• Sat, Nov 2 - 1:00 pm ET

Kraft Is Removing Artificial Dyes From Some Products, But Your Kid Better Like Spongebob

71RxMFUR2cL._SL1442_Last spring, two women started a petition to have yellow dye 5 and yellow dye 6 taken out of Kraft Mac and Cheese sold in the United States. Coincidentally, Kraft has decided to take the dyes out of some products, but they would like everyone to know it’s not because of that stinking Change.org petition: “Kraft says the decision has nothing to do with a campaign by Change.org to convince the company to remove Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6 dyes from its Mac & Cheese products sold in the U.S.”

Thanks for bringing national attention to the potentially harmful dyes used by Kraft, but this really has nothing to do with you, Lisa Leake and Vani Hari, authors of the Change.org petition. Ha! Obviously it does. Good job, ladies.

I know what some people may be thinking, why petition Kraft – why not just decide to not purchase it? Well, it turns out Kraft doesn’t use the harmful dyes everywhere – the company uses natural beta carotene and paprika to make almost the same color in the Mac & Cheese it sells in the U.K.

That’s kind of a strange decision. An even stranger one is that they aren’t removing the dyes from all of their products – just the ones they consider to be for kids: SpongeBob Squarepants, Halloween, and winter shapes varieties of Mac & Cheese, but not to the original elbow shaped pasta versions. Hmm. They have a recipe to make food that doesn’t contain potentially harmful dyes, but they’re opting to only use it for certain products. I wonder how many parents actually buy the funny shapes over opting for the original variety? My child doesn’t like the funny shaped pasta – I buy the Annie’s pasta occasionally and he always turns his nose up at the bunnies and farm shapes in favor of the regular old shells and elbows.

These kinds of practices always make me feel a little icky about companies. The women claim the food colorings have been associated with hyperactivity in children, allergies, migraine, and perhaps cancer. Why not just remove it from all Mac & Cheese products? Maybe Kraft thinks adults like to live on the edge.

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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  • Cee

    Because other shapes DO taste differently!

    Also, Trader Joes frozen organic mac and cheese is everything you will ever want!

    • elle

      Omg the low fat version I what I live off of. Ok I wish it was but when I’m making a Trader Joe’s run I usually grab about 10 boxes because it isn’t that close to me and my 2 year old loves it.

    • elle

      Omg the low fat version I what I live off of. Ok I wish it was but when I’m making a Trader Joe’s run I usually grab about 10 boxes because it isn’t that close to me and my 2 year old loves it.

    • Cee

      What do you mean low fat version? *side eye*
      Is it as good as the original?

    • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

      I’ve never tried it. i’m thinking I should probably keep it that way – since I’ve only lost 1/2 the baby weight.

    • Cee

      lol yea. Its pretty..very good. Thank glob the nearest Trader Joes is a pain in the ass to get to so I go every three or four months and buy ONE box.

    • Aldonza

      Yeah, I never liked the shapes as a kid. Not sure what makes them taste different, maybe a texture thing?

  • AP

    My guess is that the “fun shapes” have a higher unit price than the elbows already, and that people won’t mind paying extra for a “fun shape” without dyes.

    I wait for Annie’s to go on sale, personally. It was $1.25 a box at Target recently.

  • AP

    My guess is that the “fun shapes” have a higher unit price than the elbows already, and that people won’t mind paying extra for a “fun shape” without dyes.

    I wait for Annie’s to go on sale, personally. It was $1.25 a box at Target recently.

    • Lu

      This is exactly right. When I lived in Michigan regular was around 70¢ with shapes for $1. In Florida regular is at least $1 and shapes are $1.25+. Kind of shitty since you get about half as much with the shapes. It definitely makes sense sense to reserve the “premium” ingredients for the pricier varieties.

  • AP

    My guess is that the “fun shapes” have a higher unit price than the elbows already, and that people won’t mind paying extra for a “fun shape” without dyes.

    I wait for Annie’s to go on sale, personally. It was $1.25 a box at Target recently.

  • Amber Starr

    I’m not gonna lie, I REALLY want some mac n cheese now.

    • Emmali Lucia

      I do, too. Kraft doesn’t make Mac and Cheese that I can eat. I have to eat Annie’s, and then it’s the white cheddar stuff. Which don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious, but right now I want just straight up gooey old mac and cheese from a box. I’m a college student, I should be living off of that!

    • Emmali Lucia

      I do, too. Kraft doesn’t make Mac and Cheese that I can eat. I have to eat Annie’s, and then it’s the white cheddar stuff. Which don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious, but right now I want just straight up gooey old mac and cheese from a box. I’m a college student, I should be living off of that!

    • Amber Starr

      Aw, I’m sorry that you’re not able to enjoy the cheesy goodness of Kraft! This is gonna sound DISGUSTING & I’ve made peace with that fact, but one of my all time favorite comfort foods is a box of Kraft Mac n Cheese mixed with a drained can of white albacore tuna & a can of stewed tomatoes. My mom used to make it when I was a kid, and now, its one of my favorite ghetto comfort meals :)

    • libraryofbird

      Mac n cheese, tuna, and canned peas is one of my all time favorite “eat straight out of the pan with a big ass spoon” meals.

    • libraryofbird

      Mac n cheese, tuna, and canned peas is one of my all time favorite “eat straight out of the pan with a big ass spoon” meals.

    • Amber Starr

      BAHAHAHAA! God damn, that sounds SO good right now!!!!

    • Amber Starr

      Please excuse the exclamation point abuse. I’m STARVING.

  • Amber Starr

    I’m not gonna lie, I REALLY want some mac n cheese now.

  • keelhaulrose

    We love Mac n cheese in our house, and I’ll occasionally use a box, but I love making it on my own. French onion Mac n cheese… I could eat the stuff straight from the pot if I didn’t have to share (darn mooching family)

  • keelhaulrose

    We love Mac n cheese in our house, and I’ll occasionally use a box, but I love making it on my own. French onion Mac n cheese… I could eat the stuff straight from the pot if I didn’t have to share (darn mooching family)

    • Katia

      Never tried that! I do a bechamel sauce with pureed cauliflower and either havarti or white cheddar grated in at the end.

    • keelhaulrose

      That sounds good… I may have to try that.

  • libraryofbird

    I loathe sponge bob so this news is extra depressing. On a slightly different subject is there a petition to get companies to stop using artificial sweetners? I hate those too.

    • libraryofbird

      I’m assuming that I got down voted for hating sponge bob. This tickles me.

    • Emmali Lucia

      HOW COULD YOU?!

      God I’ve never wanted to punch a cartoon in the face as badly as I want to punch Spongebob

    • Evelyn

      That or the big wigs at a low calorie sugar substitute company read mommyish. They pause between reading about parenting and pregnancy articles to twirl their evil moustaches and say “curse you, libraryofbird, without you no-one would have discovered the rather nasty aftertaste of pretend sugars”

    • Evelyn

      That or the big wigs at a low calorie sugar substitute company read mommyish. They pause between reading about parenting and pregnancy articles to twirl their evil moustaches and say “curse you, libraryofbird, without you no-one would have discovered the rather nasty aftertaste of pretend sugars”

    • libraryofbird

      Let’s go with your story. I love a good dastardly moustache twirling.

    • libraryofbird

      Let’s go with your story. I love a good dastardly moustache twirling.

    • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

      Ha! I thought that downvote was totally weird too.

    • Lauren

      Have you even watched Spongebob? It’s actually hilarious.

    • Alicia Kiner

      I can’t stand his voice, so while I tried to allow my kids to watch it at my in laws, I couldn’t deal, so I left the room. Since Nick was the only kids’ channel my in laws have, I don’t say a word if they watch it while they’re over there visiting. I just can’t deal with it here. Nails on a chalkboard to me.

    • Katia

      I hate Splenda too but some people are buying it in their yoghurt, etc on purpose. It’s not a needless additive like dye

    • libraryofbird

      Like using beta carotene as a dye I would rather have a natural sweetners like sugar or honey. Less chemicals for me please.

    • Sundaydrive00

      I hate the taste of Splenda. I know when they first came out they claimed it tasted just like sugar, but it doesn’t. It has the same artificial taste as an other fake sugar. And now it seems like Spenda is added to just about everything.

    • Sundaydrive00

      I hate the taste of Splenda. I know when they first came out they claimed it tasted just like sugar, but it doesn’t. It has the same artificial taste as an other fake sugar. And now it seems like Spenda is added to just about everything.

    • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

      I know. I hate that. It’s so gross.

    • EX

      I know. I hate the taste of artificial sweeteners but also try (emphasis on try – I’m not fanatical about it) to avoid high fructose corn syrup. It definitely limits what processed/packaged foods you can buy!

    • Alicia Kiner

      I can’t use ANY artificial sweeteners due to chronic migraines. Every single one out there triggers my headaches. Seagrams ginger ale recently started adding Splenda to their “regular” ginger ale, ie NOT their diet version, so they could advertise it as having less calories. However, they put this very small banner on their box, cans and bottles, so it just looked like a change in design if you weren’t looking carefully, which I didn’t. I couldn’t figure out why all of a sudden I was getting more migraines. The worst part is, I get nauseous, so I drink ginger ale to help settle my stomach, which would then give me another migraine. After drinking most of a 12 pack, I looked closer at the can and realized what was going. NOT happy.

    • Alicia Kiner

      I can’t use ANY artificial sweeteners due to chronic migraines. Every single one out there triggers my headaches. Seagrams ginger ale recently started adding Splenda to their “regular” ginger ale, ie NOT their diet version, so they could advertise it as having less calories. However, they put this very small banner on their box, cans and bottles, so it just looked like a change in design if you weren’t looking carefully, which I didn’t. I couldn’t figure out why all of a sudden I was getting more migraines. The worst part is, I get nauseous, so I drink ginger ale to help settle my stomach, which would then give me another migraine. After drinking most of a 12 pack, I looked closer at the can and realized what was going. NOT happy.

  • Evelyn

    It’s not just the kraft macaroni cheese that has different ingredients over here in the UK, other companies do the same with completely different products. It isn’t because the people running the UK factories are thoroughly decent chaps while their US counterparts are ne’er do wells; we have stricter regulations on what can be used in food and mandatory health warnings for packaging. Perhaps the pressure should be on the US government to tighten controls on manufacturers.

    • Danielle Smith

      It should be, but it won’t be. Our government is so insulated from the people, and there are powerful lobbyists at work to ensure that the low cost artificial crap continues to be sold. It’s sad, stark reality. A government designed to be for the people, hocking crap it knows to be harmful to it.

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    • doxgukka

      i think it is the same in Australia – the ingredients I have seen on American products is outstanding! ie; packet chips, koolaid (WTF!), dips etc.

    • doxgukka

      i think it is the same in Australia – the ingredients I have seen on American products is outstanding! ie; packet chips, koolaid (WTF!), dips etc.

  • Katia

    This is not enough. How rude. Boycott should start. We don’t eat this junk anyways but Ill stop buying their orange cheddar. Should never have bought it