Yikes: The cheese powder in your mac and cheese likely contains dangerous chemicals

Bad news for macaroni and cheese fans: A study found that nearly all boxes of mac and cheese contain phthalates, a chemical that make plastics more flexible. The chemical is found in the cheese powder packets in macaroni and cheese. Yuck! It’s also in shampoo, cosmetics, and fast food. Double yuck! The Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging study found that the chemicals were found in 29 of 30 samples of macaroni and cheese products tested. This study also included organic products, so be careful. They slip in through processing. Even accidental chemicals are still bad!

The coalition has asked Kraft to get rid of “toxic industrial chemicals” from their products. Like their mac and cheese.

"For pregnant women and young children, who are the most vulnerable groups, food is often the number one source of phthalates exposure," the letter says. "And fatty foods, including dairy products, tend to be the greatest contributor of dietary exposure to phthalates."

In a statement released by the Kraft Heinz Company, they said that the levels of phthalates found in the food are “…more than 1,000 times lower than levels that scientific authorities have identified as acceptable.” But according to the National Institutes of Health, these chemicals are believed to be endocrine disruptors, able to interfere with the body’s hormonal system. So it would probably be a good idea to remove them completely from food.

Hopefully Kraft and other companies work with the coalition to eliminate phthalates from their production lines. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. We don’t want to be eating chemicals. Especially in delicious mac and cheese!