Published: Fri, July 14, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

Mac & Cheese May Have Chemicals, Parents Everywhere Say, 'F*ck'

Mac & Cheese May Have Chemicals, Parents Everywhere Say, 'F*ck'

Ten varieties of boxed mac and cheese were tested, including some organic brands, and all were found to have high phthalate levels.

Boxed mac and cheese often means survival for tots and poor college students, but new research shows there may be harmful chemicals in the powdered cheese.

In the Times article, Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle, offered tips for how families can limit exposure, including avoiding processed foods or anything that comes in a box with a long shelf-life, choosing low-fat dairy products and storing food in glass, stainless steel, ceramic or wood containers instead of plastic. "In fact, phthalates were in eight of the nine items of individual Kraft cheese products we tested, including its iconic Macaroni and Cheese". The organizers say that in addition to Kraft having the largest market for powdered cheese in the industry, they have also taken action in the past to make their foods safer based on scientific and consumer concerns. All but 1 contained phthalates.

The Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging believes that it's actually a matter for the federal government to regulate and prohibit these chemicals, but "Trump's Food and Drug Administration has yet to act", said coalition member Peter Lehner in a statement.

"The phthalate concentrations in powder from mac and cheese mixes were more than four times higher than in block cheese and other natural cheeses like shredded cheese, string cheese and cottage cheese", said Mike Belliveau, executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center, one of four advocacy groups that paid for the report. But they haven't been banned from foods, and The New York Times reports that phthalates may still be present in high concentration in macaroni-and-cheese products.

The New York Times reports that the company did not respond to requests for comment on the findings and MailOnline has asked again.

It's not that manufacturers are deliberately adding these chemicals to food.

However, the FDA allows the use of many phthalates in such materials and classifies them as indirect food additives.

The can also leak in from printed labels or plastic materials in the packaging. They can disrupt male hormones like testosterone. Europe has already gotten rid of many phthalates in food production, so there's hope that maybe with enough recognition of the issue the USA could follow suit.

Previous research has also linked them to obesity, thyroid abnormalities, reduced sperm count and mobility and risks to pregnant women and young children.

Like this: