When I was little, I was a huge fan of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. My mom would make it for me and I would eat it while watching Mr. Rodgers or Today’s Special. I remember when I’d have a cold and it was comforting. While some people have the same feelings for McDonald’s, mine is for Mac and Cheese. For some reason nothing else compares, even today; most likely because my taste buds are directly tied to these events of old. Whatever nostalgia I feel for that bright yellow pile of chemicals and pasta with added milk and butter, it appears there may be a public backlash coming and, for now, Kraft is holding its ground.
According to this Business Insider article, Kraft is fighting to keep its hold on the use of dyes which are illegal in most other countries which color its flagship product in the United States.
From the article:
Yellow Dye 5 and Yellow Dye 6 — require a warning label in some other countries.
“These unnecessary — yet potentially harmful — dyes are not in Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in other countries, including the UK, because they were removed due to consumer outcry,” they wrote in the petition posted on Change.org, which now has more than 275,000 signatures.
The risks cited include hyperactivity in kids, allergies, and a possible link to cancer.
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese has been the same bright yellow color for ages, and it’s what consumers have come to expect. When they mix in that cheese, they expect the pasta to be as vibrant as ever. The color is part of the overall brand experience.
The article notes that studies have been conducted which prove color has a huge affect on taste. They cite examples of food being fed to people in the dark and how people became queasy after being shown the food was dyed different colors. They also note the famous failed experiment of Pepsi Crystal which I tried and can tell you it most certainly tasted different than Pepsi–something the article seems to claim was not true.
Should these artificial dyes be banned and and/or more clearly labeled in the United States just as they are in other countries? Are these sorts of things the way the American public will have to deal with the corporate food structure in this country especially after laws get passed such as the nicknamed “Monsanto Protection Act”? If Kraft were to remove the dyes do you think it would taste different to you? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.