The ultimate quick-fix dinner of our childhoods, Kraft Mac
& Cheese, is officially getting a makeover. While your next bowl of Easy
Mac won't taste any different, the cheesy pasta will be losing (some of) its iconic
neon orange hue.
USA Today reports that Kraft Foods Group has announced the
company will remove artificial preservatives and synthetic colors from the
product beginning in 2016. Dyes Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 will be replaced with
natural food coloring such as paprika and turmeric. It's possible (but rare) to have an allergy-like sensitivity
to those artificial dyes, but evidence of other potentially harmful effects remains limited.
Food giants like
Kraft have been under intense pressure to eliminate ingredients that consumers view as unhealthy. Self-proclaimed activists like Food Babe (who amassed over 350,000 signatures petitioning Kraft to drop its
artificial dyes) are particularly effective at getting major companies to
change their ingredients, much to the chagrin of scientists who argue that such
claims are often a gross misinterpretation of the facts.
Despite the constant calls
for change, Kraft insists that the shift is simply a result of the company listening
to its customers. "They
told us they want to feel good about the foods they eat and serve their
families — including everything from improved nutrition to simpler ingredients," Kraft's vice president of marketing for meals, Triona Schmelter, explained in a press release.
We appreciate that Kraft is trying to appease consumers with this announcement, but aside from a nostalgic craving from time to
time, we'll stick with making our own "easy mac."