Kraft Dims Artificial Orange Glow Of Its Mac And Cheese | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Kraft Dims Artificial Orange Glow Of Its Mac And Cheese

One of the iconic foods of American childhood is becoming a bit less startlingly orange.

Kraft Foods plans to remove artificial food coloring from mac and cheese products that are marketed for children, starting early next year.

Company spokesperson Lynne Galia told The Salt that the artificial dyes will be replaced with colors from spices such as paprika, annatto and turmeric. But she denies this is a response to an online petition asking the company to stop using the dyes in mac and cheese.

"We've been working on this relaunch for quite some time," Galia says. "It is completely in line with our company's ongoing effort to deliver better nutrition in our products."

She points out Kraft will also add more whole grain to the "Shapes" products, which are marketed for children, and also reduce sodium and saturated fat.

This is part of a continued rollout of products with natural or no food coloring over several years, Galia says, naming 14 examples, including the "Organic," "Deluxe" and "Homestyle" varieties.

Vani Hari, a blogger in Charlotte, N.C., who started the petition, says she expected this move.

"Like a corporation, they're not going to say that it was because of us," Hari told The Salt. "They're going to try and act like they were planning to do it all along."

The Change.org petition called on Kraft to take artificial food dyes out of all mac and cheese products.

But fierce fans of that Day-Glo orange processed powdered cheese need not despair. Kraft will continue to use artificial dyes in the plain mac and cheese with "original flavor," according to The Associated Press.

Another petition on Change.org asks the candy company Mars to produce its iconic M&Ms without artificial dyes, which it claims can make children hyperactive.

There is growing evidence that artificial food coloring can affect a child's behavior, according to Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York. "On the other hand, these effects are relatively modest," he told NPR's Allison Aubrey.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Oct. 23

You can see a play and hear music made famous by film.

NPR

Why California's Drought-Stressed Fruit May Be Better For You

Is California's severe drought hurting the nutrient content of fruit? No, preliminary data on pomegranates suggest. The fruit may be smaller, but packed with more antioxidants, tests show.
NPR

In North Carolina, Latino Voters Could Decide Tight Senate Race

Latinos make up 9 percent of the state's population and 2 percent of registered voters, and a new poll shows many are undecided. In Charlotte, Michel Martin learns more about their growing influence.
NPR

Mark Zuckerberg Shows Off His Mandarin Chinese Skills

The Facebook co-founder and CEO spoke at Tsinghua University in Beijing for about 30 minutes. In Mandarin. His audience liked it.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.