Protesting Kraft Mac and Cheese

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Have any of you heard of this? If not, it is an issue that bears thinking about.

    The bloggers who started the petition are not against the entire Kraft mac and cheese, just the food colorings in them. The colorings, esp the yellow ones, are proven to cause problems for some adhd children and to trigger migraines in a large portion of migraine sufferers. Changing to a natural food color would NOT be a big deal. Kraft is already selling macaroni and cheese in England that has all natural colorings. So Kraft clearly knows how to do this, they are just choosing to not sell it in the US.

    Food color is one of my biggest peeves. I actually don't mind using it for cake and cookie decorating, but the quantities used in the home or even by professional bakers is far less than what is in a product like Kraft Mac and Cheese. I react to LOTS of food colorings, so I have had to read labels and give up foods I really enjoy because of the amount and types of food colorings in them.

    The two moms who started this looked at other efforts to change food colorings in the past. They believe that past efforts were very generalized, aimed at taking them out of all products. Large corporations threw millions at lawmakers to ensure that the laws would not change and the protestors were ignored. With that in mind, these moms chose Kraft mac and Cheese to start their efforts. This product is marketed to children (you can't tell me they make Spongebob and Pokemon shaped noodles for the adults) and children are more susceptible to problems from dyes and additives because their bodies are still developing. After they get enough people to join them and they convince Kraft to offer the US market the version sold in the UK, they will move to another food.

    this is a sound strategy for making change happen, in my opinion. It is something that many of may want to support, and if we can accomplish this change, we can accomplish more change so that our children have an easier time making healthy choices.

    The naturally colored version sold in the UK did not come about as the result of pressure from lawmakers. It happened as a result of pressure from consumers. If Kraft can make changes due to consumer pressure in one country, there is no reason they can't or won't inour country.

    Here is a link to the news story:

    There is a link to the petition in the news story if anyone is interested.
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I have to laugh at myself, seriously I do. For years I was one who thought folks going "organic" were stupid.......a little "off".......and going overboard.

    My kidney doctor is the one who first tried to get me to re-think that. I did do a few changes......but still I was resistant. I didn't quite "get it" yet.

    Somewhere along the line I got tired of my chicken tasting either like plastic or having no taste at all, same for pork and beef. I found amish raised and suddenly my meat tasted the way I remember from my childhood. Then I started growing things, not a large garden at first.....just a few things that are pricey in stores......and the taste difference was huge.......and oddly enough it didn't go bad anywhere near as fast as store produce.

    So it's safe to say that taste was my original motivator. I might have hopped on the bandwagon a tad faster if going organic weren't so darn expensive.

    Then I begin to do some research about what this abbreviation or term meant or that one......and the more I researched the more disturbed I became. There are soooooooo many chemicals floating around in our food, most to enhance color, taste, or to just preserve it.....others for more obscure reasons. From what I see much of the time the FDA doesn't even test them until it is indicated that they "do harm"..........and good grief depending on what that "harm" is can take a generation or three, by then the damage is done. (this stunned me as I always believed it was the other way around)

    So, I now have my big garden. I eat organically raised meat most of the time. Thankfully around here it isn't quite so hard to do and usually can be bought at the same price or cheaper. I'm taking my "cooking from scratch" down to an even lower level and cooking much the same way my grandmother did when she was young......not much pre-packaged going on around here. Turns out to be cheaper too, which is great in my book.

    I bought ONE box of kraft mac and cheese when my kids were teeny. I don't recall ever buying another. I dunno who calls that mac & cheese.....but they've obviously never had it from scratch. LOL ick

    My long drawn out point is...........sorry, I'm only on my first cup of coffee..........people need to start researching this stuff and see what we've been eating/drinking for years and years. It will certainly change how you look at your food. If enough are informed and ticked off, maybe we can get some of this literal garbage out of our foods.

    I will say........going back to basics, as I like to call it, has certainly made me feel better all the way around. :)
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    In the 60's and 71's I started reading packages to avoid artificial colors and preservatives in hopes it would help GFGmom reduce her hyperkinetic behaviors. Over the years I have gotten better at it and really prefer cooking from scratch. This year due to my health issues I am trying to eat organic. It does cost more here and it is darn hard to find a variety. We have five or six supermarket chains in our community. They all change stock on a whim...sigh. It is timeconsuming. Only one stocks organic white cheddar cheese in a block. This week I had the hots for mac and cheese.......guess what........the store did not have it this week. I wouldn't eat boxed, sigh, so I'll wait.

    According to my research these should be Organic Only; appples, celery, bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, imported necterines, kale/spinach/greens/lettuce, cucumbers, grapes, blueberries, potatoes and green beans.

    Safe list: onions, sweet corn, avacado, mango, cabbage, sweet peas, grapefruit, asparagus, eggplant, kiwi, domestic cantalope, sweet potatoes, watermelon and mushrooms.

    One last unrelated thing, lol. husband has congestive heart problems and was told "avoid salt". So we started buying No Salt canned tomato products etc. Guess what?? Eh Gads! He was told this month "often products that are marked no salt have salt substitute which is even more dangerous so avoid those". WTH??? Sometimes I wonder if we will end up just living on quinoa! DDD :bigsmile:
  4. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    I subscribe to the blog that originated the petition, and I highly recommend it, especially for parents with school-age kids. There are TONS of awesome ideas for eating REAL food, getting kids to enjoy unprocessed stuff, eating real on a budget, etc. Here's a link:
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    In college it took months of food diaries and statistical analysis of them to figure out my migraine triggers. Mine are some of the typical and more than a few atypicall. Sometimes it if two days later that the migraine happens, which is supremely annoying esp when you are working to figure out what is going on. That is the main reason I started cooking from scratch. Well, my gma was put on a low sodium diet in my early teens and I enjoyed finding food she could eat and making things that were safe for her also. When thank you came along I was so glad I already cooked from scratch faster than many people use a mix. His food allergies as a baby could have sent me around the bend otherwise. husband had the hardest time with them and often Jess was the one who would tell him that thank you can't have this or that and why. By around his 4th birthday he could also tell you, which I thought was quite awesome. it made it far easier to send him to school and to play with friends.

    DDD, check your area for food coops. A food coop often gets a regular shipment in and you can order at the wholesale prices. There are also services that will let you buy a bag of certified organic veggies for a set price each week. We did this for a while, but given the level of picky eating, much of it was given away. Our area has had the coop for decades and many towns around us also have them. The veggie service has been here for five or six yrs and now there are three of them that are thriving. I think they are popping up in lots of areas.

    As for low salt, ALWAYS read the label. Don't rely on a doctor telling you it has 'bad stuff' in it. Make them tell you the name of the 'bad stuff' so you can make your own decisions about your food. Doctors are generally the LAST people to know much about nutrition. They get very little training in nutrition in medication school. Many will still deny thatthe food you eat makes a big impact on your health. I have had more than a few tell me that the ingredients don't really matter, all you need to pay attention to are the calories, protein, sugars, fiber, fat, sodium and vitamins. And that if you take a multivitamin you don't have to worry about the vitamins/nutrients at all! This isn't docs a decade ago, I have heard it from my own, my kiids and husband's docs plus my parents' doctors in the last three years. The docs just don't have the training to really understand nutrition.

    For someone needing a low sodium diet, or other specific diet, insurance will normally cover a nutritionist/dietician, at least for one or two visits. I would push for this. Medicaid and Medicare cover it here if you have heart issues, diabetes, kidney problems, or other problems that diet can make worse. You have to get your reg doctor to refer you, of course. One thing that blew me away was that for more than a few years insurance covered gastric surgery for morbid obesity but they didn't cover seeing a nutritionist before the surgery.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Frankly, all boxed mac & cheese is nauseating to me. It is SO SO SO salty!

    I taught myself to make my own cheese sauce and rarely buy the boxed stuff anymore. Jett doesn't like homemade unless it is highly flavorful - this is the kid who hates strong flavors - so when I make the sauce I add garlic, onion, and a little feta or parmesan. I also use extra sharp Cheddar...
  7. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    If you like the convenience of a box mac & cheese, there's a brand called "Annie's" - it has a bunny on the front of the box - that offers a boxed organic white cheddar mac & cheese kit. Around here, it's on the tippy top shelf above the Kraft mac & cheese, so you have to look hard for it. It's pretty tasty, and when the kids were younger, they could make it themselves, which they seemed to enjoy.
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Annie's is okay, but still salty... And way more expensive than homemade. But it is convenient!!!