This week’s installment of “news of the obvious” comes from parents all over the land who just realized that processed foods may not be good for their kids.Â Two women have started a petition to have yellow dye 5 and yellow dye 6 taken out of Kraft Mac and Cheese sold in the United States.
I think it’s obvious that we shouldn’t be feeding our children processed foods and pretending that they should be healthy.That’s why I was a little peeved when I saw the Change.org petition for this cause. But when I realized that Kraft is not only able to make a product without the offending dye, but does make it and distribute it in other countries – I was more sympathetic to the mothers’ cause.
From Health Day News:
The petroleum-based dyes add nothing to the product’s flavor and may be dangerous to children’s health, according to Lisa Leake and Vani Hari. They said the food colorings have been associated with hyperactivity in children, allergies, migraine, and perhaps cancer,ABC NewsÂ reported.
The women discovered that Kraft uses natural beta carotene and paprika to make almost the same color in the Mac & Cheese it sells in the U.K. and want Kraft to sell that additive-free version in the U.S.
This is disturbingly reminiscent of the Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo fiasco from last year. We learned that the company used harmful carcinogens in its baby shampoos that were sold in the U.S., China, Canada, Indonesia and Australia – but managed to make the shampoos without those harmful ingredients for sale in eight other countries. If you want carcinogen-free shampoo in the U.S., you have to pay extra for the Johnson & Johnson Naturals line. That is total bullshit.
When I found out that Johnson & Johnson was including harmful chemicals in their products, do you know what I did? I threw them out. I haven’t bought one of their products since – and I don’t plan to. I don’t buy Kraft Mac and Cheese for my child because I find it cheaper and easier to buy a large bag of pasta and make it myself. Also – I don’t like adding powdered “flavor packets” that aren’t a color found in nature to my child’s food. Kraft claims it “knows that some Americans ‘prefer foods without certain ingredients’ and provides at least 14 other Mac & Cheese products that have natural food colors and no added colors.”
To me, the act of not purchasing something is easier than starting a petition. We have enormous power as consumers. I appreciate these moms bringing attention to the potentially harmful ingredients in the product. But honestly – I’m a little confused by parents Â who add a paper packet full of glowing orange powder to their child’s food – then are shocked that it may not be the best thing for them.