Mac and cheese lovers may notice a difference in their dinners next year.
Kraft Food Group Inc. announced they are removing artificial food dyes from its 2014 character-shaped product line, which includes SpongeBob SquarePants, Halloween, and winter shapes. Presently this line is colored with Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6. Even though the FDA says these dyes are safe, there are many studies to date that support that they may cause hyperactivity in children with existing signs of ADHD, and possible migraines and allergies in adults.
The truth of the matter is that these dyes provide no nutritional value—shocking, I know. What they do provide is mainly the neon coloring that surprisingly many people seem to positively associate with the brand and its perceived “cheesy” taste. Kraft has decided to re-create the color, which is not as easy as it seems, using spices such as paprika. The revamped products will also contain added whole grains and less sodium and saturated fat, which is good news all around. [Tweet this news!]
It is interesting to me that presently these dyes are already banned in other countries, such as Norway, Austria, and the U.K. Many people may say, why are the Europeans ahead of us so many times? Who knows. All that matters to me right now is that a huge company like Kraft is making healthy changes. We are all familiar with the phase “Rome wasn’t built in a day," and when it comes to Big Food companies, I am totally on board with small changes because for me, at least, I know they are moving in the right direction.
And for those people who feel they aren’t moving fast enough, you can always forget about even buying mac 'n' cheese in the box and start making it from scratch (try this kale macaroni and cheese recipe). The choice is yours.