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.