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Macaroni Madness!


April 16, 2013

Important message about some U.S macaroni & cheese products

By: Tammy McKillip
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Don't get us wrong, folks. Here at Macaroni Kid, we are all for convenience and yummy, wholesome food products that kids love to eat--especially macaroni & cheese! But a few disturbing facts have recently come to our attention regarding American versions of hugely popular food products being marketed to our children, and we would be negligent not to bring the issue up in our Family Safety newsletter. 

What's the Buzz?

Several large (iconic, even) food manufacturors continue to use Tartrazine, aka Yellow Dye #5, and Yellow Dye #6 in their United States versions of kid-marketed products, even after removing them from their United Kingdom versions, due to public outcry.

The potential health problems associated with these chemicals are numerous, especially in children, and include:
  • cancer
  • hyperactivity
  • reduced ability to learn
  • migraines
  • skin rashes
  • asthma
Other countries, including Norway and Australia, have already banned these petroleum-based chemicals or require warning labels on the packaging to inform parents of their presense and potential harm. The UK is in the process of phasing them out of their food products entirely. The same food companies that are knowingly marketing these chemically-tainted foods to our children have removed the offending ingredients from UK and other overseas versions of the product

What You Can Do

Food writers and bloggers Vani Hari from Food Babe and Lisa Leake from 100 Days of Real Food have circulated a petition through Change.org to demand that these family-marketed food companies change the formula of their American-sold products to remove Yellow Dyes 5 & 6. Their petition includes a taped message that explains the controversy and details about the harmful effects of consuming the additives which, by the way, are unnecessary, add no nutritional value, and have no effect on the taste and little effect on the appearance of the products. The fact that they remain in our macaroni & cheese (and other food products) demonstrates gross disregard for the health and well-being of American children. 

In the Meantime

Nobody is suggesting that you stop making macaroni & cheese for your family! (We here at Macaroni Kid would NEVER suggest that!) There are plenty of alternatives to the iconic Macaroni & Cheese product in question. Just look closely at the label when making your selection at the grocery store. Choose an organic brand or a brand that does not contain Yellow Dye 5 (also listed as Tartrazine) or Yellow Dye 6. Or, better yet, if you have the time, buy a box of noodles, and bake your macaroni & cheese from scratch--your kids will love it!



Resources:

Center for Science in the Public Interest: Food Dyes--Rainbow of Risks

Dr. Oz: Food Dyes--Are They Safe?

100 Days of Real Food: Food Babe Investigates

Allergy Kids: Serving Up Food Dyes UK Style

Yummy Homemade Macaroni & Cheese Recipes from Southern Living!


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