Skip to Content

Is Your Mac & Cheese Out to Kill You?

mac and chese without dyeHave you noticed all the chatter about Mac & Cheese lately?

Vani Hari of Food Babe and Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food started it all by asking Americans to vote on their petition to get Kraft to remove yellow dyes #5 and #6 from all its versions of Kraft Mac & Cheese.

They’re saying that artificial yellow #5 and #6 are tied to cancer and can make your kids hyper. You can read more on the blogger’s opinion and see a video they posted here at Take Part. The artificial food dyes are only used to add an “aesthetically pleasing color” to the product–so it’s a no brainer for Kraft to pull the ingredient.

Kraft says the dyes are safe according to the FDA and there’s nothing wrong with their Mac and Cheese.

Now I’m no food Nazi, but it seems to me that if you’re freaked out about food dye, you probably don’t even EAT something as fake as powdered cheese. I’m going to guess that these bloggers don’t eat boxed Mac & Cheese either–in their video they say how it “brings back memories.” I don’t think they were talking about last Thursday.

Anyway, the ladies have a good point and tell us the dyes are already out of British Mac & Cheese made by Kraft. You know what’s more interesting? You can get dye free Mac & Cheese at your local grocery store. Right now.

mac and cheese no dye

There’s no need to jump on Amazon and get your Mac & Cheese (or Cheesy Pasta) from England. I dropped by Dierbergs yesterday and picked up three boxes of dye-free mac & cheese, two from Kraft itself and one from Annie’s.

The dye-free macaroni use either paprika, annatto or beta carotene to color the food–all are from natural sources. Are these products more expensive than standard Mac & Cheese? Yes. But is it just because of the dye? Hard to say–they all have “deluxe” features, like organic ingredients and gourmet flavors.

The two Kraft flavors without artificial dye are Organic (which is hard to find at most grocery stores, hence the trip to Dierbergs) and White Cheddar.

While I was in the pasta aisle I picked up a few other boxes and checked them out. Both the house brand and Betty Crocker’s macaroni had Yellow #5 and #6.

Velveeta Shells and Cheese (also a Kraft product) uses paprika and annatto for coloring. No artificial dye here.

If you want to mix up your own noodles and cheese without breaking a sweat, Velveeta, Cheez Whiz and Ragu Double Cheddar Cheese sauce use natural food coloring.

On the next post I’ll have photos of what naturally colored Mac & Cheese looks like (and tastes like) compared to the chemically dyed Kraft Mac & Cheese. The kids are looking forward to this little experiment!