Mac and Cheese

Toxic Chemicals in Your Mac and Cheese

In All Health Watch, Big Pharma, Cancer, Featured Article, Health Warning by INH Research0 Comments

This is what passes for logic at the FDA…

The agency bans a group of harmful chemicals from toddlers’ toys—but allows the very same toxins to be added to one of kids’ favorite foods.

Two million boxes of macaroni and cheese are sold every day. And that little bag of cheese powder you mix with the noodles is filled with compounds called phthalates.

They’re linked to birth defects, learning problems, behavior disorders, and hormone disruption. And it is not just children at risk…

Phthalates are tied to breast cancer, obesity, diabetes, asthma, and male infertility in adults.1

All Brands Tested Positive

A group of scientists from consumer advocacy and health organizations recently tested 10 brands of mac and cheese. Nine of the 10 products were produced by Kraft, which dominates the market.

Every single brand contained high levels of phthalates.2

Mike Belliveau is executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center, one of the groups involved in the research. “Our belief is that it’s in every mac ‘n’ cheese product—you can’t shop your way out of the problem,” he said.

To be fair, Kraft and other companies do not intentionally add phthalates to foods. Phthalates are widely used in making plastics, rubber coatings, sealants, adhesives, and printing inks.

During manufacturing, chemicals from tubing, conveyor belts, gaskets, and other plastic materials seep into powdered cheese. Phthalates also leach into the cheese powder from its packaging.

These chemicals bind with fats… And cheese products are loaded with fat. So they absorb more of the chemicals than other foods.3

Europe has banned phthalates from plastics that come into contact with fatty foods. Over a decade ago, the FDA outlawed phthalates in children’s toys small enough to be chewed. But absurdly, it refuses to prohibit them in food.

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Last year, food safety groups petitioned the FDA to forbid phthalates in food, food packaging, and food processing equipment.

So far, the agency has done nothing.4

Protect Yourself and Your Family

The obvious way to lower your risk is to stop eating processed macaroni and cheese.

Instead, make it from scratch. But make sure to use organic cheese. Processed cheeses, especially American cheese that comes in single slices, are also high in phthalates.

Even when you make it with organic ingredients, mac and cheese is not going to be a health food because of the high carb content of macaroni.

But at least you won’t be poisoning yourself and your family with phthalates.


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References:
1 https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/feb/10/phthalates-plastics-chemicals-research-analysis
2 http://kleanupkraft.org/data-summary.pdf
3 http://www.kansascity.com/living/food-drink/article161280153.html
4 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/12/well/eat/the-chemicals-in-your-mac-and-cheese.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fhealth&action=click&contentCollection=health&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront

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