There are certain sweet treats that made a permanent mark in our childhood memories. Some that can be recalled enjoying are, chocolate Wonderballs filled with candied characters, Oreo O’s and who could forget the purple colored Heinz ketchup?
One memory every child has is dinner whipped up from a blue box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.
We can recall the many catchy commercials featuring the Cheesasaurus Rex introducing character shaped noodles such as the Animaniacs, Rugrats and Bugs Bunny for their products. Along with the ending catchphrase in every commercial, “It gets your noodle going.”
But this generation, people around the U.S., especially moms, are dropping their wooden spoons after a petition went online about the ingredients in a popular food item.
Two moms, Vani Hari and Lisa Leake, who each run a successful food blog, came together to rid the harmful additives in food in the U.S. Their first target: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.
The debate was sparked by the additive chemicals that were banned from many countries except the U.S. Those countries required the foods with chemicals to have warning labels about their effects. In order to gain attention to this issue, Hari and Leake launched a petition on Change.org to push Kraft to remove all dangerous food dyes such as yellow #5 and yellow #6 from their American version line of mac and cheese.
In the United Kingdom, the dyes were removed due to outcry of the affects. Kraft responded by removing the dyes and using natural dyes instead. Hari and Leake demanded that they should do this to the U.S., stated that it is unfair they have the harmful dyes in their food while the U.K., have a safe product.
Hari and Leake stated in their petition on Change.org that artificial dyes are man-made in labs that are extracted from petroleum, which is also used for gasoline, diesel fuel and tar. They also contain a carcinogen which is linked to causing cancer.
The American based company targets their product mainly on children using characters like SpongeBob as well as Phineas and Ferb. The other effects caused by the artificial dyes in the Mac and Cheese are hypertension and negative impact on children’s ability to learn in a school environment. One example in the comments from Change.org, a mother removed all foods with artificial dyes from her sons’ diet. Right away his dependency for asthma medication dramatically decreased.
Leake and Hari posted a video demanding Kraft to remove the dyes as well as taste testing both U.S. and U.K. brands of Mac and Cheese. There was no difference in look or taste in either of them proving their statement that removing the dyes and use natural ingredients will not affect the signature Kraft experience.
They are close to their 300,000 signature goal, and reactions have been endless from especially from other mothers. Stories were shared about how their children dramatically changed to positive behavior when artificial dyes were removed from their diet. Teens have taken noticed and no longer consume Kraft knowing the harmful effects from dyes.
Both mothers agree that if Kraft, the largest food company in the United States, changed their food, it would inspire other companies to eliminate dangerous food dyes as well.
Lynne Galia, Kraft Food Corporate Affairs responded to Leake and Hari stating:
“Thanks for contacting us. The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority and we take consumer concerns very seriously. We carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold. So in the U.S., we only use colors that are approved and deemed safe for food use by the Food and Drug Administration.
We expanded our line of KRAFT Mac & Cheese (KMC) offerings. We know some people prefer foods without certain ingredients — we now offer a multitude of products without added colors, as well as products with natural food colors including [14 different products]”
Even with a response, Kraft has not taken any action, just briefly stating they are following FDA’s regulations and take customers feedback seriously.
Leake and Hari are now pushing the message by appearing on the Dr. Oz show to talk about their mission and how yellow #5 and yellow #6 have no nutritional value, and other countries have banned these dyes. The FDA is aware of the studies done on the dyes but hasn’t taken any action.
Oz sided with the mothers and that manufactures need to step up and removed the harmful ingredients. Oz believes that children should come first with their safety in foods.
If you want the harmful dyes to be removed from Kraft Mac and Cheese along with their other products sign their petition on Change.org along with other causes that is a step to change the world.