Tuesday, June 2, 2015

What's in your food Part 3, Kraft Mac and Cheese

Kraft is pretty proud of their star processed food, the blue box Mac and Cheese. They should be, they sell over 500 million dollars worth of the stuff worldwide. The weird thing is that here in the U.S.A. the ingredients are different, cheaper. Elsewhere the stuff is lacking in artificial coal tar dies Yellow 5 & 6. The reason is simple, the US is the only country that allows their use in human foods. Is there a reason for these additives to be included into the product, I mean, other than to make the stuff brighter, more intensely yellow? I can't think of any reason to have them included. And it's true, Kraft has promised to change the ingredients to go without the two sometime in the next year or so; but if you eat the stuff now, it's right there. So why are they bad? Well, from what researchers using randomized double-blind placebo controlled studies have found is that artificial coal tar dies exacerbate things in children such as ADD, ADHD and hyperactivity. Yikes! Is that something you would want to feed your children when you know that there are healthier alternatives.  Again I have to bow to someone that has his own TV show and gets a lot of publicity, both good and bad, about his being vocal on food and health, Dr. Oz. Here is his article about artificial dies (Dr OZ) Next is the big one, Sodium TriPolyPhosphate. Or known as STPP for short. This is one that there isn't a lot of information about yet, it was approved and given GRAS status by the FDA. Now it has come under some scrutiny as a the main use of this chemical additive is for making old fish appear, that's right, appear, to be fresher. The stuff makes the flesh of fish and other seafood stiffer, shinier and more like fresh caught. Even if the stuff is going bad. Why it's in Mac and Cheese is a mystery, but the stuff was created to look more appetizing than it actually is. STPP has been shown to be a neurotoxin, destroying nerve and brain cells in vitro. As usual, more testing needs to be done, it's just that testing any food additive is expensive. And of course, who would pay for it. Certainly not the seafood industry, they make money using it all the time. But, like so many of the things done by the FDA, this was approved so corporations could make money by reducing costs. The FDA caters to corporate needs, not the safety of the citizens. LD50 for the stuff is high, nearly 380 mg per kilo, which is not high enough to kill someone by eating a lot of foul seafood. Or Mac and Cheese. So the assumption that it is safe is made for profit reasons as doing actual testing for long term or neurotoxicity would have been prohibitively expensive when the cost to benefit formula is used to determine value against health. 

I make mac and cheese a lot. My son loves it, I love it, let's face it, the stuff is fantastic. Mine doesn't come out of a box though. It's pretty easy to make, cook whole wheat penne or other pasta and put in a baking dish, toss with grated cheese, add some milk, cover with bread crumbs and bake until bubbly. I like to add green chilies, jalapenos, smoked salmon, broccoli or really whatever I want. Quick, easy, no dies, no fish freshener, just plain good stuff.

No comments:

Post a Comment