We Deserve Better: Tell Kraft To Stop Using Dangerous Artificial Colors in Our Mac & Cheese

Hi there, this is Lisa Leake from 100DaysofRealFood.com and Vani Hari from FoodBabe.com. We recently discovered that several American food products contain harmful additives that are not used – and in some cases banned – in other countries. One of those products is an iconic staple that almost every American, us included, has had at one time or another: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

In the US, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese contains the artificial food dyes Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. These unnecessary – yet potentially harmful – dyes are not in Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in other countries, including the UK, because they were removed due to consumer outcry. Kraft reformulated their product for the UK, but not for their fellow American citizens, and it’s time we demand the same here in the US!

We are petitioning Kraft to remove all artificial food dyes
from their line of macaroni and cheese products.

Kraft Yellow Food Dye Petition - 100 Days of Real Food

Kraft Foods is the largest food company headquartered here in the United States. If Kraft changes their Macaroni and Cheese formula, we know this could inspire other US food companies to follow suit and finally eliminate dangerous artificial food dyes once and for all.

Here are the reasons why Kraft needs to remove Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 from their entire line of Macaroni and Cheese:

Artificial food dyes…

To prove this last point we personally tested both the US and UK versions of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and found little difference in color and virtually no difference in taste (see for yourself in the video below).

So please…

  1. Go to our petition page and sign your name.
  2. Share our petition with your family and friends!
  3. Watch our video below to learn more about our mission (and see us taste test the two different mac & cheese products ourselves).

We both grew up eating this product – I even used to feed it to my kids – and it’s available at almost every grocery store across the country. Our kids deserve the same safer version that our friends get overseas!

Join us and demand this change by signing this petition now.

Thank you for all your support – together we can make a difference.

Now might be a good time to check out our homemade macaroni and cheese recipe!

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206 thoughts on “We Deserve Better: Tell Kraft To Stop Using Dangerous Artificial Colors in Our Mac & Cheese”

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  1. Kraft’s noncompliance to provide the same on this side of the Atlantic might come from a deeper cultural problem there. BIO channel had a special, several months ago, on the guy who invented Cheesewiz for Kraft. One quote, attributed to him during the show was, ‘I am a killer of nations.’ Wow! The very next day I saw a Kraft commercial for Cheese Whiz extolling the goodness of it for our kids. On a label, ingredients for Cheese Whiz was ‘modified milk products’. When I looked at their cheese slices, it had the same. Scary. Why? Perhaps it’s this: my daughter was just taught in her first semester psych class that corporations attract a higher percentage sociopaths than normal, people who have no empathy for harming others, who have no feelings one way or the other. Shareholder equity rules. And from our side, the consumer, we sure demand our dividends. Maybe the approach is not reason nor rightness but just something simple that affects dollars and cents will move the Kraft board.

  2. Your website is very informative!
    Food com has a massive collection of recipes that are submitted, rated and reviewed by people who are passionate about food From international cuisines to quick and easy meal ideas, Food com is where you can find what you re craving.

  3. The problem with the food additives, as well as the MSG and other additives in our food is that the FDA is not protecting us. Please google Dr. Blaylock and excitotoxins. Read the material online. I suffered from Fibromyalgia for 20 years, with unrelenting, horrendous pain. It affected the quaity of my life until 2 years ago, I told my husband I wanted to die. I prayed every night for release from this pain, as no treatment or presciption drug worked After reading Dr Blaylocks material, I immediately stopped drinking diet soda and ingesting anything with aspartame. I also stopped eating processed foods. Dr Blaylocks site refered me to a Fibromyalgia study and the rest is history. NO MORE PAIN FROM FIBROMYALGIA — FOR OVER TWO YEARS — IT WAS ALL DUE TO THE ADDITIVES IN THE PROCESSED FOOD AND ASPARTAME. We need to educate the public and have a huge outcry before the FDA will do anything. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you are doing, and if I can help in any way, please contact me

  4. Kraft’s response to this was terribly evasive. But even so, I see the point. They comply to the laws and USDA so maybe our attention is better focused on changing what USDA says is “safe” and not target one brand (since I’m sure there are plenty other Mac and Cheese options with artificial food dyes).

    1. Law take MUCH longer to change. Corporations will change when profits drop. Every single thing in the country is driven by money and money alone. If you see a problem, you find out who is making the most money on it and attack there.

  5. Maybe my question has already been answered but I didn’t read all the responses: So if the UK version does not have artificial dyes then why is the macaroni and cheese still orange instead of white? All cheese is naturally white. If you are eating any orange cheese such as cheddar or american then something orange has been added to make it that color.

  6. Signed! I fully support this effort. It shocks me that people say “leave this product alone”. As if removing dyes would change the taste or even affect the appearance since they can use natural dyes. I don’t understand why someone would settle for second best.

  7. kraft has a line called kraft dinner smar which has no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives .

    i am proud to say i have no kids. so your kids are not my responsibility. leave the product alone

    1. The line is only available in Canada. Also many adults eat and macaroni and cheese too. It’s not just the kids.

  8. Tracy Richardson

    Let me join in with your many supporters by saying, “Kudos!” I think this campaign is a huge step forward in changing what Americans are being largely invited to consume. I realize we have choices, but this effort not only brings a poignant awareness to unsuspecting consumers, but a vital message to the food industry and our government as well. The people of this country are becoming better informed, and we are fed up. I appreciate that your concern extends beyond that of your own family! Thank you for pioneering, and know this family is behind you.

  9. I’m glad to see that you made tonight’s news on KOLO-8 here in Reno, NV. What you say seems to have been largely forgotten by so many although today’s young mothers looking to feed the best to their children are usually the first to take the lead when it comes to feeding their families! As for us, when I am not in the mood for ‘scratch’ cooking I buy Annie’s Organic Shells and Real Aged Cheddar because there are no fake ingrdients and it tastes better than Kraft any day of the week!

    As a child in the 1970’s I remember the big scares about artificial dyes such as red dye and others such as tartrazine, preservatives BHA & BHT, nitrates, nitrites etc. including flame retardant, plastics and non-stick coatings such as teflons (yes, all plastics ‘outgas’ and are endocrine disruptors see http://thyroidu.com/1204/thyroid-health-is-tupperware-bpa-free-and-safe-to-use/ ) The so called ‘baby boomer’ generation is supposedly the most ‘preserved’ because our bodies have the highest concentrations of ‘yesterday’s chemicals’ when the USA was really at its stride in terms of manufacturing ‘new and improved’ and ‘space age’ foods-remember Tang the powdered orange drink of astronauts? ‘New and improved by science’ is not always best but overall if it wasn’t for science constantly discovering the facts concerning toxicity of both natural and manmade ingredients we wouldn’t have the knowledge or ability to determine the best options as time goes by.

  10. I used to buy that stuff, but we wanted to eat healthier. Of course the kids still want their favorite foods, so we just make a healthier homemade Mac ‘n’ cheese version. It doesn’t take that much longer to make it. I have it memorized now and the kids love it. Just cook a box of whole grain (or GF) pasta and make some cheese sauce and stir it up. We have made a tofu cheese sauce as well and kids loved it. If I’m in a real hurry, I just use butter and parmesan cheese.

  11. So excited to see you and Vani (Food Babe) on NBC Nightly News tonight about Kraft Mac and Cheese. My husband thought I was crazy when I said “There’s Lisa and the Food Babe” like you were friends. Seems like you are. Thanks for all you do.

  12. I think it’s WONDERFUL that you guys are doing this! Husband heard you on the radio today….and petition is signed!! Good luck!

  13. Why would the writers of this blog try to tell Kraft how to do their business? Because the writers of this blog care about the food that we consume. And they are trying to shine a bright light on two COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY ingredients that are added to a food that is fed to innocent and unsuspecting children by parents who don’t care to read labels. As the incidences of autism, type 2 diabetes and asthma spin out of control in our society, perhaps it is time to stop and consider all of these ingredients that our grandparents or great grandparents probably never consumed. Bravo for 100 Days of Real Food taking on a giant of the food industry! It’s been covered on 2 of the local stations in Pittsburgh today.

  14. Why would anyone come to THIS BLOG and tell the writers and supporters not to tell you what to do, and what not to buy and what not to feed your kids? Why would you be reading this blog “100 days of real food” if you weren’t interested in reducing the amount of processed, packaged food from your diets? I appreciate the information, and the information and ideas provided in this blog. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t complain. I just wouldn’t read it!

    1. Exactly, Cindy! I have to wonder how some of these people who have commented even got to this site as they are clearly not interested in the blog’s purpose- educating about real food. Thanks for your comment!

  15. Wow really? Millions of other bad food and substances out there but this is the one you pick on?

    Millions have died from drug overdose, Violence, War, Cigarettes, Hell…I’m sure more have died from choking on a marble then this..This is what you spend your time on!? The coloring on cheese that you are not forced to buy/eat in the first place?

    Ok…lets just say its because food is your area of expertise..Why Mac/cheese? Why not Soda? It is 10x worse than this.

    1. Your answer is in bold print in the blog post.

      “Kraft Foods is the largest food company headquartered here in the United States. If Kraft changes their Macaroni and Cheese formula, we know this could inspire other US food companies to follow suit and finally eliminate dangerous artificial food dyes once and for all.”

  16. A few years ago, when the school teacher wanted to prove that my son probably needed Ritalin (sp?), my doctor said, there’s nothing wrong with him (thank God). my older son, who was a jr counselor shared that another parent shared Red40 – WOW. since then, no artificial colors; sugars; and anything else i can’t pronounce. i’ve done research and it’s sad that there are ‘APPROVED LEVELS’ for our children’s consumption. give me a break. so guess what, they don’t care then i don’t care to give them my money nor my chldren’s lives. this also goes for stuff that their skin comes in contact with – dough, soap, shampoo, etc. EVERY LABEL IS READ! my son is doing great and an honor student! no meds (i know there are children that need it). so good for you but i agree with others – go for ALL DYES AND PRESERVATIVES AND FAKE SUGAR ETC……

    1. AND when i’m asked for documentation, i just say ‘well, give him pancakes with regular syrup and keep him for 2 DAYS’ or maybe some koolaid. i don’t need any scientific evidence, i proved it in my home and it takes exactly two gruling days

  17. As Always you guys ROCK!!!! I love taking part in these baby steps. I know there is no better proof that processed food is literally killing out society. More cancer, obesity,etc. I’m trying hard to bring back REAL FOOD. Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. You guys censored our comment and it was in your favor. So, we agree with your effort, but won’t return to this site.

  19. I love you guys! I’m so thankful for your research and investigations. I’m thankful for the ways you openly share your opinions on issues so that other people can then take those opinions and consequently form their own. Thanks for caring about not only your own kids, but also all the kids who are constantly fed artificial ingredients and for taking the time and HUGE efforts to help them too! There are so many of us who have been blessed by this website and getting to know your family through it!!!!

  20. You realize more people have died from automobiles than ingesting artificial colors? Why do you let Chevy sponsor your blog? Food coloring is dangerous? I just don’t understand why the shock tactics, especially since you don’t even buy the product in question. Sorry, but preying on people’s ignorance so you can make money by blogging just seems sort of creepy to me. BTW the CSPI led the drive to add trans fats to processed foods, so I would take their recommendations with a grain of salt.

    1. Cars are necessary for modern society. Artificial colors are not. This blog was started with no business intentions in mind, although it has grown rapidly and now Lisa and I work on it full time. The petition was started to make a change, not to drive traffic to the blog. Interestingly, despite national news coverage of the petition, there has been no noticeable increase in blog traffic. Yet the petition signatures are now in excess of 155k, which is the point. Here’s CSPI’s view on trans-fats. http://www.cspinet.org/transfat/about.html.

      1. Cars are really not any more necessary than processed food in modern society. I’d even say processed food, which covers everything from pasteurized milk to canned beans to Doritos, are likely more necessary (excepting the Doritos of course). They’re a convenience. Walking, bikes, public transportation… I know CSPI has changed their views on trans fats. This was pre fancy websites circa 1980s or so, but it’s true. CSPI supported replacing saturated fats both animal and vegetable with trans fats. Look up Mary Enig.

    2. Ella Kay, When you have done as much research as 100 Days of Real Food have then you can speak into this with a little more intelligence ;) They are trying to make the public aware, and speak for those who otherwise do not know what is in our food.

      Most people do not understand what the government has allowed in our food source which should be a crime! When obesity, heart disease and cancer is rising as fast as it is, you have to wonder why. I challenge you to research a little deeper you will be appalled as we are. But in the long run it is your choice to take it with a grain of salt.

      Please do not knock the people of 100 days of Real Food. They are only trying to help people not harm them :) I applaud what they are trying to accomplish!

      1. No challenge needed. I speak with the intelligence of several decades of research (including scientific journals) so I’d suggest I might be a tad more informed than bloggers on the internet. :) Artificial colors are no more dangerous (the word I keep reading here) than many naturally occuring chemicals you eat in natural “unprocessed” foods. Look up aflatoxin, acrylamide or heterocyclic amines. I also understand what the government allows in our food. Obesity is from overeating and under exercising, heart disease is diet-related as well as genetic, cancer is from any number of things food, environmental and otherwise, but food additives, particularly artificial colors, are pretty low on the list.
        They may be trying to help, but you know the saying about what’s paved with good intentions.

  21. Phil – We don’t eat it. As an American that values liberty I do understand the “leave my processed food alone…just don’t buy it” argument, but I AM affected by other people’s choices due to increasing health insurance costs. My insurance premium just went up 10% last fall one month after opening the policy. Our request is to remove artificial dyes, not to take away mac and cheese. And this is part of a much bigger picture…read comments above for more info.

    1. You need to first prove that the ingredients in the product are harmful. That has not been done. There is no credible evidence that any of the ingredients in Kraft Macaroni & Cheese produce measurable harmful health effects when consumed in reasonable quantities. Lab animal studies don’t count: They force-feed substances in quantities and concentrations thousands of times higher than one would encounter in normal use. Using such methods, they can “prove” that practically everything in the world is deadly. You’re buying into the nonsense and through this blog are misusing it to harm others. Moreover, just because something has been banned in a nanny-state European country isn’t evidence or proof of anything. The EU has enacted Codex Alimentarius, making ordinary vitamin supplements unavailable to the general public without a doctor’s prescription. Are you going to look to that idiotic model for guidance? Codex Alimentarius will result in unnecessary misery and death for millions of people under the guise of “protecting” them.

      1. Even if the artificial colors turn out to be not harmful, they are completely unnecessary. Why take the chance? I bet if Kraft took out the artificial colors without telling anyone, no one would even notice.

  22. Leave my Kraft Macaroni & Cheese alone. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it and don’t eat it. Stop telling the rest of us what we should be eating or not eating.

    “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

    1. Phil, I am a little confused about the Scripture reference that you’ve used. How does it have anything to do with this discussion? It seems to me that these ladies are not be hypocritical. They are concerned about additives in food, stopped feeding them to their families, and are encouraging others to do the same. Where is the “beam in the eye?”

  23. We are a natural-living family and we do our best to avoid dyes, preservatives and a whole lot of things, so I agree that we need to require a lot more of American companies, to include requiring GMO labeling and removing the garbage preservatives inside vaccines. But, to address several comments I saw: making your own ‘healthy’ version of mac ‘n cheese is a misnomer. It’s not healthy. It’s carbs, wheat, and a whole lot of cheese and butter or other fats. If you’re looking to be healthy, perhaps removing the entire meal from your family’s dietary plans would be best. Also, it’s a serious misnomer that low-income people can’t eat healthy. It takes more education and interest than money. There are a ton of blogs out there written by wonderful moms who feed their kids healthy food on food-stamp budgets. It can be done, but everyone needs to take responsibility. I didn’t say it was easy, I am an ex-single mom myself, but it is indeed possible. Our kids deserve it.

  24. So, I made it through one page of comments and I had to stop and say a few things!! First off, WHY ARE PEOPLE ATTACKING THESE PEOPLE? If these additives are unnecessary and harmful, whats wrong with them asking it to be removed? If you do not agree, you are not being forced to sign the petition. Ignore it and move on. Let the people who DO care sign it and share it! No wonder we haven’t seen the change here…. look at all the ignorance in these comments…. I doubt its costing these companies much more to reformulate these products just a little bit, and if I am wrong, show me research and proof. The product looked no different to me in the video, and well sadly taste is not a feature on a computer screen.

    My other comment would be to those attacking the people that do choose to eat this product/feed it to their kids… While I do love to make my mac & cheese homemade, I am a stay at home mother of 3 children under 5 years of age. Those children take a lot of focus and attention. They take a lot of work and devotion. Making it homemade takes more time for me. I cut corners some days simply because I am tired. They love mac and cheese homemade and from the box… am I a bad mother because some days I just want to throw some noodles from a box into boiling water, drain, then mix the cheese, butter and milk together? Is it so bad that I would like a safer and still quick option for my kids?

    1. completely agree with you comment Lea. I cannot believe the negativity in so many of these comments. Especially the ones saying to leave Kraft alone and let them run their business the way they want. It’s like practice what you preach and let these people run their blog and lives the way they want. It’s a free country and they are only trying to help people, even those that are too ignorant to read the labels on the processed junk they are eating. Sheesh!

  25. Great job, ladies! I really hope your efforts motivate people to be more educated about the food industry and what goes on. It is so depressing sometimes when you think about all the lies and misdirection consumers are given all in the name of profit for these big corporations. I often wonder what the heads of these companies feed their families? We really need the FDA to step it up and be properly funded, and not staffed by former executives from these corporations! Someone has to watch out for consumers and it’s up to us to make that change. Keep up the good work!