Whoa, hold the phone. Apparently there are PHTHALATES in our boxed mac and cheese. You know, the one that you secretly take bites of when you make it for your kids. Yea, that one that oozes the ooey, gooey goodness into every bite. Gross.
What are PHTHALATES and why are they bad? They are man-made substances that are shown to cause disruption with human hormones. Exactly what you don’t want your children (or yourself for that matter) to ingest, ever. The highest counts were found exactly in that cheese powder, which is obviously the best part.
Testing was done at an independent lab, and paid for by The Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packaging, and showed that all but one brand contained these harmful ingredients. I should add that both organic and non organic brands were tested. That bunny can’t save us now! What else is frightening, is that these phthalates are found in more products than you would realize. They are found in vinyl flooring, packaging, personal care products, toys, and wall coverings according to the FDA.
So why exactly are these chemicals found in our boxed mac and cheese? The chemicals aren’t added to the products on purpose, but are infused into the packaging material to keep moisture out and extend shelf life. Over time, they leach into the cheese powder. At this time, there are no regulations in packaging materials. Something that needs to change.
The good news is that your store bought mac and cheese won’t kill you, but the experts are warning people to not eat it daily and try to make it from scratch when possible. Save the boxed stuff for late nights or sheer and utter desperation.
Here is my favorite recipe from the Barefoot Contessa. It is delicious, but the calories will probably kill you before the phthlates do!