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Why This Family Will Never Make This Popular Staple Ever Again

This is a very special episode of Food Babe TV. I receive thousands of letters, emails and comments asking for help everyday. Watch as I visit a busy family in need of a major pantry makeover and show them how to remake their favorite go to dinner without harmful ingredients. This video is full of really important information. At the end, I share an update about my visit with a major fast food company.

Watch Below:


Highlights From The Show:

  1. If you’d like to learn more about what happened during my visit to the Kraft Headquarters, you can read the entire inside story here. 
  2. Chick-fil-A has informed me they are making some changes to their ingredients as a result of your voice and my visit with them. I will keep you posted on the exact developments and what they are changing very soon. Sign up for email updates to stay posted!
  3. Please take a moment to join over 347,000 people and sign my petition to remove artificial food dyes from Kraft Mac & Cheese here. 
  4. Did you know that Monoglyceride and Diglycerides are food additives labeled as emulsifiers, but basically can be sources of hidden trans fat? Food companies can get away with not labeling these ingredients as trans fat because they are categorized as emulsifiers not lipids by the FDA. Sneaky, huh?
  5. Here’s the special recipe for homemade Mac & Cheese (without petroleum-based artificial food dyes) I made for the family below. It’s so good, as you can tell from the children’s response in the video. (For my favorite healthy pasta recommendations and brands, check this post here for all the details.)

Mac & Cheese

Food Babe's Homemade Mac & Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 2 tbsp grassfed organic butter
  • 12 ounces raw goat milk mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 16 ounce package of 100% organic sprouted whole wheat or spelt pasta noodles
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • a dash of nutmeg (optional)
  1. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pot on stove
  2. Add pasta and cook until it is al dente or firm to package directions
  3. While pasta is cooking, steam cauliflower in large pot filled with 1 or 2 cups water (place cauliflower steamer basket)
  4. Shred cheese by hand with grater or in a food processor
  5. Grate cauliflower by hand using a grater or pulse in a food processor
  6. Mix grated cheese, cauliflower, butter, and seasonings in with drained pasta
  7. Stir well and enjoy!
***Please use all organic ingredients if possible***


If you know a family still making boxed Mac & Cheese, or in need of a little inspiration, please share this post with them.

Together we are changing the world.

Lots of Love,

Food Babe

P.S. Does your pantry need a make over? Or perhaps a friend or family member’s pantry? Share some details below in the comments and who knows, I may show up.

10/31 Breaking News:

Kraft is removing artificial food dyes from 3 products aimed towards children. I will be commenting in full later. But you, the #FoodBabeArmy, please take action now. Tell Kraft thank you for listening, but they have more work to do. We want artificial food dyes that are linked to hyperactivity, asthma, allergies and contaminated with carcinogens out of all Mac & Cheese products.

The human body was not meant to eat petroleum.

Please share this post and spread the word. I’m counting on you.

Contact Kraft here:

Kraft’s Customer Service: #1-877-535-5666
Kraft’s Facebook Page:
Twitter: @KraftFoods @kraftmacncheese

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288 responses to “Why This Family Will Never Make This Popular Staple Ever Again

  1. So encouraged! I’ve been following you for quite some time now, before the Kraft Mac and Cheese take off, but we are so in need of a your help for pantry make-over! Our family has two daughters, 8 and 2. Our 8 year old has almost 25 food intolerances with the biggest one being gluten, followed by corn, dairy, etc.. I’ve tried for years now to have support of family to change our diet and understand the products in our food, and especially how feeding our daughter gluten effects her, but I’m getting no where and cannot seem to open any eyes. I throw things away and then my husband brings them right back in the house. Please help me to open his eyes and my daughters eyes to not only what is in our food and how dangerous it is, but ways to eat healthier, and ways to help our daughter with the food intolerances! Desperately seeking help!

  2. Quinoa pasta is the best. Use it all the time. It is organic, but also 55% corn. There is a 100% organic quinoa pasta available, but hard to find. Whenever I see it, mostly at Whole Foods, I buy it all. Very expensive, but worth it.

  3. Even if they get rid of the dyes why would parents feed this to their children? Its a packet of powdered processed cheese.. seriously? Where are the nutrients there? I just don’t understand it. Does the American government do anything to promote healthy REAL food?

    1. because 1) children can make it themselves in the microwave (yes, we use a microwave) and 2) we get home from sports at around 7PM, he needs to eat immediately, do homework, shower and bed by 8:30. Don’t judge other people based on your life.

      1. Whoa calm down Susan, I didn’t mean to offend anyone. I think its the US governments fault really for not educating people about food properly. Children don’t deserve to eat this kind of stuff, they might like the taste but who knows what kind of damage its doing. There are countless healthy meals that you can make in the same amount of time as the Mac and cheese stuff and there’s great references online for super quick meals so you should have a look.

      2. We have Amy’s frozen Mac n cheese in the freezer for those “bad” nights. Also, it’s easy to put together a quick marinara sauce out of organic canned tomatoes, garlic, spices, olive oil and put it over spaghetti. If it’s even too hectic to make a proper salad, I’ll jut cut up some cucumbers.

      3. Crockpots are a lifesaver for nights like that. After a long day at school/work, an evening of sports… you all need and DESERVE a wholesome meal. The crockpot can have everything ready for you to serve when you get home. Dinner on the table in less time than it takes to microwave anything.

        I know you’re probably busy in the morning getting everyone off to work and school, it is tough to be a working parent. Chili is a quick thing to toss into the crockpot and you can even do it with mainly canned ingredients…or if you have more time from more basic ones.

        2- 15 oz cans of kidney beans (drained)
        2- 15 oz cans of mexican stewed tomatoes
        1 (or 2) – 15 oz can of tomato sauce
        a pound of ground hamburger browned with a medium onion, chopped (this can be done ahead and frozen!)
        a red bell pepper sliced (optional, can be bought and cut and frozen…just pull from the freezer, no need to blanch before freezing). Cook on low 6-10 hours in a crockpot. If your crockpot is programmable, you can have it go onto warm after 8 and it will still be piping hot when you get home.

        Serve with organic corn tortilla chips or organic corn bread.

        ***I haven’t bought stewed tomatoes in a while, so I’m not sure if there are hidden ingredients there. This is the recipe I used for years, from memory so use your judgement on if there is enough tomato sauce/liquid and add more if necessary so it doesn’t burn. ***

        There are many, many crockpot recipes and even once a month cooking plans that make bags of crockpot mixes so you can just dump and go.

        It is *not* easy to be a working parent. Period. I respect that. I’ve done that. I hope this helps.

    2. Unfortunately, the government is not interested in nutrition. We have been told so much wrong information, such as what a balanced diet really is. The old belief system of meet, potatoes, and veggies are not the best way either. We all need to stick investigate what we and our families are eating. Thanks to people like food babe, we have help. I make my mac and cheese homemade. I too don’t like the powder packets.

      1. That’s actually really sad 🙁 Here we have healthy food campaigns and different government bodies will have adverts on the television all the time saying the advantages of buying organic food etc. I presumed it happened all over.

  4. I really enjoyed the practical format of this kitchen intervention much more than that of the beaver butt and “food foam” Food Babe TV episodes … and I forwarded it on to all of my friends. Thanks for packing so much important information into such a short, easy-to-watch and relevant video.

  5. I wished I had known about the harmful effects of artificial food dyes. For the past 15 years, I was feeding my kids Kraft Mac & Cheese almost everyday. Ugh! Thank you for sharing all the great info and your efforts to make us healthy!

  6. Just called Kraft customer service…the poor girl acted like she didn’t know what I was talking about when I mentioned Food Babe, Mac n Cheez and toxic ingredients…so I got to inform her…Next, I introduced the imagination of what if an enormous corporate entity possessing a top share of the market like Kraft developed a social conscience? It could change the world by being a leader for health vs….perpetuating illness…and wouldn’t that be an amazing company for wh/ to work…??? She thanked me for my call…hopefully, another seed was planted…Amazing work Food Babe…so happy to receive your communications….!!! All the best!!!

  7. Hi Vani~
    Can you reply with a link to a travel show that you mentioned was on organic, healthy foods. Thanks and thanks for all you are doing!

  8. You’re a superhero and a national treasure Food Babe!!! I share your wisdom all over the internet. You’re changing our children’s future. Thank you

  9. vani, you are the very best. i have been so incensed about the mystery of all the pretend food at the super market that i just avoid it all. i stick to whole foods that only have one ingredient. mostly, because i don’t have the time to go into full investigation mode every time i get hungry. the tough part is eating out… because just like all the shady brands you have mentioned nearly everyone is in it to make a buck. soooooo… which oils the cheapest? which ingredients are the cheapest? definitely not the healthy ones.
    but instead of endlessly ranting i wanted to share with you and your beautiful readers this wonderful video by Dr. Greger about artificial colors and how they effect children (and, in turn, the rest of us). take a look:
    he has so many brilliant videos on his site nutrition and on youtube. he has done tremendous research and pieces it all together in bite size ways that make sense to the rest of us.
    thank you for all the work you do Vani! XOXO

  10. Hi Vani,
    I applaud you for the wonderful work you do. I wish you would focus on more plant based protein sources such as beans, legumes, nuts, tempeh, etc. Animal products whether grass fed or not, are still very high in cholesterol as well as hormones and antibiotics.

    Would love to hear your response to the above.
    Thank you,

    1. You are absolutely right, Elaine. Vani is mostly ignoring the fact that we are not forced to buy this color laced products such as “Mac & Cheese” by manufacturers. Parents can make their own dishes from the scratch in advance from raw ingredients for their kids; no excuse parents please, you all have enough time to watch hours of TV on a daily basis. I am a Ph.D. chemist and can vouch that all products derived from petroleum are not harmful; examples are vitamin A and CoQ10 found in nutritional supplements. To advance her cause, Vani is engaged in fear mongering of “Petroleum Based Products”. Most of the drugs and nutritionals supplements are ultimately petroleum derived. This does not mean all the food colors are harmless, some of them really are! But parents conveniently ignore the fact that rather than this so called petroleum based harmful food-colors, highly processed foods we serve to all of us are really more harmful. Everyone looks for easy scapegoat.

      1. Parents aren’t forced to buy it, but they also don’t necessarily *know* that the artificial colors are petro based or that the colors can cause hyperactivity, etc. Food manufacturers have done a pretty amazing job keeping this stuff under wraps and away from the ‘common man’ for quite sometime.

        How often do you see people reading the ingredients at your (non-Whole Foods) grocery store? Most people, trust that those who oversee our food have our best interests at heart…and just grab and go.

        If people *knew* what they were putting in their bodies, places like McDs would be out of business. Kraft would be bankrupt. Nestle’s CEO wouldn’t be able to afford a bottle of water. Meat producers would quit feeding cows GMO corn (because we wouldn’t be growing it anymore). Everyone responsible for the GMOs at Monsanto would be on trial…etc. However, most people aren’t paying attention.

        Food Babe’s vids are funny and educational…and if they get even 1 more person to open their eyes, I think it is worth it.

      2. Actually vitamins derived synthetically from petroleum have not been shown to produce the same effectiveness. There is amazing research in a book by Melanie Warner called Pandora’s Lunchbox. You should check it out.

  11. I love this article, because it is such a typical American family. Me too, until I’ve learned more about what I’ve been putting in my body. I appreciate the Kraft update and I just called and requested the dyes to be removed as well, and will probably post on their FB page as well. =)

  12. We travel to Canada each summer and I bring home the “Kraft Dinner” as it is called up there. I have 3 boys very involved in sports so it is easy to make as an in between school and practice snack. (Otherwise I fully agree that it is not a “meal” choice). Anyway, my point is that the Canadian version does not have the additives and colors we have here in US — the packet inside even is labeled “Kraft Canadian” – so clearly they know and acknowledge its a different formula. I even buy the “smart kraft dinner” which has flax and omega 3. Kids love it! Just wish they would sell it here!

  13. I watched the video where you help that family and it brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for all that you do and keep it up! <3 xox

  14. I love this!!!!!!!!!

    You go girl! Wish you lived closer to me so you could look in my pantry. I think we eat healthy, but now I’m not so sure.

    Thanks for all you do!!!

  15. Thank you for all you do. I have recently been diagnosed as diabetic (yet I weigh 120 pounds!) And my son has been diagnosed with ADHD and i am convinced that so many of our ailments are caused by unhealthy additives to our food. I really appreciate all your efforts at making the public aware of what the fiod industry is doing to our food.

  16. Hi Food Babe,

    I just called Kraft. The CS rep at first said she could not handle my call and would have to forward the call. She then got back on the line and asked for my name phone number and to restate what I had said. I said: I am a member of the Food Babe Army and want Kraft to “remove artificial food dyes” then I read the statement: Humans were not meant to eat petroleum.


  17. I loved what you did in this video. Can we go further and explore the cheese (goat and cow) and butter? I saw in the video that cows should be eating cows. The more research I do, the more I am realizing we are not suppose to be eating cow’s milk or goat milk that was only meant for their young, just as they are not suppose to eating grain and corn. I would love to see your videos and work in the future about that.
    Thank you for all you do!

  18. Dear Vani,

    Hey, I was just watching your recent video helping that young family out with their food choices and to my disappointment I heard you recommend a whole wheat noodle for their mac & cheese recipe. Please get ahold of the book “Wheat Belly” and watch Dr. Davis’ videos where he clearly explains that wheat is no longer safe for human consumption. All of the wheat (even ezekiel bread) currently sold / distributed / raised in U.S. is corrupted. Safe alternatives: spelt, quinoa, emmer wheat, buckwheat and perhaps a few others I can’t think of right now.

    Check it out!

  19. Many people have celiac disease . Most of our kids have allergies that were unheard of a few years ago . Allergies have increased 1000% since the release of GMOs and new Pharming methods . The basic health allergies are grain based with secondary allergies in meats and cows milk . What I had to do was avoid all grains (wheat) and cows milk . Wheat , barley and rye are the most mentioned but corn is really a common grain that many people are allergic to . Cows milk has also been on the radar . The additives alone should scare any parent . Researching how this farming has invaded the world has opened my eyes on the dangers of all commercial farming … My diet is gluten free , sugar free and organic . I didn’t do this all at once but did steps trying to avoid the worst things … I’ve learned to cook all my family recipes using very common healthy organic foods , Its not hard but it does take some research ….. V , thanks for all your work . Your a one woman team changing the world …..

  20. Wonderful! I enjoy your blogs and have learned so much this past year. Thank you! I think more episodes of these should be a new ‘reality’ series on Discovery Family or HGTV, etc. More people need to know!

    wishing you blessings on your work!

  21. As a Breast Cancer survivor I am so appreciative to have someone like you out there educating us. I lost my Brother 56 years old 14 months ago to stomach Cancer. I have no doubt his food life style had an enormous effect on his health. I wish you could come to my home, I would love to have my cabinets & refrigerator 100% clean and learn some more tips form you.

    God Bless you!

  22. Thank you so much for all you do! I have changed most all food and eating habits in my home with your help. I almost feel guilty for all the years I have been in the dark and fed my family such harmful chemicals. My children are young adults now, and I see them making wiser choices. Makes me sick that the food industry is so evil. You are my hero, and I am now also passing information on to people when I have the opportunity. This definitely was your calling Vani.

  23. Hi, Vani! I enjoy your blog so much! I am a clean eater, and I really enjoy your posts 🙂 I am learning so much more about what I am eating and how to better my body from ridding myself of the foods that are dangerous. However, my parents do not seem to understand the situation they are putting themselves in. I live with them, and my aunt and I have tried to alter their lifestyle. Everyday my mom eats a honey bun and my fifteen year old brother hasn’t touched a vegetable in years… My five year old sister thinks it’s normal to eat oreos on a daily basis and thinks that vanilla yogurt is a “healthy alternative” to eating a granola bar… We need help! (Myself included!!!!)

    Thanks so much 🙂 You are inspiring!

  24. Unreal. Thanks for this. I did not know how bad mac and cheese was. And wood pulp in cheese? Is that real? That’s so crazy. Thanks for the great recipe too!

  25. Your work is wonderful!!!! I live in Paris right now. If you ever need help comparing labels/ingredients/recipes with those in Europe I’d be happy to help you any way I can.

  26. Wow.

    While I have been at times a harsh critic of the Food Babe and her guerrilla-style approach to wake up the masses (even got blocked from commenting on facebook page)… I must admit, this morning when I read the Kraft is removing dyes from its mac & cheese, I was surprised. And impressed. She got it done. Still don’t dig the all-or-nothing, alarmist mentality on eating healthier foods, but I gotta say: people who are relentless in acting on their beliefs are a rare bunch these days. Congratulations Vani.

    1. I’d be interested to see how YOU would go about tackling the problem more gently. This isn’t an issue we can meddle on; it’s a WAR. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can help.

      Get em Vani. Shoot em all in between the eyes.

      1. So, Kellyn… I took the time to come to the page, after reading on CNN about the dye thing, and give a shoutout to Vani on her victory regarding Kraft… it’s a positive thing, yes? My other comment was about the tone of Food Babe’s approach, in general. That’s what I’m talking about. Yeah, Kraft is evil and let’s shoot ’em all between the eyes and insert your favorite strident phrase here… I tried to offer dissenting opinion on the FB page long ago, and I got blocked. Never used profanity, never attacked her personally. Just offered my take on whatever topic was at hand.

        I “unliked” the page, and have seriously reduced my Facebook use in general. It is a sea of trollers, and frankly a more toxic WAR of words than a place to civilly discuss stuff.

        Thanks for the insight on what I should realize. I’ll “help” in a way I believe in. And I do. I’d prefer workable solutions from someone, in an imperfect world, as opposed to absolutist rants about Trader Joe’s hiding stuff in their food, or whatever. It’s cheap, trashy, and frankly turns a lot of people off. I’d rather educate, not inflame. The good stuff gets lost in all the conspiracy-speak.

        But we live in a noisy world. It’s her site, her right and ultimately her efforts paid off. So again, I say… congratulations. And read the labels. That one thing could save a lot of theatrics.

  27. I want you to come to my house! I got this happy warm-fuzzy feeling after watching the video! Thank you for all you do! I’m gonna try that mac and cheese when I get home tonight!!

  28. I am a mother of 6 and in attempt to relieve myself of joint pain and unwanted pounds I began a program called Isagenix. This is where I began to learn about all the chemicals we are filling our bodies with each day. Isagenix prides themselves on organic, high quality products with the purest form of whey from New Zealand grass fed cows. On this program we have also been able to cut back on our sons ADHD meds and alternate that with healthier options. Here’s the hard part. I honestly don’t know how to find healthy snacks and large meals for my family on a consistent basis. Most of our meals consisted of cream of something or another lots of noodles and rice as fillers. I NEED YOUR HELP! We have cancer on my husbands side of the family and I want and need a complete healthy lifestyle for my family. Come visit me in Katy Texas right outside of Houston!

  29. Dear Food Babe,
    I love your article, your methods and denounces. Your work is really important. Thank you!
    However, I would recommend that you read “The China Experiment”, an independent study that proves DAIRY gives you CANCER, before you
    recommendation mac and cheese.
    People trust you, and will feed cheese to their kids.
    Thanks a lot! Keep on thefantastic work!

    Sophia von Wrangell

  30. Way to go Vani!!!
    Love this video and I love your work, you are amazing!!
    Thanks for spreading the word about the crap that is in processed foods and how people can make real food in an affordable way in the same amount of time.
    Keep on rockin’ the message!!
    xoxo, Pam

  31. Vani, you are just soooooooooooooo awesome!

    Thank you for all that you do in your own gorgeous and special way.

    You’re a doll!!!!!


  32. You are awesome Food Babe! Keep up the good work. Now there is another family to help spread the word!

  33. I was so happy tonight when I saw on the nightly NEWS that KRAFT MAC AND CHEESE announced that there sponge bob and other character shaped pastas will NO LONGER BE MADE WITH food dyes…they will actaully use TUMERIC AND PAPRIKA….real food!..whoopee…great job foodBABE! Counting on you to continue edcuatiing consumers on WHAT IS IN OUR Food and putting pressure on big corporations to STOP POSIONING US!

  34. i love you, food babe.

    I don’t watch television, but just watched an episde from your website.
    Thank you for the work that you are doing to make the world a better place : )

  35. What encouraging news. I only became aware of this earlier this year through a friend. The CNN article mentioned M&M. I figured out when my daughter was younger that M&M changed her. She threw fits, got angry and was not her usual easy going self. Once I determined it was M&M, she isn’t allowed to eat them – still today many years later the candy dyes affect her behavior.

    It’s not the chocolate either. Chocolate does make her a little hyper, but nothing compared to what M&M do. Keep the fight!

  36. Vani is mostly ignoring the fact that we are not forced to buy this color laced products such as “Mac & Cheese” by manufacturers. Disclaimer: I hate almost all all the manufacturers of “Processed Food”. In reality, parents can make their own dishes from the scratch in advance from raw ingredients such as whole grain, vegetables, legumes and beans for their kids; no excuse parents please, most of us have enough time available to watch hours of TV on a daily basis. By the way, I am a Ph.D. chemist and can vouch that all products derived from petroleum are not harmful; examples are vitamin A and CoQ10 found in nutritional supplements. To advance her cause, Vani is engaged in a fear mongering of “Petroleum Based Products”. Please note that most of the drugs and nutritional supplements we consume are also ultimately petroleum derived. This does not mean all the food colors are harmless, some of them really are! But parents conveniently ignore the fact that, in reality, highly processed foods we serve to all of us are really more harmful than this food colors. Some people like to make career out of “Fear Mongering” where as rest of us look for easy scapegoat for not cooking for our kids.

  37. I made this recipe tonight and it was delicious. I used organic mild cheddar because i couldn’t find goat cheddar. My 17 yo thought it was great and it was really filling too! So incredibly easy, there’s no reason people can’t do this.

    For kids who like their veg, I think broccoli could be added instead of the cauliflower (maybe not grated though!) and would add a nice color contrast.

  38. We loved the Mac n Cheese. I got a 10 out of 10 from my son. The segment on the family was great.

  39. I think it’s great that you are teaching others how to make healthy food vs relying on processed items, but please be honest about the cost. I saw several comments on this site referring to the “$3 cheese”, yet none of us have found it for less than $5 (my store is $5.85 per block!). You are always encouraging companies to tell us the truth about our food. Please let people know that eating healthy IS more expensive, but so worth it in the long run. It may even help to post your receipt from the store showing what you paid, or do a “healthy on a budget” program. Thank you.

  40. Hi Vani.. I’m planning on making this recipe.. with the raw goat cheese from my neighbor, lucky me.. but it’s not cheddar… how much paprika would you put in the recipe to make it orange ?
    thanks and congrats on the dyes food color.. we need more people like you to make the government understand logic..

  41. I was wondering if the bell peppers grown commercially in a greenhouse are safe to eat as far as pesticides are concerned?

  42. People keep saying, “I don’t understand why our country allows this?”. What’s not to understand? Don’t people pay attention to what’s going on?

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