I was walking in a huge warehouse store recently and I saw this box of Kraft “Easy” Mac & Cheese madness and just had to write about it. I forgot how disgusting this list of ingredients was, it’s a shame that stores are even allowed to carry this garbage.
The ingredient list on a little cup of Kraft’s “Easy” Mac & Cheese is a long one, and to think that so many kids around the nation are popping these suckers into microwaves is so sad. Please inform your friends and family – Just because it’s “easy” doesn’t mean that you should eat it.
Let’s begin with the 22 ingredient cheese sauce… Yes 22!
Doesn’t it really just take cheese and a bit of butter and milk to make a cheese sauce? Not if it’s Kraft’s recipe. This is the craziest ingredient list for cheese sauce that I’ve ever seen:
“Easy” Mac Cheese Sauce Mix: Whey, Maltodextrin, Corn Syrup Solids, Palm Oil, Modified Food Starch, Milkfat, Salt, Milk Protein Concentrate, Medium Chain Triglyceride, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Citric Acid, Sodium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Lactic Acid, Calcium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Monosodium Glutamate, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Artificial Flavor, Cheese Culture, Enzymes.
Monosodium Glutamate – Kraft adds straight up Monosodium Glutamate, aka “MSG”, to create an addiction to processed food early in a child’s life – they don’t even try to hide it under the name “yeast extract” like some food companies do. The additive MSG is not the same thing that occurs naturally in cheese, because the additive isn’t bound to other amino acids, so it’s easily digested and rapidly absorbed by your body. We are inundated with MSG and hidden MSG additives in modern processed foods, and they are totally unnecessary and not good for our bodies.
Palm Oil – It’s disgusting that Big Food keeps using cheap palm oil in their products just so they can save a few bucks at the expense of our environment. Palm oil production is causing large-scale deforestation and killing animals and destroying the habitat for orangutans and Sumatran tigers – which may both become extinct soon. Besides the fact that it’s not even good for you, palm oil is super cheap, so you’ll find it in lots of cheap processed food at the store. When I see this ingredient on a label I always put it right back on the shelf and don’t look back. Don’t ever support a company that puts palm oil in their products, and Kraft is one of the worst. Note: This oil is nothing like Nutiva’s organic red palm oil, which is grown sustainably, and is super high in Vitamin A & E with more beta-carotene and lycopene than carrots and tomatoes.
Artificial Colors Yellow No. 5 & Yellow No. 6 – I petitioned Kraft to remove these dyes from ALL of their products, but it’s still in this “Easy” Mac version. These dyes require a big fat warning label in Europe that says “May Have An Adverse Affect On Activity and Attention in Children” – so they reformulated their products over there and serve a much cleaner version with natural colors. Why won’t they do that here?
I want to commend Kraft for taking out artificial dyes in boxes that have cartoon characters and the deluxe versions, but they still have a lot more work to do.
Natural Flavors – There are thousands of chemicals that are allowed by the FDA with little to no review under the category “natural flavors.” These can come from anything that is from nature, including beaver anal glands and other mysterious “proprietary” sources. This is an ingredient I avoid, because what it’s really made from is never fully disclosed – and I like to know what I’m eating.
Sodium Tripolyphosphate (aka STPP) – This preservative (also used as the main cleaning agent in detergents and soaps) is a suspected neurotoxin.
Sodium Phosphate and Calcium Phosphate – These ingredients recently made the top dirty dozen food additives by the Environmental Working Group for a reason. These preservatives are added to number of processed foods, and the typical American diet is full of phosphate additives – which are effectively absorbed by the body. It’s been shown that if you eat a lot of processed foods, like Easy Mac, you likely have higher than normal phosphate levels in your blood. High phosphate levels are associated with increased mortality (even in healthy people), kidney disorders, heart disease and accelerated aging.
A Plethora of Genetically Modified Ingredients:
Kraft has donated over 3.9 million to fight GMO labeling in the U.S. and this is because virtually all of their products would need to be labeled as containing GMOs. “Easy” Mac contains a lot of ingredients that are made from the top GMO crops in the U.S.:
- Corn Syrup Solids – At least 88% of the corn crops are now GMO, according to recent stats.
- Maltodextrin – This additive is usually derived from GMO corn.
- Lactic Acid – Known to be made from corn, as a fermentation of dextrose derived from cornstarch.
- Acetylated Monoglycerides – Typically derived from GMO soybean or canola oil, and can be a hidden form of trans fat.
- Citric Acid – This doesn’t come from citrus fruit like it sounds, but really comes from a GMO black mold fed with GMO corn.
- Whey & Milk Protein Concentrate – These dairy products could come from cows injected with a genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, which is banned from dairy in Europe (and several other countries) where it is believed to increase your risk of cancer.
What exactly is “Enriched Macaroni Product”?
This is the first ingredient in “Easy” Mac, and it has no redeeming qualities. Kraft’s pasta is mainly comprised of refined wheat flour with a little bit of glycerol monostearate added in for texture. Then, they “enrich” it with some synthetic vitamins. There are many problems with modern day refined wheat flour:
- Has been heavily hybridized to make it easier for the food industry, yet it’s believed to be contributing to an increase in celiac disease.
- Stripped of fiber and nutrients
- Usually chemically bleached
- Is easy to get addicted to, adding pounds to your waistline
- Could be pre-harvested with Monsanto’s Round Up!
Don’t feed this to your children or yourself. There are better choices.
This is one of the most unethical products I’ve ever seen – especially since Kraft uses safer ingredients in their Mac & Cheese products overseas. If you want Mac & Cheese that’s safer (and still “easy”) – choose homemade! I have a fantastic homemade recipe here with a bonus ingredient that adds a ton of good fiber and nutrition. And, for my healthy pasta recommendations, check out this post.
Please spread the word and ask your grocery stores to stop carrying this nasty stuff ASAP. Kraft is working so hard against our right to know, our family’s health and it’s time for them to pay the price with a hit to their bottom line. They do not deserve our money.
161 responses to “Just Because This Kraft Food Is “EASY” Doesn’t Mean You Should Eat It!”
This is a good delineation of the use of all sorts of chemical compounds in the U.S. food supply.
The one thing with which I take issue is monosodium glutamate (MSG). I consider it to be a perfectly natural compound. The Japanese in Japan have eaten a lot of it, per capita, for many years, a fact that is always ignored when people discuss their superior health and longevity.
The American food industry has badmouthed a lot of things over the years in attempts to skew the consumer preferences into other things. MSG has been a victim of this, much like eggs, butter, et al, have been.
I beg to differ Jim, any MSG in my diet and I feel it straight away, agitation, headache at the back of the neck..come on Jim read the studies on this poison.
Good idea to stay clear of this garbage chemical that does not belong in your food.
No reputable study has ever determined any harm from MSG. Which “studies” do you think support your beliefs?
I agree that MSG is not good. It may enhance the flavor or what ever – but if I eat it, I do not have to look at the ingredients to know it is there – I get a terrible migraine. So unless you respond like this you have no idea.
I just wanted to point out that MSG stands for monosodium glutamate. Essentially it is a single sodium ion, like we find in table salt, and an amino acid. People can have intolerances and can have side effects, but few people actually do. I cant remember the exact study, but in general they found that out of a group of people who thought they were MSG sensitive, only about 5% were. I do not doubt there are people that have issues with MSG, but it is the people that think it’s “bad” for them and have no idea why.
Side note: Tomatoes contain MSG naturally.
If you are convinced you are sensitive to MSG, avoid it. Do not generalize and recommend that I avoid it.
I have read studies and looked at the physiology. I have made my own decisions.
I was talking to two women a few years ago and I was telling them about my conclusions about gall bladder health. One of them said, “Well, you can’t tell us about anything because we’re both nurses…”. The other one followed immediately with, “…and we’ve both had our gall bladders removed.” That , of course, had nothing to do with MSG except that it illustrates the mindset.
@jim so true even gluten is now considered a trigger word to the uninformed
When I eat products that contain added MSG I get headaches-migraines.
I never get headaches at all, unless I eat added MSG.
Being involved in the health field for over 25 years dealing mostly with patients with pain, I can tell you that after allergens, aspartame and MSG are at the top of the list as to what people may be eating that is causing or contributing to their problems.
I am, as are patients, amazed by how they improve once they cut this out of their diets.
When I eat foods that naturally contain MSG, I have no problems as do many of my my patients. Some will react to naturally occurring MSG as well.
Dr. Blaylock’s work has been most valuable to me in this regard.
Why are food manufacturers adding MSG to food in the first place?
It isn’t to benefit my health that is for sure.
I have no need for added MSG in food.
This Mac and Cheese ingredient list is chemical warfare.
Just because you are convinced that you are sensitive to MSG does not mean that I should avoid it. It is like someone with a peanut allergy recommending that I avoid peanuts.
MSG is added to foods as a flavor enhancer.
Your mention of the Mac and Cheese list is a non sequitur since my issue was with the condemnation of MSG.
I have had repeated attacks of migraine headaches and intestinal distress, after years of this I can attribute it to mainly one thing MSG. This toxic compound deserves all the bad press it gets and should be banned but the FDA just gives it the green light.
Thanks for your info Vani. Keep up the good work.
If you are convinced that MSG is a problem for you, it probably is. Eliminate it from your diet. It is not a problem for me so I do not mind it as an additive; heck, I cook with it myself. I also love the natural sources of MSG like seaweeds, anchovies, et al.
It would be interesting to hear why, after years of distress, you suddenly can attribute it to MSG.
I only found out MSG was the problem from meeting someone else with the same problems. FYI it is “free” MSG that is the problem, that is what is added to most Chinese food and Doritos and such not natural sources of MSG needed in a typical diet. Look at Vani’s paper on MSG http://stemcell.md/diets/glutamine_free.pdf .
It is not so much the chemical itself but the amount, processed foods have so much of this dangerous chemical that is causes a good many people to get sick. I personally know of about 20 people with the same problem with MSG and other addiditves.
I used to buy Kraft’s Mac & Cheese box, but one day I found a recipe for making my own mac & cheese. It is so easy and tastes so much better that I can’t eat the box mac & cheeses anymore. I can taste the chemicals in them now. I’m just sorry that it took me so long to start making it myself. My family won’t eat any other now either. PS, I really enjoy your blog.
I’m curious on what your recipe is.. would you post it?
For Jess (to Cissy Pitner) my mother always cooked from scratch. First she cooked the macaroni then drained it. She added enough milk ( raw) to cover the macaroni. Then a bit of salt & pepper, next she cut up a block of mild cheddar cheese into hunks. Put the lid on & let it simmer on low until the cheese was melted. You can use whatever kind of cheese you like best & adjust the amount of milk to your liking. So delicious anytime but especially on cold winter nights.
Hope you give this a try & you like it.
I had not had Velveeta for a long time and I decided a few months ago that I wanted to make some Rotel dip. I saw some labeled as “original recipe” so I bought it. When I looked at he ingredients I saw some that were not even in existence when it was first made. I called Kraft and they could not even find a copy of the old original recipe for reference.
You only have to read all of the sci lit research papers you can find on MSG, carefully try to weight the fact that much of the research is done by companies having a vested interest in sales, to get a pretty good idea of the potential health risks. It may be a ‘flavor enhancer’, but that comes at a cost. Read the lit, then see if is still something you really want to eat.
MSG has a very negative effect on me. I could not eat Chinese food for years before I found out it was because of their heavy use of MSG. I can eat Chinese food without MSG just fine. The worst reaction was I nearly passed out in a Chinese restaurant and shook violently for hours afterwards.
I am told they used to put it in commercial baby food and then it was outlawed.
I started making Mac & Cheese almost 20 years ago for my young children. Butter/Flour/Milk/Cheese, salt & Pepper, Garlic powder. Poof, it’s gone almost like magic. The taste is much better then the processed garbage.
Yes, and your homemade stuff is just as nutritionally deficient as the Kraft stuff.
How so? Explain how it is deficient.
Since you seem to have a knowledge in Nutrition, I’d have to defer to your expertise on any deficiency. But I do know that I didn’t feed them all the unnecessary additives that Don’t need to be included in My Kids Food!
You keep eating those GMO’s, and let me know how that works out for your grandchildren. they are the ones that will suffer!
Processed foods are meant to be quick and yes “easy” ways to feed your family. If you choose not to eat these that is your choice. However do not go bashing the good industry because it is a choice you choose not to consume. Maybe instead of bashing ingredients you should understand what the purpose of each one is. Companies don’t just add stuff just because they feel like it. Each ingredient serves a specific purpose. Yes you can create a cheese sauce with cheese butter and milk but when you want to create a dried cheese powder there is so much more that goes into that. Consumers who are purchasing this item understand that they are getting a shelf stable product which is going to require extra processing compared to a refrigerated or frozen and especially a fresh homemade product. It’s convenient for a reason.
Hi, Kaydee D-
You write as if the poison approach to creating cheese powder were the only one possible. Sure, each constituent has a purpose–in that particular formulation. As Vani points out, the Euro formulation is cleaner. So clearly, it isn’t a question purely of consumer convenience. I’ll allow one guess as to what it really is a question of. 😉
the version sold in Europe is shelf-stable, tastes better and doesn’t have most of these chemicals. They add them because it’s cheaper than using “real” food items.
Yes she has the right to bash ingredients if she wants..most of the ingredients are horrible …yes it’s true people have a choice ..but the food industry is making that choice harder …just because you don’t understand the greed in this industry …most of these ingredients are banned in other countries…because they are bad for human consumption….it’s folks like you that think your so intelligent ..eat the junk..
and yet most other countries around the world have no food regulations and manufacturers are allowed to put literally whatever they want in to food. the US has the most stringent laws in the world, with the possible exception of the EU.
does this mean that our food has more ingredients? possibly. but it also means that our food is safer from a microbiological standpoint.
also, most Europeans are willing to spend more money on packaged food, so the companies can afford to put more expensive ingredients in them.
finally, most people who work for food manufacturing companies buy their products and feed their families the so-called poison. do you really think they would do that if their products were really so bad?
WOW you must live in a world where companies are so generous and kind where they just want you to be healthy and fed properly. WAKE UP!
Feel free to continue to eat unhealthy garbage ingredients that you think serve a specific purpose. Most of those specific purposes are to fool the consumer into thinking what they are eating is good for you, when it is not.
I am horrified at all this crap they put into food! Makes me sick and soooo sooo angry. HOW FRIKKEN DARE THEY!
I am at a point where I don’t even look at the product labels anymore, I just ask myself… does this come from nature or a factory? Very quickly I know what to take and what not. I’m sure I still get some toxins from somewhere, seeing that our air or water is not even pure. URGH!
Thank you for being our food babe and taking these big corporations that poison us to the slaughter house. I say F*’em!
Please include a one page printable no pictures summary of these
post so we can print them out for our friends.
CAN NOT PRINT CURRENT FORMAT WITH USING TONS OF INK
NEED SOMETHING TO HAND OUT
Why don’t you just paste what you need into word or even your email and print it, isn’t it enough that she just did all this research to save your life…WRITING IN CAPS SOUNDS REALLY DEMANDING
I agree with Umyah as far as how to print this info.
I transfer almost everything I want to save to a word document.
First, I copy and paste the URL to the top of the WORD.doc. in case anyone asks my source, and so I can go back there later.
Following the URL, I copy and paste (to the WORD.doc) the rest of what I want to save.
I can store these documents in a file labeled, eg. Food, GMO, Additives, etc.
I can make the font any size I like and I can omit the photos if I don’t want them. You can even “highlight” anything you want to bring attention to, change the font, or font size, make things bold, etc.
If you use Chrome, you can “print” the pages to a pdf. The pdf can easily be saved for later printing, stored for reference, or emailed to friends.
To CA Bllucci;
I didn’t see an option to reply under your comment, so I am replying to you under my comment: Thank you for your information; however, Anthony was wanting to know how to simplify the document, not print it as is. My understandin of “printing it to a PDF” is that it comes out looking just like the original. I like to save on ink,etc. also, and I don’t always want the illustrations or the photos. I find WORD to be far superior to PDFs for saving information I may want to copy and give to friends.
Thanks for the input though.
Yeah! I keep seeing you go at it with a passion letting people know how toxic the food system is and it’s a great thing. People really are clueless as to the extent of what they do to the foods and how they trick us. Most people never think food companies would poison the foods which make us sickly. Food companies do it because they can make more money and less loss and if people let it go they will keep doing it.
The sad thing is that we all let the companies get away with it because we all love the quick conveniences and are afraid that the foods will increase in price if they change. Conveniences come with a price and people need to realize that it’s just not worth it to take the easy way out. People are and become what they eat period.
Wow this is a new low,I don’t remember corn syrup being on the label before and this product its aimed towards kids.
Thank you Food Babe for reminding us that we do not need a PhD in Chemistry when we read the ingredients to know that feeding this “fake” highly processed “food” to our children is a terrible idea. Plus, it costs a lot more money.
Best health always,
p.s. Meant to add – after cancer at age 38 – these “food” products are no longer welcome in my shopping cart!
take a look at the label of Heinz Ketchup and 57 sauce. Can’t believe they still put that crap in. It is supposed to be a real quality product.
That graphic of the Kraft boxes and ingredients list should be a poster. Or give us large stickers that we can glue to supermarket doors and shelf space…. day care centers, schools, bus seats and waiting rooms. Too many uninformed parents out there should contact this information somehow. I’d put up stickers. How about you other people?
Its really sad that I grew up on thia stuff and u feed it to my daughter until 4 years ago when I started getting smart and learning about all this crap they out in our foods. I hope now we can educate others. This is exactly why I became a personal trainer and certified fitness nutritionist, so I cab help educate people of the harm of eating these things!
And this is Kosher?
or as I call it
“Mac & Crap”
Love it! (your comment that is).
As I’ve made a personal journey this past year and a half towards better health, I have appreciated your website as a resource that has offered good information regarding healthy choices. As such a resource, it has been empowering. Thank you.
However, I noted with concern your comment that, “it’s a shame that stores are even allowed to carry this garbage [kraft mac n cheese]”. Clearly the ingredients are unhealthy. However, forcing people to consume healthy foods by outlawing unhealthy options does not change the individual (and doesn’t empower the individual). Rather, it controls the individual which ultimately is not a sustainable solution to health.
Let us seek to approach the health of the individual in sustainable ways: by educating and informing, by inviting and encouraging, but not by forcing our values on others, as good as they may be.
I do agree with you Brittany. People need to be informed and educated about their food choices. The only thing I slightly disagree with you about is that unfortunately not all people have the time to sit down and get food chemistry lessons, so they rely on the companies they trust making the the food to be of good character. Even though this this isn’t my position anymore because I don’t trust any of these companies, some people don’t have that time luxury to get on the internet or buy a book to research the best healthy company with the best bread ingredients. For those people, someone needs to stand up for them and say “hey ! Take that crap out of our food supply! We are people! Stop slowly poisoning us to earn a buck!”
In an ideal world everyone would have the knowledge and power to make informed decisions for their families. We are far from an ideal world so it is good to know that there are people like food babe being advocates for us.
So I just want to comment on this Mac and Cheese Madness. . I am a Certified Health Coach with an extensive background in nutrition and chemistry. We can all agree that ALL Food affects the whole person, on a cellular level. Everything we eat is a chemical and has a chemical reaction and hormonal effect that modifies the neurotransmitters. Mac and Cheese in itself…is not bad, it is the preserved, boxed
FAKE Mac and Cheese that Vani is talking about ….with all of the unnecessary additives that have the negative action on the brain and the body. It’s not about crowding everything out, it’s about adding in what is better and good for the body. I make a Mac and Cheese with low fat chicken broth to flavor, whole grain pasta, skim milk, low fat cheese, and a little salt , pepper and garlic powder… in a rice cooker and my kids LOVE it. It is a healthier alternative to this comfort food that we all love. Eating better will make you feel better and when you feel better your whole life changes. Make smarter choices around food and pay attention to what eat. Balance the diet with the right choices.
As an activist ,I think its wonderful that this debate has begun and so many people are participating in these discussions, it gives hope that things will change for the better.
Sometimes it is hard to make choices and quite often the wrong decisions are made, food advertising is very persuasive and cost and consumer driven familiarisation are part of the problem.
Yes we may have been eating GMO’s for centuries but it doesn’t mean that it is right., still it is up to the consumer to have the option of choice regardless of their income.
Thanks to Vani for bringing awareness on this topic
I haven’t eaten any processed foods close to 30 years. You’ll find in my kitchen ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, soy sauce, plenty of herbal seasonings, plenty of vegetable store bought vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, honey and oil olive.
I don’t have to read labels because I don’t reach for such items. I don’t want to get into a debate about processed this and non-processed that whether the food is natural, processed or organic. I simply don’t grab a package of something or use a can-opener when I want to eat. I’m not a non-processed foods fanatic nor an organic foods consumer, nor do I worry about GMO’s or how much wax-coating is on my fruits and vegetables, and the pesticides and fertilizers used to grow them. That’s where water, anti-oxidants, and fasting comes into play to handle some if not all of the toxins I’ve consumed food the air, water, and food. I strive to stay chemical-free including drugs, alcohol, and medications.
I don’t seek out organic eggs, chicken, grass-fed beef and the list goes on and on which can be pu. Stay away from anything in a sealed package, ready-made -just-adds, canned foods, or anything that looks suspicious that’s really almost everything where you shop and you’ll live better and longer.
Don’t be overly-cautious when you buy your foods and don’t be over-zealous and leave out the store with just a bag of nuts.
I buy KAL Pure Stevia at a Health Food Store. Besides 25mg of Stevia, the only ingredients listed are: Kosher vegetable glycerin, water and maltodextrin (in that order). How do you feel about this product? I feel it is the purest form I can get without growing the plant myself.
I hope that you and all of your readers actively support EWG’s Food Scores Database and use their phone app to sense and submit food barcode info not only to obtain their product specific scores but also to add new items to the database! Make this viral!
some of this is quite worrisome, but I have to say wherever the citric acid comes from it will not matter as citric acid will be citric acid despite the source, as long as it is purified and clean citric acid, it will make no difference!
“Kraft adds straight up Monosodium Glutamate, aka “MSG”, to create an addiction to processed food early in a child’s life – they don’t even try to hide it under the name “yeast extract” like some food companies do. ”
SERIOUSLY? First of all if you know anything about food you’d know that MSG is a naturally occurring compound present in fish. Glutamates elicit an sensation known as umami different from salt or sugar. MSG has 30% the amount of sodium provided by natural table salt. I have seen no studies saying that there are any addictive properties related to the consumption of MSG. Glutamates in general are present naturally in many foods that we eat every day. Soy Sauce for example has a wealth of great glutamates that deliver a wonderful mouthfeel, and can really bring the flavors together in a dish.
And the fact that you think that the food industry “hides” MSG under the name “yeast extract” shows you have even less knowledge about the foods destroy. Yeast extract is exactly what it says- extract from yeast. It does not contain monosodium glutamate at all. It is a replacement for MSG that delivers a similar mouthfeel. So stop putting ideas in your readers’ heads that the food industry is hiding aces in their sleeves without doing some thorough research.
I don’t want this flavor enhancer added into my food.
If it is naturally occurring that is fine.
So I have banned all products that add MSG.
Mac and Cheese should have a very short ingredient list, without the need for MSG or anything else.
It is interesting that human breast milk is a natural source, too.
I understand that some people think that MSG is bad, but Jay is right. MSG is a naturally occurring compound in many foods, including seaweed, tomatoes, soy sauce, miso and most cheeses.
Conversely, many people have adverse reactions to milk and wheat. Why are these things not shunned with equal distrust? How is drinking milk from another animal ok? How is eating eggs ok? Those things are pretty disgusting if you think about it. But MSG has become this scapegoat for people feeling sick. I’m sorry, I just don’t get it.
People that are lactose intolerant or allergic to gluten probably do not need to be warned to avoid pasta or dairy. Off the top of my head, I don’t believe there’s any lactose or gluten in eggs.
There are some dairy products like yogurt that lactose intolerant people can…well…ummm…tolerate.
It’s interesting to note that nobody is born lactose intolerant. Over time though, Asians and Africans become intolerant while “westerners” tend not to lose their ability to digest lactose.
By the way, only 1 out of every 130 people has celiac disease. There seems to be a mass hysteria making the rounds when it comes to gluten. What’s makes me chuckle is the manufacturers that paste “gluten free” all over their products as if the product could ever have gluten in it at all. Beef was one such product I saw. It said gluten free on the label but there’s no gluten in beef anyway. To me it’s just one more way food producers attempt to deceive buyers. Technically, they are not lying, but they’re not telling the truth either. I think many people are buying “gluten free” but have no idea why they are buying it. It’s implied that anything that has gluten must be bad for you. The majority of people do not need to be concerned with buying gluten free.
I retired from Kraft Foods-Wausau where I cooked the mac n’ cheese powder for EIGHT years. I calculate I made ONE BILLION SERVINGS worth. You would LOVE my stories, if I was allowed to tell them. P.S. I think I can say I would not feed this stuff to my dog.
Where can I get some UK version of mac and cheese? I have been living organically since 2012. My teenager still pushes back about certain cleaner mac and cheese products I buy. If I can get the UK version I maybe able to make a point with her.
I purchased 13 different Mac ‘n Cheese products and reviewed the ingredient lists. There was only one product that I thought could be recommended without reservation based on its ingredients. The basic Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese was the only product that uses artificial dyes for coloring. Most other products use annatto or annatto and paprika. Even the Kraft Deluxe skips the artificial yellow dyes. A couple products use apocarotenal. That ingredient has some potential cancer baggage. Most all the other products contain one or more dubious ingredients like maltodextrin, corn syrup, hydrolyzed oil, etc. The products that use non-animal enzymes in their cheese tend to say so. When the package just says “enzymes”, it makes me think that animal based rennet is used. Many of the products use fortified pasta (added vitamins). That in itself is not so bad except it suggests the food is not nutritious without the extras. There’s many other add-ons like xanthan gum or gelatin which may not be harmful particularly but do they really need to be in there?
By French law, there are only 4 ingredients in French baguettes, flour, water, yeast and salt. That’s all. When you think about Mac ‘n Cheese, much like French baguettes, there are essentially only 4 ingredients, pasta, cheese, butter and milk. It doesn’t take much more work or time to make your own and it allows you to get rid of all the extra junk that come with the processed stuff.
I reviewed the ingredients for these products.
Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese
Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese Deluxe
Annie’s Creamy Deluxe
Kraft Velveeta Shells and Cheese
Horizon Classic Mac ‘n Cheese
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Mac ‘n Cheese
Bear Creek Mac ‘n Cheese
Stouffer’s Mac ‘n Cheese
Amy’s Mac ‘n Cheese
Smart Ones Mac ‘n Cheese
They pretty much all have what I consider to be unnecessary add-ons. The only one I would unreservedly recommend is Amy’s frozen Mac ‘n Cheese. There are NO extra junk ingredients. Everything is organic, non-gmo or non-animal. The only knockdown I would give the product is it uses annatto for coloring. While annatto may not be bad per se’, I view all colorings as unnecessary.
Now with all that said, I have not yet tasted Amy’s. It’s on my list.
Just thought you’d like to know…A Brazilian company and Warren Buffett are looking at purchasing Kraft foods. Following the same path as cigarettes in the US, Americans are buying less processed junk food. That’s pretty much anything Kraft makes. So profits are down, at least partly due to Kraft never diversifying into healthier and organic foods. The market changed but Kraft couldn’t or wouldn’t change with it.
By the way, I made a simple Mac ‘n Cheese from scratch. Tastes pretty good although it is loaded with fat. Only issue is the cheese has a gritty mouth feel. It’s not smooth and creamy.
8 ounces of macaroni elbows
1 stick of butter
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup milk.
Obviously, low fat could be substituted for the milk, cheese and butter (margarine). You could go with a whole grain pasta. Whether is would taste good…?
On the plus side, there are no additives and no colorings. This recipe will also cost more than buying boxed mac. The local store just had a sale…10 boxes of Kraft basic mac ‘n cheese for 10 bucks. Eat up!
Another thing that’s interesting…the dry boxed products still have a relatively short shelf life. Some of the products I looked at were weeks from expiration or in some cases, the best when used by date had already passed. In general, most of the products seem to have something like a 1 year shelf life.
I had a box of Lipton noodle soup mix on the shelf. It had expired back in 2006. I made it just to see what old soup is like. It did taste stale but was otherwise OK.
Best when used by dates are a win-win for the food producers. They get people to throw out what they already have and buy replacements…even though the food is still perfectly good and safe to eat. Not sure how “best when used by dates” get decided or if there are any guidelines??? Stay away from American made canned goods…bisphenol-A.
I defend a company’s right to sell this stuff. And I defend a person’s right to buy it and eat if that’s what they insist on. Nothing wrong with educating people though. I am just not a big fan of well meaning foodies dictating what I can eat, or trying to. When people like that get out of control, you end up with something like ISIS. I have also been around long enough to know that there’s lots of money to be made capitalizing on people’s fears.
For the people that insist on eating “dirty”, charge them more for health insurance. Have a high risk category just like you have for automobile insurance. No reason why they shouldn’t have to be accountable for their chosen life style.
And though I vastly prefer an absence of additives in my food, I am also not ready to hop on the guilty until proven guilty bandwagon for every single additive out there, especially when scientific evidence (or lack thereof) is drowned out by mass hysteria. This stuff can sometimes take on a lynch mob mentality.
Companies are not going to make the stuff unless people buy it. And if people are not demanding “clean” food, they get “dirty”.
Take the old saying “we get the government we deserve” and change it to “we get the food we deserve”. One thing that is completely overlooked while all the hand wringing is going on about the current state of food is the fact that there is this whole huge market for organic and natural foods that did not exist 20 years ago. It’s not all gloom and doom.
Generally speaking, I will not eat “dirty” food but once in a while I might. I am thinking about having red meat this weekend. At least it’s gluten free…says so right on the package. Never mind the fact that there is no gluten in meat, generally speaking. Guilt free! Maybe beta-agonists are good for you? (Just kidding)
Can I get you a Mountain Dew to go with that kale?
P.S. While it’s great to be able to afford to shop at Whole Foods and your biggest problem is deciding whether to buy a BMW or Mercedes SUV, cheap processed foods make it possible for a lot of people in America to have something to eat.
That may be something the righteous 1 percenters overlook.
A photo made its way to the internet a while back. It was not the first one ; )
Some kid took a picture of Bill Gates and Coke drinker Warren Buffet sitting on a bench eating ice cream cones. Funny thing, for all their billions, more money than they could ever spend and slightly more than they could ever use, they were eating and enjoying plain ol’ ice cream.
Seems so ironic. No matter how greedy the person, they still opt for ice cream when they could have had a stalk of kale instead.
The article she linked about MSG being this hidden evil is built on research from mid 90s. I don’t really consider that modern. Check the source before you just believe and pass the information on to other people. This is why anti-vaxxers exist. Just like peanuts or any other chemical – people can have a response. Just bc they shout louder doesn’t make it true for everyone. This type of shallow logic is insufferable.
So true & if you look at the list most of it is 3 quarters to the bottom or so which according to industry standards means these ingreadients must be in very small amounts that it shouldnt be noticeable
One can not understand how some people never get sick eating that stuff
So much salt is dangerous to the kidneys if you ate it once you can sense it and people who eat it are dilapidated no wonder anyways
MSG=King of Flavor.
It’s why Doritos taste good.
…and it’s healthier than table salt.
Why you so weak?