Kraft Petition Update

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!).

Kraft Yellow Food Dye Petition - 100 Days of Real Food

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’s Response

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!

press coverage2

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! :)

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149 thoughts on “Kraft Petition Update”

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  1. Thank you for this post. This is somthing I always wondered. Why do we add all these food dyes and other chemicals to our food?? especially when they are so harmful to us. I signed the petition. :)

    Thank you again!

  2. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I’ve been complaining for over 10 years about artificial colorings, primarily in kids food. My first complaint is with RED DYE #40, which is in all kids food products, cold products etc. (i havent read enough of your blog to see what all you have written.) I can personally atest to the red dye link with my son. Years ago I contacted the FDA, wrote letters, made phone call,etc, I was surprised at how clueless they truely are. Although some children are more sensitive than others, (mine), unless you have experienced it, it is hard for others to comprehend. Anyway, I am so glad you got the attention that is so well deserved. Our food industry is pretty much poisoning us…..and I am not a health food kind of person:)

  3. Thank you for advocating for our families! I am amazed at how many products contain artificial ingredients, so sad and scary. Spreading the word to bring more and more attention to this important issue. Thank you!

    Nice. They start with a commercial for Kellogg’s, another company that targets children with their dye-laiden foods. I commend Kellogg’s for trying to help kids who might otherwise go hungry, but it also seems like a great way to earn future customers who will keep buying their products. Then they have a bit with a doctor who says he sees nothing harmful regarding these dyes, and then put it up against Lisa, “just a mom.” You may not have a degree or specific training, but you’ve done a lot of research and have a lot of experience, as is evidenced by your blog. Yes, I still do my own research against what I read on your blog. That’s only common sense. I still don’t understand why some people can’t understand your argument…that even if the chance of these dyes is very small or non-existent, there’s so reason (not for flavor, not even coloring) to keep them in our food products. I know, I’m preaching to the choir on this point!

  5. I will sign the petition. Kraft won’t change this unless they are significantly hurt by this movement. That’s the psychology of capitalism. They will take the brunt of this and hope that people will eventually jump on the next media frenzy bandwagon while forgetting about Kraft. Don’t get me wrong, I hope it works. The US deserves better.

  6. I get severe migraines from dyes and msg (among other things). I have since age 12 so I have cut out many things from my diet – happily. So my son who is now 7 has never had many dyes. We went to a Christmas party this past December and my son had a fake sugary green drink. He only had a couple of sips and didn’t like it. He drinks milk and water and apple juice once in a while so was not something he was use to. It was something like a kool aid – which we will never have in the house since that was what I had when I experienced my first migraine. Well we do not know for sure what caused it, but my son ended up in the ER with severe allergice reaction to something. Hives covered his body and ended up hindering his breathing. It was horribly scary. We now carry around an epi pen and he will never have dyes again. We don’t know it was that, but he didn’t have anything else differnt and the hives started a few minutes after he tried the drink. So I am a firm believer that dyes are horrible and should not be in foods. Yes – you can make the choice – but you can’t be there every second to control what your child eats. I wish I could….Thanks for doing this!

  7. I like this petition because there are alot of families that either don’t know of the harmful effects of food dyes (I certainly didn’t just a year ago!!) or don’ care and in which case their children would at least be getting something slightly better (since they don’t have a say!). Sure, there are other brands to support, but I’m guessing that’s not the issue here. It’s about taking it out of things and if the biggest player does so, it will set in motion a new wave, I would assume!!

  8. Look, I LOVE 100 Days of Real Food. As a family of 12 that eats as organically and locally, we really do love this blog, but fighting Kraft is a waste of energy. Better to lead everyone to support other, healthier options like Annie’s. If we can increase their market share they can bring prices down to where Kraft HAS to listen or lose the blue box dominance they enjoy. Why not support a company that already acts ethically rather than try to fix this one (in a LONG list of egregious behavior) brand?

  9. I just want to say that it’s not just kids with issues. I’m a grown woman, with a severe, life threatening allergy to MSG (and all derivatives, including anything “autolyzed”, “hydrolyzed”, or containing guanylates) and food dyes (particularly red 40). People rarely or never hear of actual medical issues with additives – “cancer causing” is far from immediate, and “headaches” or “hyperactivity” can seem so vague, could be dismissed as unrelated. But I doubt I’m the only person in the US who could DIE if they ate an artificially colored product, or one containing MSG or it’s MANY hidden derivatives. Avoiding food additives isn’t an academic or moral decision for me, and I don’t consider a desire to keep a processed food as it is, more important than my desire to not be afraid that the food I eat might kill me. No, I can’t eat very many Kraft foods. But real food or not, I wish I could! I sincerely hope people who don’t have food allergies could consider that asking companies to remove artificial additives from products isn’t just a moral argument, and that there ARE real people, who experience real and immediate negative consequences of exposure to these additives.

  10. Thank you for all you do! I follow both your blog and foodbabe. Thank you for educating the public with accurate information from a reasonable point of view. You are standing up for those who can not stand up for themselves or know any different. Just not buying the product is not enough because the people that know better are far outnumbered by those who don’t. This is about educating the public, not just getting a food company to change their ways. I think it’s completely ridiculous that they can’t or don’t use the same formula as the UK.

  11. Well, I guess in a way that was pretty much expected. After all, this is instant food your talking about. And if you think about it, Kraft was never all that healthy to begin with anyway. If you have kids, it is definitely better to do the cooking yourself- and I don’t mean just popping stuff in the microwave. Sure, it will take much more time, but at least you will have peace of m ind and know exactly what you put into the meals your serving.

  12. While I would never feed my child Kraft. I have family who feed their child kraft! People I care about innocent children, and ignorant people who don’t know better! I hope they do take it out!

  13. I do not agree with the Mac & Cheese being unsafe. It may not be healthy for you but if it was unsafe the FDA would pull the dye from the market. If you do not like the original Mac & Cheese buy one of the other M&C products that do not contain Yellow Dye 5 & 6. I truly believe you have two women seeking their 15 minutes of fame by being on every network news program. Why don’t they spend their time fighting hunger. Oh, that is what Kraft is doing with their donations to food depositories.

    1. Jackie – As if we could predict that every major news network would pick up this story! We put the petition up on and mentioned it on Facebook. The ensuing media frenzy just goes to show how important this issue is to the public. As Lisa’s husband I can squarely tell you fame is NOT at all what she wants. But Lisa is enduring constant interviews and personal disruption to her normal life to get the message out because this is a message she believes in.

      Your statement that “it may not be healthy for you but if it was unsafe the FDA would pull the dye from the market” is quite an understandable opinion to take…we used to think the same thing. Unfortunately the FDA is heavily lobbied by the food industry. I highly recommend you read Melanie Warner’s book “Pandora’s Lunchbox” to gain more perspective.

    2. Really??? You think they’re only after their 15 minutes of fame??? Dye is not safe in any food. HOw would it be more unsafe for the FDA to pull them??? What negative consequences would that bring? I can’t think of anything.

    3. Actually, The FDA is controlled by lobbyists (read the book “Food Politics” by Marion Nestle). Foods are approved for consumption UNLESS they have been proven unhealthy. And, seriously, what company is going to fund a study that proves their food additive is unhealthy. In Europe products have to be proven HEALTHY/safe for consumption before they are approved.

      I am passionate about healthy food, so I make most everything my family eats from scratch with real ingredients. Not every every child’s parents have the time, financial resources, knowledge or frankly motivation to make food from scratch. For those children, dye free Kraft Mac and Cheese is a step in the right direction. I used to teach in an elementary school with over 50% free and reduced breakfast and lunch. I would have loved to see the kids actually getting nutritious food. Fruit loops, chocolate milk and the like are NOT healthy. It may fill them up, but with empty carbs, that leave them hungry soon after. I knew so many children with ADD/ADHD, I would have loved to see how/if a diet free of artificial colors would have benefited them.

  14. We have been on an adventure for the last few years as we have noticed trouble with our son. His terrible 2 seemed almost out of this world. As his mother I was deeply emotional about the struggles of my child. I felt that he was an outcast. Soon to be labeled as a problem child or ADHD or ADD or something worse. I know that there are children out there with real ADHD and ADD issues and I just knew that my son didn’t have those symptoms, but he did mirror many of them. With much faith I listened to my heart and fought with the world about what I allowed to impact our diets. It is TOUGH!! Sabotage around every corner. It has paid off. My son shows signs of Sensory processing disorder. Removing the dyes, fillers, and artificial sugars, and HFCS has made a WORLD of difference. Thank you for starting this campaign. Awareness is the first step to combat this terrible crisis. We are the keepers of the children. Everyone deserves a great childhood.

  15. I am absolutely astounded at the number of products that have artificial flavor, color, additives, preservatives and corn syrup (high fructose and otherwise). And I agree that this whole thing is about education, because before last year I saw no reason to read ingredients lists, thinking things like “well it says low fat right on the box” or “it’s sugar free, it has to be good for you” but what really bothers me is that in other countries things are healthier and US companies even amid all the media hype about the obesity epidemic, refuse to look at their own products as part of the way to change things. Signed the petition! :D

  16. Just trying to point out the bigger picture that goes beyond individual families. As JMSH has pointed out that Lisa does not eat Kraft either. It might be best to read the full article before taking time to post a comment. The part that I referenced above is also IN the article/post, NOT the comment section. If you read it you will see what I mean.

  17. Thank you for doing this! My husband and I recently decided to remove anything that contains artificial food dyes from our young son’s diet. My husband was diagnosed with ADHD as a child, and his parents put him on Ritalin. He was forced to take it for over 10 years, and he experienced some very negative side effects including difficulty sleeping, lack of appetite, etc. If they’d only changed his diet he probably would have been fine without medication, but his parents fed him junk and didn’t know any better. We eat pretty healthy now – still improving – and I’ve followed your blog for a year now. This morning I discovered that my son’s vitamins contain every food dye under the sun. I wanted to stop his vitamin consumption after realizing he didn’t need them since he eats fairly well, but now we definitely will. Insane that companies put artificial food dyes in anything, let alone vitamins! I’ll be returning our half-empty bottle to Meijer for a refund.

  18. Hi Lisa and Vani! This is incredible and YES, my daughter in particular was enormously impacted by artificial food color and additives. She suffered from both sensory processing and ADHD symptoms for a year and a half. I systematically removed the colors and preservatives and saw a HUGE improvement in her behavior and ability to concentrate within days of the removal. Specifically, my husband I now realize that her itchy feet and hands was caused by the artificial colors. For if she “cheats” and has something with the food dye in it, she has itchy feet within an hour of ingesting it. We thought it some kind of weird fungus that would come and go!!!! We took our diet change a step further and removed gluten and dairy. Within 2.5 weeks, she was symptom free. Nothing short of a miracle. I first learned of removing artificial color and additives from a friend who had successfully helped her son with ADHD. Thank heavens for word of mouth as this is not something doctors talk about freely. Unfortunately, there are no “double-blind” studies out there to point us in this real food change direction as a viable option for parents wanting to help their kids in school. I tried this because I figured, WHAT DO I HAVE TO LOOSE? My time, more cooking in the kitchen….it was hard to do, but it was the best thing I have ever done in my life. My entire family has improved health, waistlines and energy. We are trying to spread the word about real food as far & wide as we can. It may not help every child out there as much as it did my Abbie, but what if…just what IF it could? I’m looking forward to finding out. Every family I know who has followed suit and stuck to this, is seeing huge, incredible benefits within weeks of the food change and I’m just so excited about it all. Thank you so very very much for this petition…the waterfall is happening girls. So happy to be a part of it all. xoxo

  19. When you last posted about the U.K. having different ingredients than the U.S., I wrote to Mcdonalds and general mills about it. I asked them why they didnt use the better ingredients here in the U.S., especially since they were already doing it overseas. They both responded about the same: all their ingredients are FDA approved and safe so they dont need to change anything here. Approved does not equal safe so I will continue to not buy those products with questionable ingredients.

  20. As a matter of principle I don’t like that Kraft provides the US with a different version than elsewhere. But with or without chemical dyes Kraft mac & cheese is not healthy any way you look at it. Rather than fighting Kraft I would send them a message by not buying their foods. You can get “healthier” versions of this dish made by Amy’s or Trader Joe’s or you can make your own from scratch. better yet – skip mac & cheese. Nutritionally it has nothing going for it.

    1. This petition and the coverage it has gotten sends a MUCH stronger message than a few people simply not buying the product. And it will enact change much more quickly. That is the point. “Just don’t buy it” is far too simplistic. Yes, you should also send a message by refusing to buy the product, but they honestly won’t know the difference. The impact in sales will be too low and if they notice it at all they won’t know why. This petition makes it incredibly clear why and brings awareness to a large number of parents who would never have known it was an issue. And that is the point, which so many still seem to miss.

    2. I would agree that Mac and Cheese has little to no nutritional value and I don’t eat it personally (gluten free, and I don’t like the “fake” stuff). But I teach in a city where I know a lot of my kids are lucky to get kraft mac and cheese for dinner. There is no one at home who can make it from scratch, or can afford to. So I signed for my kids, food they can afford, or they can make themselves (every high schooler can use a microwave) shouldn’t be making them sick.

  21. Signed!! Thank you for doing this. I can count on my fingers the number of times I’ve bought Kraft Mac and Cheese, but I think it is so important for companies to know that the US holds their foods to the same standards as other countries. I’ve never understood why companies sell one product without the chemicals right next to the one with. Why not just sell the natural versions. I don’t think people will say, “I really miss those artificial colors and HFCS.”

    1. I think people are finally waking up to what has been done to the American people by food processing companies that are more interested in profits than health. Admittedly they are in a bind because they are publically traded companies that must respond to the forces of the stockmarket (i.e, show growth each quarter). When the head of Pepsico tried to start producing more healthy products, she was shot down by the major stockholders because Pepsico lost market share to its nemesis CocaCola.
      But if much of the blame can be assigned to processed foods having caused the obesity epidemic which has led to diabetes and heart disease epidemics, and people will start eating the way their grandparents and great-grandparents did, then these giant companies will have no choice but to respond to market dynamics. For many it is very hard to get off of the “convenience” and “fast food” trains, but IT CAN BE DONE with only a modicum of effort.

  22. signed the petition! and also posted about the petition on my blog ( and Facebook page. While I dont eat things like Kraft Mac-n-Cheese; I know so many Americans (mainly CHILDREN!) do and I want to see this outcry turn into a new standard for our country’s food.

    way to go! keep up the good work!

  23. It keeps giving me an error when I try to sign it, but I will keep trying! :) I am all for getting artificial stuff out of our foods! I am especially against food dyes since my niece and nephew are allergic to them! Great job with this, and thank you! :)

  24. I agree that artificial flavoring and dyes should be taken out of foods. I am a mother to a son with extreme food allergies and another son who has ADHD. They both do so much better when they do not consume foods with dye in them. However; I do believe that we are targeting the wrong group. Shouldn’t we be singing a petition to get the FDA to change their guide lines? The FDA is the one who approves company’s like Kraft to use these harmful chemicals. I do hope that Kraft will voluntarily take the chemicals out and that other company’s will follow, but the FDA needs to make the change too.

  25. I have a severe sensitivity to yellow #5. If it comes in contact with my skin, I get hive and welts wherever the product touched. If I eat it, I get hives on my face and sores in my mouth. I can only imagine the effect that this is having internally. I have spent most of my life having to read packages for ingredients and, eventually just began making most things from scratch. Sorry Kraft (and other packaged food companies), you lost my business.

  26. I think this is great and needed. I saw a kraft spokesperson say that they only use products that are deemed safe by the FDA. So should this be directed to the FDA? They can make the change mandatory.

    1. Lisa – That is a natural conclusion and great question. The food industries lobbying power over the FDA is very, very strong, so we are focusing on something more attainable. We are asking Kraft to be a leader in making this change, and they could come out in a very good light if they do – much like Whole Foods and their recent move to voluntarily label GMOs by 2018.

  27. Over the last few months I have slowly been changing our eating style. While we never ate terribly, we still indulged in some things that were chocked full of preservatives, artificial flavors and dyes. My middle son was diagnosed with ADHD a year and a half ago and two of my kids suffer with eczema. I started eliminating dyes and noticed a huge difference in my son. I also have seen changes in my other children as we have continued to make changes (less outbreaks of eczema, better bowels (sorry-TMI) and better behaviors). As I continue to make changes, it just makes me even more upset that we can list the harmful side effects on medications (and their commercials) but not on food that people consume.

  28. Awesome job bringing this issue out into the open! My 20 month old daughter has a sensitivity to food dye, specifically red 40, but I’ve tried to eliminate all of it from our diets. I can control what they eat at home, but not at school, and sometimes not even at grandma’s house. They’re not as diligent about reading labels as I am or they just forget. The dyes serve no purpose in our food, have harmful side effects in some people, and are even outlawed in other countries. So why does the government still allow it in our main food supply?

  29. Oh, and thank you for this! I worry about how all of the harmful additives in our food may have harmed my generation, and I really hope we can protect our children and grandchildren and give them safe, healthy choices!!

  30. I have to admit that I’m not excited about Kraft’s reply. The point isn’t just to have offerings without artificial colors (which several commenters have said they can’t find anyway), but to remove this completely unnecessary ingredient from their products altogether. Yes, having a few offerings without the dyes is a good start, but Kraft seems to feel this is enough. I think it’s a weak response that allows Kraft to give the impression they are taking the high road without making any changes to their products and continuing to proliferate our food supply with harmful chemicals. The real kicker is that Kraft already knows how to make their products without these dyes, so it wouldn’t be a complete “do over.”

  31. Thank you so much for what you are doing. Having a very picky eater at home, I’d love to be able to offer the foods she really likes and know that they’re not filled with chemicals and dyes that are so damaging to her. It’s time to stand up to these companies and demand the chemical, dye-free food that we all deserve!

  32. I agree with the above responses. Obesity is a huge problem in this country due in part to our food quality. My son has adhd problems and we have found it’s worse if he has processed food (especially dyes) and so we stick to whole foods. I would next like to see some action against putting corn syrup in EVERYTHING. Thank-you for educating people, let’s keep spreading the awareness and making change!

  33. Ignore the haters or people who don’t understand. True, we don’t have to buy it, but we also deserve the same “rights” as the folks in the UK. We need all the garbage taken out of our food. It is hard to change 30 year old habits but it is my goal to try and make slow changes to my family’s eating habits and bring an awareness to them. The folks at Kraft and others won’t be “messing things up” for the rest of the people they can only help improve the quality of the food we eat.

    Keep on Keepin’ on Ladies! You rock!

  34. Reading some of the comments on the Yahoo article and others is so frustrating! People either did not take time to read the article or simply cannot fathom why people who do not buy or use the product would want to hold food corporations accountable for their shady business practices. Thank you for exposing this issue.

  35. And you ladies remind me of why I typically don’t comment on articles – you can’t say anything without someone getting their panties in a wad.

  36. After speaking with my doctor I was put on a diet to avoid processed food amd artificial colors to avoid migraines. It’s actually been working great and ot does make ot harder to find foods without these in a rush. I’m glad to see someone stepping up to change the food in America!

  37. I saw this discussed on Kyra Phillips noon show on HLN yesterday with a panel of 3 others I didnt recognize! Although she mentioned the concerns behind the petition, I was disappointed how they seemed to disregard the seriousness of the issue laughing it off while stating whats wrong with having it every now & then and the big one was why not just make homemade if you dont like …. Thought they totally missed the point and lost the opportunity to inform! However, I am so thankful I found your blog … You are making a difference and I (along with thousands of others) support you leading this effort! Thank you! Missi

  38. My son loves macaroni and cheese and before I started doing research on the foods we eat I had no idea that so many foods had artificial dyes or that it could affect my child. He had bad migraines since kindergarten and the neurologist never even suggested food dyes. After trials with numerous medications with no relief for him I began my own research I found your site among others and began eliminating dyes and serving more whole foods. He has now been medication free for his migraines for 4 months just by eliminating dyes.

  39. I am pregnant now and it scares me to think this processes unnatural crap food is what is being fed to our children. It is time for Americans to take a stand against processed unnatural foods!

  40. My son gets migraines and we traced it back to food coloring. My youngest gets hyper and out of control when he has them. We also notice that after a weekend at the grandparents both boys have to detox.They are an emotional wreck, crying, and fighting after a trip to see them (they don’t follow the guidelines we set with food).

  41. Thank you so much for bringing much needed attention to this huge issue! My son is sensitive to all chemicals. At first, this was a big challenge to change our lifestyle. Now, I see him as a huge blessing to our family. He allowed me to have wide opened eyes to what is in our food and our family doesn’t eat any of the processed junk anymore. I love your blog and I hope this campaign helps all of the families and children who are just not aware!

  42. Julie Heim Jackson

    I would LOVE to see artificial dyes removed from the US food stream! Please keep up the work you are doing and the pressure you’re putting on the industry. This is how change happens! THANK YOU!

  43. Thanks for doing this we signed right away. My daughter is very sensitive to these dyes and we see behavior changes almost immediately after she eats them. They are in everything! Even things that are surprising like pie shells.

  44. I’m appreciative of all the attention being brought to this issue. So, so many people don’t understand the direct correlation between chemicals in their food and cancer, obesity, ADHD…it’s time this was brought to the forefront.

    1. Tiffany,

      That solves the problem for your family and other families that are educated about the dangers of artificial dyes but not for those who do not know. Did you read the full posting? In the section “Some of the Comments:”

      Some people responded”
      “Then just don’t buy it”

      Lisa’s response:
      “FYI – Just for the record we don’t buy it and happen to care about more than just ourselves.”

      1. Sorry, I don’t have to time to actually scroll through and read all the comments. I apologize that my comment was not to your liking.

      2. Just trying to point out the bigger picture that goes beyond individual families. As JMSH has pointed out that Lisa does not eat Kraft either. It might be best to read the full article before taking time to post a comment. The part that I referenced above is also IN the article/post, NOT the comment section. If you read it you will see what I mean.

  45. My son is autistic, he as many others herefore mentioned
    Can’t tolerate food dyes or ANY additives. We eat heirloom
    Grains, produce and meat/dairy due to this. The plight of American
    Farmers to be allowed to grow and sell wholesome products
    Without having to go trough large corporations needs to be addressed
    We won’t have wholesome foods until they can be grown and sold directly to the

  46. Do you know anything about the products Kraft sells in Germany? Do they contain artificial food dye as well?

  47. My two youngest sons cannot tolerate artificial food color. They get headaches, diarrhea, stomach cramps, nosebleeds (only my youngest) difficulty breathing (my middle child) and display many of the behavioral issues mentioned by others here. The personality change is drastic! Very similar to ADD/ADHD. They feel so poorly when they eat foods with artificial dyes that they both very carefully avoid any suspicious foods on their own. They also react to artificial flavor, sodium benzoate, and high fructose corn syrup. It is very hard to avoid all of these additives, they are in everything, and not just food items. We check toothpaste (even in the dentist’s office) and medications, too.
    Thank you so much for all of your hard work! It is already so much easier to find additive free foods than it was 10 years ago! I think we are moving in the right direction, thanks to hard working women like you!!

  48. I wondered why my 5 year old son had many more behavior meltdowns than my daughter, but “boys will be boys”, right? Then last summer I did some research on ADD and ADHD, started noticing a connection to foods with dye in them and his behavior, and we cut them out. He is able to focus better at school and can control his behavior. As a six grade teacher, I started watching what my students were eating. Although it is not exact, there is a definite correlation between those students who are eating whole foods and those students who are eating packaged foods and their consequent behavior the rest of the day in class. We need to change what our children eat and it starts with making the food companies realize we are serious!

    1. I think that some children are more sensitive to food additives than others. My two oldest children have never reacted to food dyes, while my two youngest do.

  49. I’m super excited that you’re doing this! I’ve passed it on alot! Is there a reason why it’s 200,000 “signatures” required? why not shoot for a million!?

  50. My 5 year old daughter to reacts negatively to most artificial additives. It took us two years to figure it out. We knew food dyes were one because she would get a rash. But like others have posted, the symptoms are mostly behavioral, and she would also have nightime leg pain, trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, and horrible behavior. The bad behaviors…agression, short fuse, could not tolerate any injustice, etc last for 72 hours, then goes away. As long as i keep things out of her diet, she is good and no leg pain. Basically anything in a box or package, we cant buy. It is very frustrating for sure!

  51. stefanie Kennedy

    Thank you so much for sharing this information! Even if nothing comes from your petition (hopefully not the case!) at least people are more aware of what is really in their food. Small steps lead to big rewards!

  52. if Kraft has a bunch of products with no dyes in them i’d like to know which ones they are!! (we specifically asked about the mac & ch) do they have one with no dyes? if so i really haven’t seen it in my grocery stores!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Dawn. We are going to do a petition update post which will include the list of Kraft Mac and Cheese products that do not contain artificial dye. Look for it soon. ~Amy

  53. Lisa, thank you so much for all you do educating the public on food issues and food safety! In response to food safety issues within the US, there is a growing movement across the country to open community-owned grocery stores (food cooperatives), which provide clear labeling of all food products and do not sell products that contain unsafe ingredients. Hopefully, our cumulative efforts will result in real change within our food system.

  54. This is our old blog. It’s not well done but it’s our real and raw truth about how terrible artificial colors are for our kids. They seem to de-evolve my son, cause aggression, depression, etc. We do eat real food at our house but it makes me sick that our European friends can stay away from nasty artificials so much easier than we can in America. I help coordinate for exchange students and as such we travel now. We always bring an extra suitcase when going into Heathrow or any European airport simply to buy a 6 month supply for our family of artificial free m and m’s, mars brand chocolate bars, starburst candies and many many other great candies. The people there have demanded safer foods. Why aren’t we doing the same?

  55. I wish could post pictures of my kids faces right now. They have had birthday parties and candy over the last few days. Their faces are blotchy and dry. It’s horrible! That is what happens after 2 days of crap. Oh and did I mention they are such joys to be around when they eat it? (that was sarcastic)

  56. I saw the tail end of the clip on the news tonight here in Atlanta. I laughed because I told my husband I just read about this whole thing this morning on the real foods blog I read. Thats the lady who started it! GOOD JOB LADIES!!!!! My kids don’t have food dye issues that I know of but i am beginning to check it out due to a recent diagnosis of SPD for my son and his MANY regular food intolerances in the form of Food Protein Induced Entercolitis Syndrome and Eosinophilic Esophogitis. He rarely eats anything processed (except for a few corn cereals, Daiya cheese, and corn pasta) since he is top 8 free plus a ton others so doubt its dyes but i still keep them away as much as possible.

  57. Keep up the great work! I signed the petition earlier this week and encouraged my friends to do the same. This is just one of the first steps to big change in our country! Thank you and Food Babe (and a few other of my favorite real food leaders like Carrie from DO and Margaret from Eat Naked) for educating us!

  58. I have 2 children on the Autism spectrum, we have a dye free household and notice a marked difference in behaviors. I find it amazing that “big” companies make the same products dye free in other countries. Thank you for bringing this to Americas attention!

  59. I’m amazed at the folks who aren’t infuriated by the fact that these American companies produce a safer version of these products for other countries yet continue to give us the toxic filled versions. Is the health of our families less important than families in these other countries??? Heck no!!! I’m thrilled to see all the attention and awareness this issue is getting. The bottom line is that so many people are clueless about the hazards of consuming artificial dyes but everyone deserves to be protected. They don’t have any nutritional value and shouldn’t be in our food supply. Thank you for standing up and working towards making a difference.

  60. We discovered that when our 5 year old daughter consumes these artificial food dyes, she goes CRAZY! She finds it hard to control herself, therefore, she becomes defiant, argumentative, hateful, unsafe (quick to hit and scratch others and herself). It lasts for up to 2-3 days. We were so thankful to realize this discovery so we could remove those foods (which she really only got on special occasions or during a school party…..and, it didn’t take much! Only a few small pieces of candy would send her into this dark, downward spiral)! Thank you, Thank you for all the work you are doing!

  61. Great job. I have been working for years to remove artificial dyes from my family’s diet. Orange powder in no way resembles actual food. One of my kids has allergies to food dyes and preservatives. I often wonder how many kids diagnosed with behavioral problems are really reacting to dyes and preservatives.

  62. I stopped buying Kraft and switched to Annie’s Mac and Cheese because of the dyes. What is so great about your petition is that it has reached the mainstream media. Most parents are well informed and seek out the nutritional information regarding the food they purchase, however there are many lower income families in particular that may not be inclined to do this. Kraft knows this and prices it’s product lower than it’s competitors. Parents have a right to be informed! Don’t stop with Kraft…have you seen the Jell-o brand labels? By the way when is 100 Days of Real Food going to have its own cooking show?? Keep up the good fight! :)

      1. I’m from Canada, and a quick look at our Kraft Whole Wheat Mac’n’Cheese shows the Tartrazine chemical. BUT, in the box of Kraft Smart Vegetable Three Cheese Mac’n’cheese ….there is no tartrazine. The front of the box states No artifical flavours, colours or preservatives. However, the ingredient list has something called Annatto (for colour) in it ……a quick google search shows that Annatto is a natural colourant…is it safe that you know of Lisa?
        Thanks for the work you do!!

      2. Nicole, from what I’ve read, Annatto is a natural coloring agent derived from a plant. Most of the cheddar cheese I’ve seen in the supermarket contains annatto to give it an orange color. It’s commonly regarded as harmless but can be an allergen to some folks. Here’s a link to general info, but you might want to search further on the Internet to see if there is more info.

      3. Yes annatto is natural and what you’ll find in most cheeses. Tartrazine is another word for Yellow 5. The Canadian version only has Yellow 5 and not Yellow 6 (although I am not sure why).

      4. Annatto is a natural color that is commonly used to make cheese orange. I believe it’s safe (it’s not artificial), but I have heard from some who aren’t so sure. It is not something I have researched in detail (yet) myself.

  63. We removed dyes from our sons diet and noticed as dramatic improvement in his ability to control himself. Now, we recognize a change in his behavior if he ingests even the slightest bit of dye. Unfortunately, it is in so many things that you wouldn’t even think would have dyes that sometimes he ingests them without us realizing. It isvery frustrating to us trying to avoid dyes when they’re in so much food. When he starts school next year I can only imagine the new troubles we will face. Thank you for your efforts in this area.

  64. I agree with the above comment that the two of you are a force to be reckoned with. Keep at it. We’re cheering you on north of the border and hoping that any changes to Kraft products in the USA are made in Canada as well. Thank you for bringing this issue to the attention of the public and using your influence to do some good. Hip hip hooray!

  65. I am really glad you guys are doing this. We lived in the UK for five years, and it was amazing how many American made products were manufactured without artificial dyes or sweeteners there. Coca-Cola is a prime example. In Europe, there is no high fructose corn syrup, so the soda is sweetened with sugar. I am not a fan of any processed sweetener, but there is no reason products like this have to be unhealthier here than they are in other countries.

  66. I am allergic to Red Dye #40. It caused me to go into anaphilaxis. As far as versions of the same/similar food, it has been my understanding that other countries are not required to disclose what, if any artificial dyes are used in their foods, as their foods aren’t regulated by FDA type agencies. I have done a lot of traveling and a lot if research due to my own allergy. I would be interested to know if you have found that to be true at all in your research. I think artificial dyes should be banned altogether. Red Dye has been used as a preservative in some foods…that’s just gross!!!

  67. I’d also like to know WHERE are these other versions that Kraft makes without food dye are actually sold. I’ve never seen them. And while we haven’t eaten this crap in years, I fed it to my kids a lot when they were little. I considered myself educated on nutrition, but honestly didn’t realize where the artificial colors came from (I assumed from other food sources), and I think many people still think the same.

  68. Susan @ Our Family Eats

    I discovered a few years ago that artificial ingredients were causing my daughter’s ADHD-like symptoms. I started my site, Our Family Eats, to spread the word and help families cut artificial ingredients out of their diets through my ADHD Diet. I’ve had nothing but positive feedback for the last 3 years from other families over who are astonished at the changes they see in their own children after following the diet. I’m excited that you are bringing us closer to a common understanding of how dangerous these ingredients are! Thank you!

  69. We have cut out all foods that contain dyes from our household. My son, who just turned 4, has shown signs from the beginning that food dyes adversely affect him. I find myself in complete shock at some of the products that have dyes in them (try Red Wine Vinaigrette dressings?? Yep– Red 40…. Ummm, helllloooo it’s already red! Ok, well maybe pinkish, but not unattractive, so what is the need for food dye??) I am not saying we live in a house devoid of processed food choices, however anything with dyes (and certain other unnecessary ingredients) are strictly prohibited. I think this is great what these folks are doing and I support it 100%. Thank you for caring so much!!!

  70. Thank you for bringing this into the light so the main stream population can stop to think about what they are eating. I do not feed Kraft to my family because we do our best to eat real food and stay away from processed. You asked if any of your readers have bad reactions to food dyes and I can say a big “YES” for my family. I still remember the day my mom stopped giving me food with any food coloring in it. I was in the 7th grade and they gave out rainbow colored candy canes. I was actually standing on my desk along with another friend, laughing and acting nuts! I told my mom it made me feel so weird and I could not calm down. I stay away from it the best I can. I am now in my 30’s with children of my own. I have seen what it does to my kids if they get a hold of anything with food coloring in it. You can’t always keep it out of their hands. There is always a well meaning neighbor or something from a friend… My son gets down right mean if he eats anything with food coloring. Thank you for taking up the fight. I signed and shared your petition.

  71. My childrens behavior is directly linked to what they eat, and even though it is not as sensitive as others children, I can tell when they have had entirely too much yellow or red dyes.
    Thanks for spreading awareness.

  72. Thank you so much for your work to clean up our food supply. It looks like some don’t understand the “big picture”. This is not about just Kraft Mac and Cheese and yellow food dye. It is about getting chemicals out of our food supply and awareness. I truly appreciate what you are doing.

  73. I work with low income families and most make very unhealthy food choices. Some who have children with behavioral issues etc tell me they have never even looked at the nutrition/ingredient label and had never made the connection between their health and emotional well being and the food that they eat. I hope that Kraft learns something from this and starts educating themselves and the families that buy their products. Because of the low cost of their Mac and Cheese, I see it in almost every pantry of the homes I visit!

    1. I also wanted to add that my daughter was having issues with sleep (we think possibly night terrors…or horrible random fits…like we were watching an exorcism in the middle of the night) and behaviors (hurting herself when angry or frustrated). Her doctor suggested we give her Benedryl to her her sleep…REALLY?! Instead, I did some research and we removed food dye from her diet. She sleeps through the night most nights now and our family is on board too. I am so thankful for all the information I find here!

    2. Personally, I’ve mostly given up on the idea that the food manufacturers in America are going to be transparent and trustworthy. I think this is a perfect example of why it matters, thanks for the reminder.

  74. My 2 year old daughter breaks out in hives from artificial food dyes. Red food dye actually makes her legs turn bright red along with hives. She is sensitive to other chemical food additives too. After seeing what they can do to her skin, I can only imagine what they do inside our bodies. That is what led me to the Feingold diet and my real food journey. I love your website and am so thankful for the information you provide and that you are leading the effort to clean up our food supply.

  75. My son is adversely affected by artificial colors. Several months ago we removed all foods with artificial colors and flavorings from his diet to see if his behavior would improve. We were amazed to find that by removing these from his diet he has a better attention span and is less fidgety. If there is ever a time when he does eat something with these dyes in it, after about 20 minutes I can tell.

  76. My daughter has a terrible reaction to artificial dyes, her behavior is uncontrollable! We discovered her sensitivity after she ate maraschino cherries. Following her consumption of the cherries she was a total different child, so out of control my husband and I couldn’t handle her!! It was really, really bad. Even the lipstick she wore to her dance recital had red #40 in it and I didn’t realize it until later in the day when she was off the wall. I believe more than half of the problem with children is not behavioral issues, it’s the consumption of processed artificial foods. Everyone is so quick to prescribe pills to mask the problem, we need to educate the parents on what their child eating on a daily basis.

  77. My son has aspergers, a form of autism. Food dyes significantly affect his behavior sometimes leading to explosive tantrums. Red dye #40 causes aggression and self injury. Blue #2 and yellow #5 affect his communication and emotional state. Basically, he becomes nasty and grumpy. Unable to tell us how he is really feeling, this behavior leads to tantrums. Food dye is not allowed in my house. Why do I care if other children eat it? Because until people are fully educated on the side effects of the poison they feed their children they are not able to make rational choices.

  78. Over a dozen in other countries???
    Because last I checked in the United States we run only one! Unless your counting Shells & Cheese but that probably even has it in there. Thank you for addressing this!!!

    1. Kayla – According to Kraft there are 14 varieties of Mac and Cheese here in the US without artificial dyes. But without reading the ingredient label all the boxes look mostly the same.

  79. kimberly estacio

    They are trying to make a point regarding food dyes in our food supply. Of course they prefer real food, and are not calling it healthy or real. This goes way beyond mac and cheese. So skillfully picked, its inspiring.

  80. So glad this issue is finally coming to light for American consumers! I cook home cooked meals all throughout the month due to being scared of what’s really used & added into different products. Hopefully like you said earlier other companies will take notice & follow suit!

  81. I am so excited for all of the impact that your work has done for this country! I so appreciate you, a fellow mom, who has taken the time to inform us of the simplest changes to help our children and ourselves.

    About the Kraft MacNCheese – I don’t buy it anymore for these obvious reasons, but I have been on the healthier choice life for many years now and have already known of the horrid affects the chemicals cause. If only one food at a time helps our children learn about the next food… it will make an enormous difference in the behavior and health of our kids.


  82. They are not calling it real food. Lisa added her recipe for mac n cheese at the bottom of her article. The idea is to attack an American icon so that the nation sits up and takes notice. The idea is to stir a national awareness and activism. I have seen the link on friend’s FB pages who never seem to care about healthy eating. Well done Lisa.

  83. You are doing great work. Every small change is a step in the right direction. I don’t buy this stuff and haven’t for years, but despite my efforts at education, even members of my own family (mom and mother-in-law) do not understand the dangers of food dyes and other additives. I can refuse to serve it in my own home and I do, but I have no control over what my children are served elsewhere, including at school, grandma’s house, and at friends’ homes. Anything that brings attention to the dangers while also letting these big food companies know that many consumers have had enough is good. A HUGE thank you to you and the Food Babe for all you do.

  84. You should start it on wethepeople and petition the fda to ban it. Not only that, carmel color as well. Then next round GMO labeling!! Keep at it! You gals have so much more power than you think.

    1. Exactly Jennifer – All the boxes look the same. There is no way the average consumer can even tell the difference. This is one of our counterpoints.

  85. You go! I am disappointed in their reply to you but not at all shocked.

    I am shocked at the comments you got about it, rude people suck.

  86. Honestly, ladies, even without the artificial food colorants, I don’t think Kraft Mac n Cheese could be called “real food.”

    Try Alton Brown’s stove top man and cheese instead. It’s a bit more involved, but kind of like making pancakes from scratch, rather than from a mix. It tastes a heck of a lot better and is better for you, too!

    1. I don’t think they’re trying to call it “real food”, but they’re just trying to make it more healthy than it is :)

    2. I second Alton’s recipe! I like it because we don’t drink milk anymore, like my original recipe calls for, so it’s easier to have the canned evaporated milk on hand.