Odds are if you look in your kitchen pantry there will be an emergency box of Kraft Mac and Cheese. It's a quick dinner fix when you've had a long day and the little ones are hungry. You may, however, want to reconsider feeding this cheesy staple to your kids because a new study revealed it may contain a harmful chemical.
Campaigners KleanUpKraft conducted a study that tested our favorite Mac and Cheese for dangerous industrial chemicals. What the study found was that 29 out of 30 cheese products contained a chemical called phthalates. Of these products, "levels were more than four times higher in macaroni and cheese powder samples" than in other samples of natural and hard block cheese.
Phthalates are a common chemical used in the manufacturing of rubber, plastics, adhesives, fragrance, and printing ink. They pose a threat to human health as they disrupt hormones, cause reproductive defects, and lead to abnormal brain development. Pregnant women and children are especially at risk of side effects when ingesting the chemicals.
While Kraft states they do not add phthalates to their products, it's the processing that's to blame. Phthalates manage to seep their way into food during the packaging process. This puts processed foods like Mac and Cheese at a greater risk of containing phthalates.
Kraft is not the only source that puts individuals at risk for consuming phthalates. Fast food packaging, microwaving with plastic, and plastic containers with recycle code 3 and 7 are just a few sources where phthalates can wind up being consumed.
While phthalates are not currently banned by the Food and Drug Administration, research shows the chemical is harmful to health. With the chemical being practically everywhere however, it's impossible to avoid.