Saturday, June 7, 2014

Oh, Kraft, You're So Fake!

Today, I once again promised myself I would blog more. So, naturally, I looked to see if I had any posts drafted that I could publish now, before starting a fresh one. 

Lo and behold I came across a blast from the past—2009 to be exact—detailed how I had written a letter to Kraft asking them why they were willing to reformulate their products to healthier specifications in the E.U. but continued to sell their artificial, chemical version of Macaroni & Cheese to U.S. consumers. I finally got a reply [again, back in 2009] as follows:

Dear Valued Consumer,
We received your recent e-mail about our Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

We completely understand that as a parent, nothing is more important than your family's health and well-being. That is one reason Kraft Foods is so dedicated to making the safety and quality of our products our top priority.

So that is why we follow the guidelines of government agencies that are responsible for the safety of our food. In the United States, Kraft Foods only uses ingredients that have been recognized as safe for food use in accordance with U.S. Food & Drug Administration regulations. We will continue to use the current ingredients, which are recognized as safe.

Our products around the globe are different to reflect local preferences and tastes. Yet we use the same standards to select ingredients, always putting safety first.

We know some people prefer products made without artificial ingredients so we now offer more choices. For products with no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors, you might want to consider Kraft Organic Macaroni & Cheese in White Cheddar or some of the Macaroni & Cheese dinner options in our Back to Nature line. We hope you'll give them - and some of our other Back to Nature products - a try.

Just so you know, our Macaroni & Cheese products are sold primarily in the United States and Canada. Although we have a variation of pasta and cheese products in Scotland/northern England and Australia, neither has made any changes to their recipe since 2006.

Thank you for sharing your concerns. Your views on our products are very important to us and we take them to heart.

Associate Director, Consumer Relations

Kim McMiller

My 2009 draft concluded with this musing:

While I absolutely appreciate that Kraft at least (1) responded and (2) gave lip service to thinking about the safety of the ingredients its using, I cannot believe for ONE MINUTE that Kraft really believes that the U.S. Government standards are appropriate benchmark to be using. They are profit-driven and looking to suck as much money out of consumers as possible with no regard whatsoever for the health and well-being of those who purchase or consume their foods. This situation is not entirely their fault, though, since the U.S. government in all its wisdom has decided to subsidize unhealthy things like corn and wheat, making them cheap and desirable for Big Food to use. 


Today, FIVE YEARS LATER, Food Babe (if you're not following her, you really should be), through a petition, pressured Kraft so much that they gave in and promised to remove artificial dyes from SOME of their US products. 

That is a good start. If you want more details, here you go:

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