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Rethinking Kraft Macaroni and Cheese

Kraft products have won their way into American homes with their wholesome, family image and delicious products - about 98% of people in the United States have Kraft products in their household. However, as of March 2013 two bloggers Lisa Leake and Vani Hari have unleashed a war on the original Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

Kraft was founded in 1903 in Chicago, Illinois by James Kraft and has grown into a multibillion dollar company since its humble beginnings. Grossing just about $18 billion last year, nine of Kraft’s brand generated more than $500 million in the United States alone.

The Kraft Macaroni and Cheese that we have come to know so well here in America, contains a harmful carcinogen named Yellow 5. Yellow 5 does not add any flavor or nutritional value but it does give the macaroni and cheese a brighter color. Yellow 5 has been proven to unleash harmful side effects such as asthma, rashes, migraines, hyperactivity in children and even cancer. Europe has made it mandatory for products that contain Yellow 5 - such as Kraft Macaroni and Cheese - to have a warning label and Yellow 5 has even been banned in Austria and Norway because of its terrible side effects. Kraft has responded to the Yellow 5 backlash in Europe by introducing a new kind of macaroni and cheese simply called “Cheesy Pasta” which does not contain any artificial food dyes.

In the United States however, products containing Yellow 5 do not require a warning label nor has it been banned yet, but Kraft does offer three different types of products that do not contain Yellow 5 - organic, deluxe and homestyle macaroni and cheese. Bloggers Leake and Hari have started a petition (with over 288,000 signatures!) against Kraft Macaroni and Cheese asking them to start manufacturing “Cheesy Pasta” here in the United States.

Whether or not you side with these two ladies, the raised awareness about Yellow 5 is concerning, to say the least. So, the ext time you’re in the grocery store, remember the harmful effects Yellow 5 can have on you and your family and try opting for another Kraft product or even another delicious macaroni and cheese product that does not have potentially harmful carcinogens.

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