In a mere 36 hours our petition asking Kraft to remove artificial food dyes from their line of macaroni and cheese products has gone viral and now has more than 170,000 signatures. We are so taken aback by the instant and widespread media attention on this topic, which we think indicates how this much-needed change in our Food Industry has been imminent for some time. One of the big guys just needed a little push in the right direction, and we hope this is it. (Be sure to sign the petition if you haven’t already!).
We want to take a moment to share that this petition is honestly much bigger than just macaroni and cheese or even Kraft. There are many large US companies that use artificial dyes – as well as other additives – in their food products here that are not used overseas. Everyone from General Mills to Kellogg’s to Pepsi, and of course Kraft, have formulated safer, better versions of their products for other countries and this petition is a vehicle to let these companies know it’s time for American consumers to get the same.
Our petition in particular is focusing on an iconic food product like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese because we thought this would be the best place to start to generate public awareness. If Kraft, the largest US-based food company, takes the lead by voluntarily removing potentially harmful – yet unnecessary – artificial food dyes our hope is that the others will follow suit. Whether or not you buy or eat this product think of those who do (the average consumer assumes products on grocery store shelves are completely safe and seldom reads ingredient labels). The UK version, which we made and sampled ourselves, is dyed with natural colors (paprika and beta carotene) and looks and tastes almost exactly the same. This is not about taking away anyone’s beloved mac and cheese.
Here’s the Bottom Line
Artificial food dyes are derived from petroleum, they either require a warning label or have been phased out in other developed countries due to health concerns, and they add NO value to the foods they are in whatsoever. These dyes are purely for aesthetic reasons only. Check out my post sharing the 7 reasons I hate artificial dyes for more information.
Some of the Comments
We’ve gotten all sorts of interesting feedback from readers and commenters about our crusade…everything from:
“Whenever my son has artificial dyes his behaviors really increase!! It is time to remove these harmful ingredients once and for all!!”
“Signed your petition and I fully support you! Thanks for opening our eyes in the US!”
To some that aren’t so positive like:
“Then just don’t buy it”
FYI – Just for the record we don’t buy it and happen to care about more than just ourselves.
And even one commenter said:
“If you dont like it dont eat it. stop messing things up for the rest of us”
Another reader “Marcie” summed it up well:
How is removing a harmful ingredient “messing things up for the rest of us”? Kraft has successfully reformulated this product in other countries without sacrificing taste.
Kraft has responded to our petition stating that “The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority and we take consumer concerns very seriously.” They also shared that they have just over a dozen versions of macaroni and cheese in the US that do not contain artificial dyes. Vani and I are still concerned though about the 30 or so that do contain these dyes, over half of which are targeted at children.
Unbelievable Media Attention!
So we will continue to fight this fight and in case you’ve missed some of the national coverage here is a little summary of the news clips!
- Good Morning America
- ABC News
- CBS News
- Fox News
- NBC Nightly News
- USA Today
- UK Daily Mail
- Chicago Tribune
If you or anyone you know is adversely affected by the consumption of artificial food dyes we’d love to hear your story below. And before I let you go I thought a few of you may be interested in getting a link to my homemade mac and cheese recipe (it’s what we had for dinner tonight)…enjoy!