebees Guest Relations Mgr., Alex Brisette, did return my email. He wrote, what I expected, “focus groups”,”parents”, etc., that kids won’t eat anything else, & they “proudly partneredwith Kraft”. He totally & as smoothly as a politician, did not address my remarks. About serving that crap in a restaurant, me, paying $4 plus for a 1 cup scoop, & that this product is caution labeled in the UK. Made me wonder about the crap in their food, as you know
    it’s made in a central kitchen and heated up. Maybe Vani needs to
    check out these places. I
    rarely,maybe once or twice a year
    , go out to a restaurant. I make my
    food from scratch, use whole
    grains pasta & bread, brown rice.
    Buy organic, if it’s not in my wee garden. You get the pic. I NEVER
    eat junk food. I use to can my own
    food, but had to move to a place
    with no space. Just read your
    labels. They’re not perfect. Yet. Support Vani & her efforts. I looked at my regular breakfast cereal today. I put it back, after learning more about ingredients at the site, yesterday. Thanks Vani

    Reply

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